If a local government determines effects of an emergency are beyond the capability of local resources to mitigate effectively, the local government may proclaim a local emergency. Under a local emergency proclamation, the Recovery staff coordinate with Cal OES County Emergency Service Coordinators (ESC) to monitor the impact of the disaster and the local jurisdiction’s recovery progress. Additionally, the Recovery Directorate may provide limited State recovery assistance for permanent restoration of public facilities only. Under a Governor’s State of Emergency (SOE) proclamation, the Recovery Directorate provides staffing and management support to a Regional Emergency Operations Center (REOC) or the State Operations Center (SOC).
Proclamation Guide for Local Governments
This document includes general information about local emergency proclamations and a sample proclamation for local government officials. It is not intended to be a legal opinion on the emergency proclamation process and related programs under federal, state, and local law. Local governments should consult their own legal counsel when considering proclaiming a local state of emergency.
The duly proclaimed existence of conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the territorial limits of a county, city and county, or city, caused by such conditions as air pollution, fire, flood, storm, epidemic, riot, drought, sudden and severe energy shortage, plant or animal infestation or disease, the Governor’s warning of an earthquake or volcanic prediction, or an earthquake, or other conditions, other than conditions resulting from a labor controversy, which are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of that political subdivision and require the combined forces of other political subdivisions to combat.
Local Emergency Proclamation
Pursuant to California Government Code Section 8680.9, a local emergency is a condition of extreme peril to persons or property proclaimed as such by the governing body of the local agency affected by a natural or manmade disaster. The purpose of a local emergency proclamation is to provide extraordinary police powers; immunity for emergency actions; authorize issuance of orders and regulations; activate pre-established emergency provisions; and is a prerequisite for requesting state or federal assistance.
A local emergency proclamation can only be issued by a governing body (city, county, or city and county) or an official designated by local ordinance. The proclamation should be issued within 10 days of the incident and ratified by the governing body within 7 days. Renewal of the resolution should occur every 60 days until terminated. It should be noted a local emergency proclamation is not required for fire or law mutual aid; direct state assistance, Red Cross assistance; a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG); or disaster loan programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
When a local government requests a Gubernatorial State of Emergency Proclamation, Director’s Concurrence, and/or California Disaster Assistance Act funding, the local government should provide information describing local response efforts and identify the specific type and extent of state emergency assistance needed, including regulatory waivers necessary to facilitate the protection of life and property during response efforts. A local emergency proclamation and/or Governor’s proclamation is not a prerequisite for mutual aid assistance, Red Cross assistance, the federal Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, or disaster loan programs designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration or the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Gubernatorial State of Emergency Proclamation
Pursuant to California Government Code Section 8625, the Governor may proclaim a State of Emergency in an area affected by a natural or manmade disaster, when he is requested to do so by the governing body of the local agency affected, or he finds the local authority is inadequate to cope with the emergency.
A local jurisdiction should request the Governor to proclaim a state of emergency when the governing body of a city, county, or city and county determine that:
- Emergency conditions are beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single county, city, or city and county, and
- Emergency conditions require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat
Issuance: Within 10 days after the actual occurrence of a disaster if assistance will be requested through CDAA (Govt. Code section 8685.2).
Ratification: If issued by official designated by ordinance, must be ratified by governing body within 7 days (Govt. Code section 8630(b)).
Renewal: Reviewed at least once every 60 days by the governing body until terminated (Govt. Code section 8630(c)).
Termination: At the earliest possible date that conditions warrant (Govt. Code section 8630(d)).
Local governments should notify the Operational Area (OA) and provide a copy of the local emergency proclamation as soon as possible.
OA shall notify Cal OES and provide a signed copy of the proclamation as soon as possible.
Cal OES Region will ensure notification to the Cal OES Director and Deputy Directors and shall be the primary contact between the Cal OES Director, OA, and the local jurisdiction for updates on any requests for assistance.
Cal OES Director will respond in writing to the local government concerning the status of any requests for assistance included within the local proclamation or accompanying letter. This process is consistent with the Standardized Emergency Management System (Govt. Code section 8607.
Request for California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) Funding in a Local Emergency Proclamation
CDAA Request Process
As set forth in the California Government Code, Title 2, Division 1, Chapter 7.5 – California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA), only a governing body of a city (mayor or chief executive), county (chairman of a board of supervisors or county administrative officer), or city and county may seek financial assistance through CDAA, by order of a Director’s Concurrence or Governor’s Proclamation. The request for CDAA can be included in a local emergency proclamation; however, it is more appropriate to request CDAA on separate letterhead once the governing body has identified, and can certify, local resources are insufficient and the situation is beyond its capabilities.
