Oregon Emergency Management and Homeland Security Authorities Summarized.

CRS Report for Congress
Oregon Emergency Management and Homeland
Security Statutory Authorities Summarized
March 23, 2004
Keith Bea
Specialist in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
L. Cheryl Runyon and Kae M. Warnock
Government and Finance Division

Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress

Oregon Emergency Management and Homeland
Security Statutory Authorities Summarized
The Office of Emergency Management serves as the lead Oregon agency to
manage preparation for and response to disasters. The governor is authorized to
declare a state of emergency at the request of a county governing body or based on
his or her determination that an emergency has occurred. During a state of
emergency the governor is authorized to control goods, services and commodities,
and may, with the legislature's approval, transfer and spend money appropriated for
other purposes to meet the emergency. The governor may unilaterally accept federal
financial assistance for political subdivisions after the President issues a major
disaster declaration; concurrence of the state Emergency Board or the Joint Ways and
Means Committee of the Assembly is required for temporary housing assistance or
financial aid to individuals and families.
This report is one of a series that profiles emergency management and homeland
security statutory authorities of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,
American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each profile identifies the
more significant elements of state statutes, generally as codified. Congressional
readers may wish to conduct further searches for related provisions using the Internet
link presented in the last section of this report. The National Conference of State
Legislatures provided primary research assistance in the development of these
profiles under contract to the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Summary
information on all of the profiles is presented in CRS Report RL32287. This report
will be updated as developments warrant.

Entities with Key Responsibilities.................................1
Preparedness .................................................2
Declaration Procedures.........................................3
Types of Assistance............................................3
Mutual Aid...................................................4
Funding .....................................................4
Hazard Mitigation.............................................5
Continuity of Government Operations..............................5
Other .......................................................5
Key Terms...................................................6
For Further Research...........................................7
List of Tables
Table 1. Key Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Terms Defined in Oregon Statutes, with Citations....................6

Oregon Emergency Management and
Homeland Security Statutory Authorities
Entities with Key Responsibilities
Governor: The governor is responsible for the state emergency services system.
During a declared emergency he or she is authorized to: delegate specified authority
(Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.035 (1)); suspend agency rules and use police powers; direct
any state agency personnel, equipment, facilities to alleviate or prevent damage due
to an emergency; direct agencies to provide supplemental services or equipment to
local governments (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.065); and control, restrict, and regulate the
use, sale and distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials,
goods and services. The governor is also authorized to prescribe and direct the use
of industrial plants, power, transportation and communications facilities, health and
medical care, education, child care and other essential needs; and manage resources
after an emergency (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.085). In addition, he or she may assume
control of all emergency operations in emergency areas; assume control of police and
law enforcement; close roads and highways; designate a coordinator of relief efforts
and exclude those refusing to cooperate; and require aid and assistance of state
agencies to perform work (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.115).
Office of Emergency Management (OEM): The office operates under
supervision of a director appointed by the state police superintendent and is charged
with executing the governor’s responsibilities to maintain an emergency services
system (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.260 (3)).
OEM Director: The director of OEM: coordinates and facilitates emergency
planning, preparedness, response and recovery activities with local and state
emergency management agencies; administers emergency management grants;
provides and staffs the state emergency management operations center; serves as the
governor’s representative for coordinating response activities and managing
recovery; establishes training and professional standards for local emergency
program management staff; establishes task forces and advisory groups; and enforces
compliance regulations to receive federal funding (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.270).
Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission: The commission’s charge is to
reduce exposure to earthquake hazards by developing policy, improving public
understanding, and supporting research, mitigation, response and recovery efforts
(Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.337 et seq.).

