CHAPTER 517
CIVIL PREPAREDNESS.
DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
AND HOMELAND SECURITY

Table of Contents

Sec. 28-1. Definitions.
Sec. 28-1a. Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Commissioner. Qualifications and duties. Organization of department. Regulations. Interagency memorandum of understanding. Transfer of functions, powers, duties and personnel to department.
Sec. 28-5. Preparation for civil preparedness. Subpoenas. Comprehensive plan and program for civil preparedness. Training programs. Cooperation by other state agencies. Orders and regulations.
Sec. 28-8b. Use of nerve agent antidote medications.
Sec. 28-9c. Removal of debris or wreckage. Governor's powers.
Sec. 28-14a. Compensation of volunteers with volunteer organizations that conduct homeland security drills. Compensation for injury, disability or death.

      Sec. 28-1. Definitions. As used in this chapter:

      (1) "Attack" means any attack or series of attacks by an enemy of the United States causing, or which may cause, substantial damage or injury to civilian property or persons in the United States in any manner by sabotage or by the use of bombs, shellfire or atomic, radiological, chemical, bacteriological or biological means or other weapons or processes.

      (2) "Major disaster" means any hurricane, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion, or other catastrophe in any part of this state which, in the determination of the President, causes damage of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant major disaster assistance under the Federal Disaster Relief Act of 1974, above and beyond emergency services by the federal government, to supplement the efforts and available resources of this state, local governments thereof, and disaster relief organizations in alleviating the damage, loss, hardship, or suffering caused thereby.

      (3) "Emergency" means any hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire, explosion, or other catastrophe in any part of this state which requires federal emergency assistance to supplement state and local efforts to save lives and protect property, public health and safety or to avert or lessen the threat of a disaster.

      (4) "Civil preparedness" means all those activities and measures designed or undertaken (A) to minimize or control the effects upon the civilian population of major disaster, (B) to minimize the effects upon the civilian population caused or which would be caused by an attack upon the United States, (C) to deal with the immediate emergency conditions which would be created by any such attack, major disaster or emergency, and (D) to effectuate emergency repairs to, or the emergency restoration of, vital utilities and facilities destroyed or damaged by any such attack, major disaster or emergency. Such term shall include, but shall not be limited to, (i) measures to be taken in preparation for anticipated attack, major disaster or emergency, including the establishment of appropriate organizations, operational plans and supporting agreements; the recruitment and training of personnel; the conduct of research; the procurement and stockpiling of necessary materials and supplies; the provision of suitable warning systems; the construction and preparation of shelters, shelter areas and control centers; and, when appropriate, the nonmilitary evacuation of the civilian population; (ii) measures to be taken during attack, major disaster or emergency, including the enforcement of passive defense regulations prescribed by duly established military or civil authorities; the evacuation of personnel to shelter areas; the control of traffic and panic; and the control and use of lighting and civil communication; and (iii) measures to be taken following attack, major disaster or emergency, including activities for fire fighting; rescue, emergency medical, health and sanitation services; monitoring for specific hazards of special weapons; unexploded bomb reconnaissance; essential debris clearance; emergency welfare measures; and immediately essential emergency repair or restoration of damaged vital facilities.

      (5) "Civil preparedness forces" means any organized personnel engaged in carrying out civil preparedness functions in accordance with the provisions of this chapter or any regulation or order adopted pursuant to this chapter. All the police and fire forces of the state or any political subdivision of the state, or any part of any political subdivision, including all the auxiliaries of these forces and emergency medical service personnel licensed or certified pursuant to section 19a-179, shall be construed to be a part of the civil preparedness forces. The Connecticut Disaster Medical Assistance Team and the Medical Reserve Corps, under the auspices of the Department of Public Health, the Connecticut Urban Search and Rescue Team, under the auspices of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and the Connecticut behavioral health regional crisis response teams, under the auspices of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Children and Families, and their members, shall be construed to be a part of the civil preparedness forces while engaging in authorized civil preparedness duty or while assisting or engaging in authorized training for the purpose of eligibility for immunity from liability as provided in section 28-13 and for death, disability and injury benefits as provided in section 28-14. Any member of the civil preparedness forces who is called upon either by civil preparedness personnel or state or municipal police personnel to assist in any emergency shall be deemed to be engaging in civil preparedness duty while assisting in such emergency or while engaging in training under the auspices of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, the Department of Public Safety, the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety or a municipal police department, for the purpose of eligibility for death, disability and injury benefits as provided in section 28-14.

