Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 Pa.C.S.A. Health and Safety § 7301. General authority of Governor

(a) Responsibility to meet disasters.--The Governor is responsible for meeting the dangers to this Commonwealth and people presented by disasters.

(b) Executive orders, proclamations and regulations.--Under this part, the Governor may issue, amend and rescind executive orders, proclamations and regulations which shall have the force and effect of law.

(c) Declaration of disaster emergency.--A disaster emergency shall be declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor upon finding that a disaster has occurred or that the occurrence or the threat of a disaster 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 90 days unless renewed by the Governor.  The General Assembly 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 the disaster 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, shall be promptly filed with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication under Part II of Title 45 (relating to publication and effectiveness of Commonwealth documents). 1

(d) Activation of disaster response.--An executive order or proclamation of a state of disaster emergency shall activate the disaster response and recovery aspects of the Commonwealth and local disaster emergency plans applicable to the political subdivision or area in question and shall be authority for the deployment and use of any forces to which the plan or plans apply and for use or distribution of any supplies, equipment and materials and facilities assembled, stockpiled or arranged to be made available pursuant to this part or any other provision of law relating to disaster emergencies.

(e) Commander in chief of military forces.--During the continuance of any state of disaster emergency, the Governor is commander in chief of the Pennsylvania military forces.  To the greatest extent practicable, the Governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or regulations, but this does not restrict the authority of the Governor to do so by orders issued at the time of the disaster emergency.

(f) Additional powers.--In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, the Governor may:

(1) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of Commonwealth business, or the orders, rules or regulations of any Commonwealth 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 Commonwealth Government and each political subdivision of this Commonwealth as reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster emergency.

(3) Transfer the direction, personnel or functions of Commonwealth agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services.

(4) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under section 7313(10) (relating to powers and duties), commandeer or utilize any private, public or quasi-public property if 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 this Commonwealth if this action is 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.

(9) Confer the power of arrest on the law enforcement personnel serving as part of the emergency forces of a party state during operations in this Commonwealth pursuant to a declaration of a disaster emergency under subsection (c).  Law enforcement personnel shall be under the operational control of the Commissioner of Pennsylvania State Police and shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact under Chapter 76 (relating to Emergency Management Assistance Compact).  Arrest powers granted under this paragraph shall expire when the declaration of a disaster emergency is terminated by executive order, proclamation or operation of law, if the arrest powers have not previously been terminated.

1 45 Pa.C.S.A. § 501 et seq.

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