(a) The Governor is responsible for meeting the dangers to the Territory and people presented by disasters.
(b) Under this chapter, the Governor may issue executive orders, proclamations, and regulations, and amend or rescind them. Executive orders, proclamations, and regulations have the force and effect of law.
(c) There shall be a disaster emergency council consisting of the Director of Public Safety, the Director of Homeland Security and 6 members appointed by the Governor for 4-year terms to advise him on matters relating to disasters; 3 members of the council are district governors of the 3 political districts of the territory.
(d) A disaster emergency shall be declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor if he finds a disaster has occurred or that this occurrence or the threat thereof is imminent. The state of disaster emergency shall continue until the Governor finds that the threat or danger has passed or the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist and terminates the state of disaster emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of disaster emergency may continue for longer than 30 days unless renewed by the Governor. The Legislature by concurrent resolution may terminate a state of disaster emergency at any time. Thereupon, the Governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency. All executive orders or proclamations issued under this subsection shall indicate the nature of the disaster, the area or areas threatened, and the conditions which have brought it about or which make possible termination of the state of disaster emergency.
An executive order or proclamation shall be disseminated promptly by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public and unless the circumstances attendant upon the disaster prevent or impede, promptly filed with the office of the Director of Homeland Security, and the office of the Territorial Registrar.
(e) An executive order or proclamation of a state of disaster emergency shall activate the disaster response and recovery aspects of the territory, local, and interjurisdictional disaster emergency plans applicable to the political subdivision or area in question and be authorized for the deployment and use of any forces to which the plan or plans apply and for use of distribution of any supplies, equipment, and materials and facilities assembled, stockpiled, or arranged to be made available pursuant to this chapter or any other provision of law relating to disaster emergencies.
(f) During the continuance of any state of disaster emergency, the Governor is Commander-in-Chief of the organized and unorganized militia and of all other forces available for emergency duty. To the greatest extent practicable, the Governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or regulations, but nothing herein restricts his authority to do so by orders issued at the time of the disaster emergency.
(g) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, he may:
(1) suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of territorial business, or the orders, rules, or regulations, of any Territorial agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;
(2) utilize all available resources of the Territorial Government as reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster emergency and of each political subdivision of the Territory;
(3) transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of Territorial departments and agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services;
(4) subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under $10, commandeer or utilize any private property if he finds this necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;
(5) direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the Territory if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response, or recovery;
(6) prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation;
(7) control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein;
(8) suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles; and
(9) make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing.History: 1978, PL 15-105 § 5; 2008, PL 30-35.