      (6) "Mobile support unit" means an organization of civil preparedness forces created in accordance with the provisions of this chapter to be dispatched by the Governor or Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to supplement civil preparedness forces in a stricken or threatened area.

      (7) "Civil preparedness emergency" or "disaster emergency" means an emergency declared by the Governor under the provisions of this chapter in the event of serious disaster or of enemy attack, sabotage or other hostile action within the state or a neighboring state, or in the event of the imminence thereof.

      (8) "Local civil preparedness emergency" or "disaster emergency" means an emergency declared by the chief executive officer of any town or city in the event of serious disaster affecting such town or city.

      (9) "Governor" means the Governor or anyone legally administering the office of Governor.

      (10) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

      (11) "Department" means the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

      (12) "Political subdivision" means any city, town, municipality, borough or other unit of local government.

      (June, 1951, 1953, S. 1905d; 1957, P.A. 469, S. 1; 1959, P.A. 65, S. 1; 135; 1961, P.A. 455; P.A. 73-544, S. 1; P.A. 74-296; P.A. 75-643, S. 1; P.A. 79-417, S. 1; P.A. 88-135, S. 4; P.A. 03-278, S. 89; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 166; P.A. 04-219, S. 12; 04-257, S. 45; P.A. 05-259, S. 3.)

      History: 1959 acts defined attack and governor, and redefined civil defense and civil defense forces; 1961 act further defined civil defense forces to add provision re skindivers; P.A. 73-544 substituted "civil preparedness" for "civil defense" where appearing; P.A. 74-296 deleted in Subsec. (c) references to skindiving and added "municipal" to references to "state police"; P.A. 75-643 defined "disaster" in new Subsec. (b) and relettered the Subsecs. accordingly, added the unorganized militia to civil preparedness forces defined in new Subsec. (d), added "disaster emergency" in new Subsec. (f) and added new Subsec. (i) defining political subdivision; P.A. 79-417 deleted definition for "disaster" in Subsec. (b) and substituted definition for "major disaster", added new Subsec. (c) defining "emergency", relettered Subsec. (c) as (d) and incorporated references to major disaster or emergency in definition of "civil preparedness", relettered subsequent Subsecs. accordingly in sequence and deleted reference to the unorganized militia in new Subsec. (e); P.A. 88-135 substituted "emergency management" for "civil preparedness" in Subsecs. (e) and (f); P.A. 03-278 made a technical change in Subsecs. (g) and (h), effective July 9, 2003; June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 made technical changes in Subsecs. (c) and (d) and amended Subsec. (e) by adding provisions re the Connecticut Disaster Medical Assistance Team, the Medical Reserve Corps, the Connecticut Urban Search and Rescue Team and the Connecticut behavioral health regional crisis response teams as part of the civil preparedness forces, effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-219 substituted numerical Subdiv. designators for Subsec. designators, changing internal subdesignators accordingly, substituted Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for Department of Public Safety and for Office of Emergency Management and added reference to Department of Public Safety in Subdiv. (5), substituted Commissioner of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for state director of emergency management in Subdiv. (6), and added definitions of "commissioner" and "department" in Subdivs. (10) and (11), effective January 1, 2005; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes in definition of "civil preparedness forces", effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 05-259 amended Subdiv. (5) by making a technical change and including emergency medical service personnel licensed or certified pursuant to Sec. 19a-179 within the definition of "civil preparedness forces", effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 28-1a. Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Commissioner. Qualifications and duties. Organization of department. Regulations. Interagency memorandum of understanding. Transfer of functions, powers, duties and personnel to department. (a) There is established a Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Said department shall be the designated emergency management and homeland security agency for the state. The department head shall be the commissioner, who shall be appointed by the Governor in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-5, 4-6, 4-7 and 4-8 with the powers and duties prescribed in said sections. The commissioner shall possess professional training and knowledge consisting of not less than five years of managerial or strategic planning experience in matters relating to public safety, security, emergency services and emergency response. No person possessing a record of any criminal, unlawful or unethical conduct shall be eligible for or hold such position. Any person with any present or past political activities or financial interests that may substantially conflict with the duties of the commissioner or expose such person to potential undue influence or compromise such person's ability to be entrusted with necessary state or federal security clearances or information shall be deemed unqualified for such position and shall not be eligible to hold such position. The commissioner shall be the chief administrative officer of the department and shall have the responsibility for providing a coordinated, integrated program for state-wide emergency management and homeland security. The commissioner may do all things necessary to apply for, qualify for and accept any federal funds made available or allotted under any federal act relative to emergency management or homeland security.