County or city executive officer or governing body: Local officials are
responsible for emergency services systems within their respective jurisdictions (Ore.
Rev. Stat. §401.035 (2)).
County/city emergency management agency and emergency program manager:
County agency managers are responsible for the organization, administration and
operation of their respective agencies. Duties include: coordinating planning
activities to prepare and maintain an emergency operations plan; engaging in
authorized mutual aid activities; managing and maintaining emergency operations
facilities; and establishing an incident command structure to manage the responses
by local emergency service agencies (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.305).
Emergency Board: The board, part of the state legislative assembly, allocates
money from the emergency fund to any state agency should appropriations be
insufficient (Ore. Rev. Stat. §291.322-334).
Search and rescue coordinator: The coordinator is responsible for search and
rescue operations, liaison with the state sheriff’s organization, and on-scene
coordination of search and rescue. The coordinator is authorized to request
emergency service workers and equipment, develop training mechanisms, gather
statistics, and share information (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.550).
Interagency Hazard Communication Council: The council performs the duties
of the state emergency response commission and appoints members of local
emergency planning committees. The executive committee of the council provides
oversight and assistance to local emergency response committees (Ore. Rev. Stat.
§453.510, §453.527).
The state police are required to establish a system of notification and
interagency coordination (to be managed by OEM within the emergency operations
center) that is used to respond to emergencies and civil disorders. The system serves
as a primary point of contact to notify the governor of an emergency. Each state
department identified in the state emergency management plan appoints an
emergency management coordinator to work on the development and implementation
of emergency plans and procedures (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.275).
State and local agencies are required to conduct emergency drills to prepare for
earthquake emergencies (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.538); a similar requirement is codified
for employers with 250 or more employees (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.543).
OEM is required to develop an air search and rescue program for lost aircraft
and persons (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.555).
Sheriffs are responsible for search and rescue in there counties (Ore. Rev. Stat.
§401.560) and are required to adopt search and rescue plans (Ore. Rev. Stat.

Each sheriff shall conduct a critique of non-routine search and rescue incidents
to develop recommendations for future incidents or changes to the search and rescue
plan (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.576).
Declaration Procedures
The governor is authorized to declare a state of emergency by proclamation at
the request of a county governing body, or upon the governor’s determination that
emergency has occurred or is imminent. A county must certify that local resources
have been expended and give a preliminary assessment of property damage, injuries
and death. If the governor is not available to make a proclamation, one may be
issued by specified state officials. The proclamation must specify the geographic
area to be covered (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.055).
The governor’s authority to exercise police power and the management of
resources continues until termination of the state of emergency. The authority to
provide temporary housing may continue after the emergency is terminated until
terminated by a gubernatorial proclamation or joint resolution of the legislature (Ore.
Rev. Stat. §401.095 (4)).
The governor is authorized to terminate a state of emergency by proclamation
when the threat or emergency no longer exists. A state of emergency proclamation
may be terminated at any time by the legislature (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.105).
A county or city may establish procedures for declaration of a state of
emergency; a local declaration is superseded if the governor declares an emergency
(Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.309).
Types of Assistance
After a disaster has been declared by the President, the governor is authorized
to apply to the federal government for loans to political subdivisions suffering
substantial tax losses and to: receive and disburse proceeds; determine the amount
needed, subject to specified limitations; and recommend cancellation of repayment
to the federal government if a political subdivision cannot meet operating expenses
(Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.125).
The governor is authorized, with the concurrence of the Emergency Board or the
Joint Ways and Means Committee, to accept and make federal grants for individuals
and families, and to pledge the state to provide 25% of funding (Ore. Rev. Stat.
The governor, with the concurrence of the Emergency board or Joint Ways and
Means Committee, is authorized to: purchase or lease temporary housing for disaster
victims; acquire and prepare sites for temporary housing; advance or lend funds; and
allocate funds received from a public or private agency (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.074).
Political subdivisions are authorized to acquire temporary housing sites (Ore.
Rev. Stat. §401.335).

