2.41 Local Organization
A. Political Subdivisions.
- Local emergency management organizations authorized. Each political subdivision of this state is authorized and directed to establish a local organization or to be a member of a joint local organization for emergency management in accordance with the state comprehensive emergency management plan. RCW 38.52.070(1).
- Political subdivision defined. “Political subdivision” means any county, city, or town. RCW 38.52.010(3).
- Responsibilities of local organizations for emergency management. Each local organization or joint local organization shall:
- Perform emergency management functions within the territorial limits of the political subdivision within which it is organized;
- Conduct such functions outside of such territorial limits as may be required. RCW 38.52.070(1).
- Director of emergency management.
- Appointment. Each local organization shall have a director who shall be appointed by the executive head of the political subdivision. Id.
- Responsibilities. The director shall have direct responsibility for the organization, administration, and operation of the local organization, subject to the direction and control of the executive officer. Id.
- Executive head defined. “Executive head” means:
i. In charter counties with an elective office of county executive, the county executive;
ii. In other counties, the county legislative authority;
iii. In cities and towns where the mayor is directly elected, the mayor;
iv. In cities and towns with council manager forms of government, the city manager. RCW 38.52.010(8).
2.42 Local Authority
A. Statutory Powers During Emergencies.
- Exercise of powers without regard to procedures and formalities required by law. Each political subdivision is authorized to exercise the powers vested under RCW 38.52.070(2) in light of the exigencies of an extreme emergency situation without regard to time-consuming procedures and formalities prescribed by law (excepting mandatory constitutional requirements), including, but not limited to:
- Budget law limitations;
- Requirements of competitive bidding and publication of notices;
- Provisions pertaining to the performance of public work;
- Entering into contracts;
- Incurring of obligations;
- Employment of temporary workers;
- Rental of equipment;
- Purchase of supplies and materials
- Levying of taxes;
- Appropriation and expenditures of public funds. Id.
- Power to enter into contracts and incur obligations. Each political subdivision in which a disaster occurs shall have the power to enter into contracts and incur obligations necessary to combat such disaster, protecting the health and safety of persons and property, and providing emergency assistance to the victims of such disaster. Id.
- Utilization of existing services, equipment, supplies, and facilities. In carrying out the provisions of chapter 38.52 RCW, the Governor and the executive heads of political subdivisions are directed to utilize the services, equipment, supplies and facilities of:
- Existing public departments, offices, and agencies of the state, political subdivisions, and all other municipal corporations thereof including but not limited to districts and quasi municipal corporations organized under the laws of the state of Washington. RCW 38.52.110(1).
- Officers and personnel required to cooperate. Officers and personnel are directed to cooperate notwithstanding any other provision of law. Id.
- Commandeering of service and equipment after emergency proclamation by Governor. The service and equipment of as many citizens as considered necessary may be commandeered after proclamation by the Governor of the existence of a disaster. RCW 38.52.110(2).
- Persons authorized to command service and equipment.
i. The Governor;
ii. The chief executive of counties, cities, and towns; and
iii. The emergency management directors of local political subdivisions. Id.