Verification of Damages
When the governing body submits its local proclamation of emergency to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) Regional Operations, the package should include an Initial Damage Estimate (IDE). An IDE is the local governments’ identification of the impacts and local response and recovery activities. The IDE assists Cal OES to understand the jurisdictions damages and prioritize Preliminary Damage Assessment (PDA) efforts, which in turn can lead to a state or federal disaster declaration. An Operational Area must include all its affected governing bodies (cities, towns, etc.), special districts (school districts, water districts, community services districts, etc.), and private non-profit organizations within the IDE. Cal OES Regional Operations then forwards the IDE to Cal OES headquarters, which includes a Regional Event Summary (RES) delineating the impact of the event.
An IDE should include:
- Type and extent of public and private sector damage;
- Estimates of damages and emergency response costs; and
- Any acute public health and environmental issues
To assist the Governor in determining if funding under CDAA should be granted, the IDE and RES are reviewed, and if warranted, a State pre-assessment is conducted by Cal OES Recovery. Cal OES works with local jurisdictions’ emergency management and/or public safety agencies in the Operational Areas affected by the disaster event to accomplish these assessments. Once a determination is made, Cal OES will notify the requesting jurisdiction in a timely manner (verbally by Cal OES Region and in writing by Cal OES Recovery).
Factors Utilized in Consideration
In evaluating a local government’s request for financial assistance under CDAA, a number of factors, and relevant information, are considered in determining the severity, magnitude and impact of a disaster event and developing a recommendation to the Governor. The very nature of disasters, their unique circumstances, and varied impacts impedes a complete listing of factors considered when evaluating disaster declaration requests; however, primary considerations are as follows, in no particular rank:
- Activation of Emergency Operations Plan and Emergency Operations Center
- Amount and type of damage (includes response costs, emergency protective measures, debris removal, public infrastructure damages, number of businesses affected, and number of homes destroyed/with major damage)
- Amount of available funding at the local level
- Available assistance or additional programs from other sources (Federal, State, local, voluntary/NGOs)
- Costs of event distributed per population (per capita)
- Dispersion or concentration of damages
- Existence of an approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
- History or frequency of disasters over a recent time period
- Imminent threats to public health and safety or the environment
- Impact on the infrastructure of affected area(s) or critical facilities
- Impacts to essential government services and functions
- Level of insurance coverage in place for public facilities and homeowners
- Per capita income and poverty level of the operational area
- Requirement or request for regulatory, statutory or permit extension waiver or relief
- Resource commitments (Local, Regional, State Mutual Aid Assets)
- Unique capability of State government
Levels of Disaster Assistance
Purpose: CDAA authorizes the Cal OES Director, at his or her discretion, to provide financial assistance to repair and restore damaged public facilities and infrastructure.
Deadline: Cal OES must receive a request from local government within 10 days after the actual occurrence of a disaster (Govt. Code section 8685.2). Supporting Information: Local Emergency Proclamation, Initial Damage Estimate (IDE) prepared in “Cal EOC,” and a request from the City Mayor or Administrative Officer, or County Board of Supervisors.
Governor’s Proclamation of State of Emergency
Purpose: Provides the Governor with powers authorized by the Emergency Services Act; may authorize the Cal OES Director to provide financial relief under the California Disaster Assistance Act for emergency actions, restoration of public facilities and infrastructure, and hazard mitigation; prerequisite when requesting federal declaration of a major disaster or emergency.
Deadline: Cal OES must receive a request from local government within 10 days after the actual occurrence of a disaster (Govt. Code section 8685.2). Supporting Information: Local Emergency Proclamation, IDE prepared in “CalEOC,” and a request from the City Mayor or Administrative Officer, or County Board of Supervisors.
Presidential Declaration of an Emergency
Purpose: Supports response activities of the federal, state and local government; authorizes federal agencies to provide “essential” assistance including debris removal, temporary housing and the distribution of medicine, food, and other consumable supplies.
Deadline: Governor must request on behalf of local government within 5 days after the need for federal emergency assistance becomes apparent, but no longer than 30 days after the occurrence of the incident (Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (44 CFR) section 206.35(a)).
Supporting Information: All of the supporting information required above and a Governor’s Proclamation, certification by the Governor that the effective response is beyond the capability of the state, confirmation that the Governor has executed the state’s emergency plan, information describing the state and local efforts, and identification of the specific type and extent of federal emergency assistance needed.
Presidential Declaration of a Major Disaster
Purpose: Supports response and recovery activities of the federal, state, and local government and disaster relief organizations; authorizes implementation of some or all federal recovery programs including public assistance, individual assistance and hazard mitigation.
Deadline: Governor must request federal declaration of a major disaster within 30 days of the occurrence of the incident (44 CFR section 206.36(a)).
Supporting Information: All of the supporting information required above, a Governor’s Proclamation, certification by the Governor that the effective response is beyond the capability of the state, confirmation that the Governor has executed the state’s emergency plan, and identification of the specific type and extent of federal aid required.