If real or personal property is taken during an emergency, the owner is entitled
to state compensation (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.095 (3)).
The governor may authorize agencies to clear debris and wreckage from public
or private land or water and may accept federal grants to remove debris and wreckage
(Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.145).
Mutual Aid
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact was approved (§2, chapt. 7,
Oregon Laws 2002 [First Special Session].
The Interstate Emergency and Disaster Assistance Compact is codified (Ore.
Rev. Stat. §401.045).
The state, counties, and cities may enter into cooperative assistance agreements
for reciprocal emergency aid and resources (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.480).
The governor, city, and county executives may use services, equipment,
supplies, facilities of other departments, offices, or agencies upon request (Ore. Rev.
Stat. §401.490).
Law enforcement officers from California, Idaho, and Washington are
authorized to act pursuant to mutual law enforcement assistance agreements between
an agency of a neighboring state and the state law enforcement agency (Ore. Rev.
Stat. §190.472).
The Economic and Community Development Department is authorized to lend
or grant money in Special Public Works Funds in order to provide local matching
funds to a municipality for infrastructure projects for which federal disaster relief is
committed (Ore. Rev. Stat. §285B.438).
If appropriated funds are not sufficient to cope with an emergency, the governor
may, with the approval of the assembly, transfer and spend money appropriated for
other purposes (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.525 (2)).
The Emergency Management Revolving Account includes all contributions,
grants and other moneys appropriated and used for the purchase of organizational and
mobile support equipment, surplus property, shelter, construction, administration and
personal services (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.535).
OEM is authorized to negotiate agreements with the Federal Emergency
Management Agency and other federal agencies for federal funds for emergency
program management and emergency services. All cities and counties must
coordinate with OEM to develop proposals and to submit applications for review and
processing. OEM is authorized to receive federal funds for the state, counties, and

cities for emergency program management and services, and to deposit the funds in
the Emergency Management Revolving Account (Ore. Rev. Stat. § 401.280 ).
The governor or a city or county executive officer may accept, from any
organization, person, firm, or corporation: services, equipment, supplies, materials,
and funds that are gifts, grants, or loans for emergency management or emergency
services (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.505).
The statute authorizes the expenditure of funds and the use of state property by
any state agency during an emergency (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.525).
A city or county is authorized to levy taxes to pay the expenses of an emergency
management agency (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.325).
When property has been involuntarily converted or destroyed as a result of a
civil emergency or natural disaster, a municipal corporation or its chief executive
officer can expend funds, receive grants or borrow money not included in the current
year budget by resolution, ordinance, or written order (Ore. Rev. Stat. §294.455).
Hazard Mitigation
The statute requires the relocation of dwellings to mitigate the effects of
potential landslides (Ore. Rev. Stat. §195.250 - .266).
Continuity of Government Operations
No specific provisions other than those concerning succession to vacant offices.
Each emergency program manager in the state must maintain a record of
emergency service workers in his or her agency (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.385).
All rules and orders issued during an emergency have the full force and effect;
existing inconsistent laws, ordinances, rules are inoperative during an emergency
(Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.095 (1)).
The state must reimburse local governments for travel, subsistence and
maintenance expenses of employees serving at the direction of the governor or the
director of OEM (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.500).
The governor must develop an energy emergency contingency plan to: maintain
emergency services during an energy emergency; cooperate with local governments
in developing contingency plans; and proclaim an energy emergency for a maximum
period of 30 days, which may be extended or renewed only through legislative
resolution (Ore. Rev. Stat. §176.750-.815).

The statute authorizes leaves of absence for disaster relief volunteers working
for the American Red Cross for a maximum period of 15 days per 12 month period,
with no loss of seniority or compensation (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.485).
An emergency service worker is entitled to benefits for injuries sustained in or
out of state during emergency service (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.355); benefits are to be
paid in same manner as workers’ compensation (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.395).
The statute provides for the continuity of operations for domestic insurers in the
event of a national emergency (Ore. Rev. Stat. §732.250).
Counties and cities are authorized to enter into contracts and incur obligations
to mitigate, prepare for, respond to or recover from an emergency (Ore. Rev. Stat.
All state and local emergency management agencies may register and qualify
emergency service workers for workers compensation (Ore. Rev. Stat. §401.365).
Key Terms
Table 1. Key Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Terms Defined in Oregon Statutes, with Citations
EmergencyOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (4)
Emergency management agencyOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (5)
Emergency program managementOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (6)
Emergency program managerOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (7)
Emergency service agencyOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (8)
Emergency service workerOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (9)
Emergency servicesOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (10)
Emergency services systemOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (11)
Major disasterOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (14)
Office (Office of EmergencyOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (15)
Oregon emergency management planOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (16)
Search and rescueOre. Rev. Stat. §401.025 (17)
Seismic Safety Policy AdvisoryOre. Rev. Stat. §401.337


For Further Research
The citations noted above and other elements of the state code for Oregon may
be searched at: [http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/home.htm].