      (b) With reasonable conformance to applicable federal statutes and administrative regulations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the requirements of the Connecticut emergency operations plan, the commissioner shall organize the department and the personnel of the department as may be necessary for the effective discharge of the authorized emergency management, civil preparedness and homeland security missions, including, but not limited to, the provisions of the Connecticut emergency operations plan and the national plan for civil preparedness. Any department personnel may be removed by the commissioner for security reasons or for incompetence, subject to reinstatement by the Employees' Review Board. The commissioner may enter into contracts for the furnishing by any person or agency, public or private, of services necessary for the proper execution of the duties of the department. Any such contract that has a cost of three thousand dollars or more shall be subject to the approval of the Attorney General.

      (c) The commissioner shall be responsible for: (1) Coordinating with state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities and the private sector to ensure adequate planning, equipment, training and exercise activities by such personnel, agencies, authorities and the private sector with regard to homeland security; (2) coordinating, and as may be necessary, consolidating homeland security communications and communications systems of the state government with state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities, the general public and the private sector; (3) distributing and, as may be appropriate, coordinating the distribution of information and security warnings to state and local government personnel, agencies, authorities and the general public; and (4) establishing standards and security protocols for the use of any intelligence information.

      (d) The commissioner may adopt such regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, as necessary to implement the duties of the department.

      (e) The commissioner shall, in consultation with the bargaining unit representing state police, enter into an interagency memorandum of understanding with the Department of Public Safety and the Military Department to provide for (1) the temporary assignment and retrenchment rights of state police and employees of the Military Department to work in the department, and (2) interagency information sharing. Any such personnel temporarily assigned shall act under the direction of the commissioner. The Department of Public Safety and the Military Department, respectively, shall retain administrative control over such personnel.

      (f) The commissioner may request and may receive from any federal, state or local agency, cooperation and assistance in the performance of the duties of the department, including the temporary assignment of personnel necessary to perform the functions of the department. Any such personnel temporarily assigned shall act under the direction of the commissioner. The federal, state or local agency shall retain administrative control over such personnel. For purposes of section 5-141d, such personnel temporarily assigned shall be deemed to be acting as state employees while assigned to, and performing the duties of, the department.

      (g) The functions, powers, duties and, as determined to be necessary by the commissioner, personnel of the Division of Homeland Security within the Department of Public Safety and the Office of Emergency Management within the Military Department shall be transferred to the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in accordance with the provisions of sections 4-38d, 4-38e and 4-39.

      (P.A. 77-614, S. 510, 610; P.A. 88-135, S. 5; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-12, S. 2, 10; P.A. 93-206, S. 4, 16; P.A. 99-190, S. 1, 9; P.A. 04-219, S. 13; P.A. 05-265, S. 1; 05-287, S. 6.)

      History: P.A. 88-135 substituted office of "emergency management" for office of "civil preparedness"; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-12 deleted phrase "for administrative purposes only" and required said office to be the designated civil defense organization for state; P.A. 93-206 placed office of emergency management within division of fire, emergency and building services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 99-190 transferred the Office of Emergency Management from the Division of Fire, Emergency and Building Services within the Department of Public Safety to the Military Department, effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 04-219 eliminated former provisions and substituted provisions establishing Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security within the Office of Policy and Management for administrative purposes only, requiring commissioner to be department head and specifying qualifications and duties of commissioner in Subsec. (a), requiring commissioner to organize department and personnel as necessary for effective discharge of authorized emergency management, civil preparedness and homeland security missions, authorizing removal of any department personnel by commissioner for security reasons or incompetence and authorizing commissioner to enter into contracts for the furnishing of services necessary for the proper execution of the duties of department in Subsec. (b), specifying responsibilities of commissioner in Subsec. (c), authorizing commissioner to adopt regulations in Subsec. (d), requiring commissioner to enter into interagency memorandum of understanding with Department of Public Safety and Military Department in Subsec. (e), and requiring transfer of functions, powers, duties and personnel of Division of Homeland Security within Department of Public Safety and Office of Emergency Management within Military Department to new department in Subsec. (f), effective January 1, 2005; P.A. 05-265 amended Subsec. (e) to provide in Subdiv. (1) that the assignment of personnel is temporary, to require that any such personnel temporarily assigned act under the direction of the commissioner, deleting reference to "all such assigned employees" and "sole" direction, and to require Department of Public Safety and Military Department to retain administrative control over such personnel, added new Subsec. (f) allowing commissioner to request and receive cooperation and assistance in the performance of the duties of department from any federal, state or local agency, and redesignated existing Subsec. (f) as Subsec. (g), effective July 13, 2005; P.A. 05-287 amended Subsec. (a) to delete provision placing Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security within the Office of Policy and Management for administrative purposes only, effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 28-5. Preparation for civil preparedness. Subpoenas. Comprehensive plan and program for civil preparedness. Training programs. Cooperation by other state agencies. Orders and regulations. (a) The commissioner may make studies and surveys of the manpower, industries, resources and facilities of the state to ascertain the capabilities of the state for civil preparedness and to plan for their most efficient use in time of emergency. The commissioner may apply to the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford, or to a judge of said court if the court is not in session, for a subpoena to compel the attendance of such witnesses or the production of such books, papers, records or documents of individuals, firms, associations or corporations as may be necessary to the effective preparation of the civil preparedness of the state. The court or judge shall, before issuing such subpoena, provide adequate opportunity for the commissioner and the party against whom the subpoena is requested to be heard. No such subpoena shall issue unless the court or judge certifies that the attendance of such witness or the production of such books, papers, records or documents is reasonably necessary to the effective preparation of the civil preparedness of the state and that the commissioner has made reasonable efforts to secure such attendance or such books, papers, records or documents without recourse to compulsory process.

