A. Emergency Management Organization.
- Office of emergency management. The Department of Executive Services includes the administrative office of emergency management. K.C.C. 2.16.035.
- Duties. The duties of the office include:
i. Planning for and providing effective direction, control and coordinated response to emergencies;
ii. Being responsible for the emergency management functions defined in K.C.C. 2.56;
iii. Managing the E911 emergency telephone program. K.C.C. 2.16.035.G.
- Contact number. The Duty Officer telephone number for the King County Office of Emergency Management is 206-296-3830.
B. Emergency Defined.
- Definition. “Emergency or disaster” means an event or set of circumstances such as fire, flood, explosion, storm, earthquake, epidemic, riot or insurrection, which:
- Demands the immediate preservation of order or of public health or the restoration to a condition of usefulness of any public property, the usefulness of which has been destroyed or where delay will result in financial loss to the county or for the relief of a stricken community or which reaches such a dimension or degree of destructiveness as to warrant the Executive proclaiming a state of emergency pursuant to K.C.C. 12.52.030. K.C.C. 12.52.010.A.
C. Proclamation of Emergency.
- Existence of emergency. Whenever an emergency or disaster occurs in King County and results in the death or injury of persons or the destruction of property to such extent as to require, in the judgment of the Executive, extraordinary measures to protect the public peace, safety and welfare, the Executive may proclaim in writing the existence of such an emergency. K.C.C. 12.52.030.A.
- The proclamation shall be delivered to all news media within King County, and other means shall be used, in the Executive’s judgment, to give notice of the proclamation to the public. K.C.C. 12.52.030.D.
D. Powers and Duties of Executive.
- Orders pursuant to proclamation of emergency. Upon the proclamation of an emergency, and during the existence of the emergency, the Executive may make orders that include:
- Recalling King County employees from vacation, canceling days off, authorizing overtime, or recalling selected retired employees.
- Waiving certain requirements related to procurement and contracting.
- Imposing a general curfew applicable to King County as a whole, or to such geographical area(s) of King County and during such hours, as the Executive deems necessary.
- Requiring any or all business establishments to close and remain closed until further order.
- Closing to the public any or all public places including streets, alleys, public ways, schools, parks, beaches, amusement areas and public buildings.
- Such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property. K.C.C. 12.52.030.B.
- Procedural requirements for orders.
- Filing with the clerk of the council. Any executive order shall be filed with the clerk of the council not later than 10:00 a.m. of the second business day after it is issued. K.C.C. 12.52.030.C.
i. Exception. Except for orders waiving requirements related to procurement and contracting. Id.
- Termination. Executive orders shall continue in effect until terminated by order of the Executive or action by the council by ordinance. Id.
i. Exception. Orders waiving requirements related to procurement and contracting shall terminate as provided for in K.C.C. 4.16.050. Id.
- Supervision and control. The Executive shall have general supervision and control of the emergency management organization in the event of a disaster. K.C.C. 2.56.040.A.
- Make, amend, and rescind the necessary orders, rules, and regulations. The Executive is authorized and empowered to make, amend and rescind the necessary orders, rules, and regulations to implement the provisions of K.C.C. 2.56 and K.C.C. 12.52, consistent with the provisions of state law and the plans of the state and federal government. K.C.C. 2.56.040.B.1.
- Use of existing resources. The Executive is directed to use the services, equipment, supplies, and facilities of existing departments, offices and agencies of the county to the maximum extent possible. K.C.C. 2.56.050.A.
- Commandeering of service and equipment after emergency proclamation by Governor. The Executive, in the event of a disaster, after proclamation by the Governor of the existence of a disaster, shall have the power to commandeer the service and equipment of as many citizens as considered necessary in the light of the disaster proclaimed. K.C.C. 2.56.050.B.
E. Emergency Purchasing.
- Waiver of certain requirements.
- Upon issuance of a proclamation of emergency, the Executive may waive certain requirements related to procurement and contracting. K.C.C. 4.16.050.A.
- The waivers may refer to:
i. Any contract relating to the county's lease or purchase of tangible personal property or services;
ii. Contracts for public works as defined in RCW 39.04.010; or
iii. The selection and award of professional and/or technical services consultant contracts. Id.
- Procedural requirements.
- Certain waivers to be forwarded to the clerk of the council. Waivers for the following shall be forwarded to the clerk of the council no later than 10:00 a.m. on the second business day after issuance:
i. Waivers for contracts, which combined for each emergency, exceed two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) dollars; or
ii. Waivers for contracts in excess of appropriation. K.C.C. 4.16.050.B.
- Duration of waivers. Waivers shall continue to have effect until:
i. Terminated by order of the Executive or action of the council; or
ii. Expiration, which shall be ten (10) calendar days after there have been contracts entered into, which combined, encumber funds either in excess of two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) dollars, or in excess of appropriation. Id.
iii. The council, by motion, may extend a waiver beyond the ten-day period. Id.
- Expenditures in excess of appropriations. Reasonably necessary expenditures to respond to the emergency will not result in contracts or purchases being null and void, notwithstanding the lack of an appropriation. K.C.C. 4.16.050.D.
F. Continuity of Government.
- Office of the Executive. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Executive, the powers and duties of the office of the Executive, subject to the provisions of the King County Charter, shall be exercised by a temporary interim successor designated pursuant to executive order. K.C.C. 2.56.060.A.
- Council business during emergency. Council business during an emergency or disaster shall be conducted as follows:
- Conduct of business. Whenever, due to an emergency, it becomes imprudent, inexpedient, or impossible to conduct affairs at the regular and usual place, the legislative body may meet at any place within or without the territorial limits of King County on the call of the chairman or any two members of the council. K.C.C. 1.28.010, 2.56.060.B.
- Continuity of government. In the event that a disaster reduces the number of councilmembers, then those councilmembers available and present shall have full authority to act in all matters as the county council. K.C.C. 1.28.020, 2.56.060.B.
- Council vacancies. As soon as practicable, the available councilmembers shall act in accordance with the charter and state law to fill existing vacancies on the council. Id.
- Other elected officials. Elected officers of the county, other than the Executive and county councilmembers, are authorized and directed to designate temporary interim successors to the office of such officer in the event a vacancy occurs during an emergency caused by a disaster. K.C.C. 2.56.060.C.
- Appointed officers. The Executive shall permit each appointed officer of the county to designate temporary interim successors in the event a vacancy occurs during an emergency subject to a disaster. K.C.C. 2.56.060.D.
- Termination of succession.
- Temporary interim basis until regularly appointed successor designated. Any county officer succeeding to office on a temporary interim basis shall exercise the duties of the office only until a regularly appointed successor is designated by the customary means. K.C.C. 2.56.060.E.
i. Successors to elected offices. Successors to fill vacancies in elective offices shall be appointed by the council pursuant to Section 680 of the King County Charter and the state constitution until a permanent successor is elected. K.C.C. 2.56.060.E.1.
ii. Successors to appointed offices. Successors to fill vacancies in appointed offices shall be made by the Executive or other authorized official, subject to confirmation where applicable. K.C.C. 2.56.060.E.2.
G. Violations and Penalties. Criminal sanctions apply to conduct during an emergency:
- Failure or refusal to obey an order proclaimed by the Executive. K.C.C. 12.52.030.E.