      (b) The commissioner shall direct the preparation of a comprehensive plan and program for the civil preparedness of the state and integrate and coordinate that plan and program to the fullest extent possible with the civil preparedness plans of the federal government and of other states. When the plan and program has been prepared, the commissioner shall present it to the Governor for his approval. When the Governor approves the plan, all government agencies, state or local, and all civil preparedness forces in the state shall carry out the duties and functions assigned by the plan and program as approved. The plan and program may, from time to time, be amended or modified in like manner. The commissioner shall coordinate the civil preparedness activities of the towns and cities of the state to the end that they shall be fully integrated with the state civil preparedness plan and program.

      (c) In accordance with the state civil preparedness plan and program, the commissioner shall institute such training programs and public information programs, shall take all other preparatory steps, including the partial or full mobilization of civil preparedness forces in advance of actual disaster, as may be necessary to the prompt and effective operation of the state civil preparedness plan in time of emergency and may, from time to time, conduct such practice blackouts or radio silences as may be authorized by the United States Army or its duly designated agency, and such practice air raid alerts or other civil preparedness exercises as the commissioner may deem necessary.

      (d) The commissioner shall utilize the personnel, services, equipment, supplies and facilities of existing departments, offices and agencies of the state to the maximum extent possible. The head of each such department, office or agency, in cooperation with and under the direction of the commissioner, shall be responsible for the planning and programming of such activities in the civil preparedness programs as will involve the utilization of the facilities of his department, office, institution or agency and shall implement and carry out such activities whenever necessary for the welfare and safety of the state.

      (e) In order to accomplish the purposes of this chapter, the commissioner may make such orders and such regulations as may be necessary to develop and implement the civil preparedness plan and program. Subject to the provisions of chapter 54, all such orders and regulations shall have the full force and effect of law.

      (June, 1951, S. 1909d; 1972, P.A. 294, S. 28; P.A. 73-544, S. 5; P.A. 78-280, S. 6, 127; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; 88-317, S. 88, 107; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-12, S. 3, 10; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-220, S. 4-6; P.A. 99-190, S. 3, 9; P.A. 04-219, S. 15; P.A. 05-288, S. 191.)

      History: 1972 act substituted "joint committee on legislative management" for "legislative council"; P.A. 73-544 substituted "civil preparedness" for "civil defense" throughout; P.A. 78-280 substituted "for the judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" for "for Hartford county" following "superior court"; P.A. 88-230 replaced "judicial district of Hartford-New Britain" with "judicial district of Hartford", effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 88-317 amended reference to Secs. 4-168 to 4-173 in Subsec. (e) to include new section added to Ch. 54, effective July 1, 1989, and applicable to all agency proceedings commencing on or after that date; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-12 amended Subsec. (e) to authorize commissioner of public safety to make regulations in lieu of director; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 99-190 amended Subsec. (e) by substituting "Adjutant General" for "Commissioner of Public Safety", effective July 1, 1999; P.A. 04-219 substituted commissioner for director throughout, required commissioner to direct the preparation of comprehensive plan and program for the civil preparedness of the state and made a technical change in Subsec. (b), made technical changes in Subsec. (c), and eliminated references to authorization of the Adjutant General to make regulations and to "sections 4-168 to 4-173, inclusive", added reference to chapter 54, and eliminated procedures re suspension of conflicting orders or regulations in Subsec. (e), effective January 1, 2005; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (a), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 28-8b. Use of nerve agent antidote medications. (a) Any paid or volunteer firefighter, police officer or emergency medical service personnel who successfully completes a training course in the use of automatic prefilled cartridge injectors may carry and use such injectors containing nerve agent antidote medications in the event of a nerve agent exposure for self-preservation or unit preservation. Such training course shall be approved by the commissioner and provided by the Connecticut Fire Academy, the Capitol Region Metropolitan Medical Response System or the federal government.

      (b) The state of Connecticut shall save harmless and indemnify any sponsor hospital or the medical director or designated staff of a sponsor hospital certified by the Department of Public Health to oversee the training, distribution or quality assurance of nerve agent antidote kits for purposes of subsection (a) of this section, from financial loss and expense, including legal fees and costs, if any, arising out of any claim, demand, suit or judgment by reason of alleged negligence or other act resulting in personal injury, which acts are not wanton, reckless or malicious, provided such person at the time of the acts resulting in such injury was acting in the discharge of such person's duties in providing such training, distribution or quality assurance of nerve agent antidote kits.

      (c) For purposes of this section, "sponsor hospital" means a hospital that has agreed to maintain staff for the provision of medical control, supervision and direction to an emergency medical service organization and its personnel and that has been approved for such activity by the Office of Emergency Medical Services.

      (June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6, S. 168; P.A. 04-219, S. 26; P.A. 05-259, S. 4.)

      History: June 30 Sp. Sess. P.A. 03-6 effective August 20, 2003; P.A. 04-219 substituted commissioner for director of the Office of Emergency Management, effective January 1, 2005; P.A. 05-259 designated existing language as Subsec. (a), added Subsec. (b) to provide immunity from liability, under certain circumstances, to sponsor hospitals and their staff who oversee the training, distribution or quality assurance of nerve antidote kits for purposes of Subsec. (a), and added Subsec. (c) to define "sponsor hospital", effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 28-9c. Removal of debris or wreckage. Governor's powers. (a) Whenever the Governor has declared a disaster emergency to exist under the laws of this state, or the President, at the request of the Governor, has declared a major disaster or emergency to exist in this state, the Governor is authorized: (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, through the use of state departments or agencies, or the use of any of the state's instrumentalities, to clear or remove from publicly or privately owned land or water, debris and wreckage which may threaten public health or safety, or public or private property; (2) to accept funds from the federal government and utilize such funds to make grants to any political subdivision for the purpose of removing debris or wreckage from publicly or privately owned land or water.

      (b) (1) Authority under this section shall not be exercised unless the affected political subdivision, corporation, organization or individual owning such property shall first present an unconditional authorization for removal of such debris or wreckage from public and private property and, in the case of removal of debris or wreckage from private property, shall first agree to indemnify the state against any claim arising from such removal. (2) Whenever the Governor provides for clearance of debris or wreckage pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, employees of the designated state agencies or individuals appointed by the state are authorized to enter upon private land or waters and perform any tasks necessary to the removal or clearance operation.

      (P.A. 75-643, S. 7; P.A. 79-417, S. 3; P.A. 05-288, S. 126.)

      History: P.A. 79-417 added "major" to disaster as declared by the President at the request of the governor; P.A. 05-288 made technical changes in Subsec. (b), effective July 13, 2005.

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      Sec. 28-14a. Compensation of volunteers with volunteer organizations that conduct homeland security drills. Compensation for injury, disability or death. (a) For the purposes of this section, "volunteer organization" means an organization that (1) provides first responder, rescue or emergency medical transportation services, or is a volunteer fire company that provides emergency medical or rescue services, as part of its duties, and (2) relies exclusively or primarily upon volunteers to provide such services.

      (b) The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security shall compensate each volunteer with any volunteer organization that conducts a homeland security drill authorized by said department that exceeds twenty-four consecutive hours in length who participates in such drill and is otherwise employed, at the same rate as such volunteer is compensated in his or her employment in the public or private sector, provided the payment by said department shall be reduced by any amount of compensation such volunteer receives from his or her employer for such drill.

      (c) In the event any such volunteer is injured, disabled or dies in the course of any such drill, such volunteer shall be compensated in accordance with the provisions of chapter 568 to the same extent that he or she would have been compensated for such injury, disability or death occurring in the course of his or her employment in the public or private sector.

      (P.A. 05-265, S. 2.)

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