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Update Colorado Disaster Emergency Act

Concerning amendments to the Colorado disaster emergency act to address all phases of emergency management.
2018 Regular Session
Local Government
State Government
Bill Summary

The bill updates the Colorado disaster emergency act to include provisions related specifically to recovery, mitigation, and resiliency and to establish the roles and responsibilities of state and local agencies at all stages of emergency management. Section 3 of the bill adds language defining the stages of response and recovery, as well as definitions of emergency, resiliency, and mitigation. Section 4 allows the governor to convene a disaster policy group to coordinate the response and recovery from disaster emergencies. If the governor convenes the policy group, the governor is required to appoint a chair and to delegate to the chair the authority to manage cross-departmental and interjurisdictional coordination of recovery efforts.

Sections 5 and 21 repeal and relocate existing language establishing the governor's expert emergency epidemic response committee, update the language to reflect amendments throughout the bill, and add the executive director of the department of local affairs or his or her designee to the committee.

Subject to available grant funding, the bill creates the Colorado resiliency office in the division of local government within the department of local affairs in sections 17 and 18. Subject to the availability of grant funding or within existing resources, the office is required to develop a resiliency and community recovery program for the state that must address coordination among state and local agencies and risk and vulnerability reduction. The office is required to consult with other state agencies and stakeholders in developing the program.

Sections 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, and 14 amend existing statutes concerning disaster planning and response at the state and local level to include references to recovery, mitigation, and preparedness. The requirement for a state disaster plan is amended to require a comprehensive emergency management program that addresses preparation, prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery from emergencies and disasters.

Local and interjurisdictional disaster agencies are renamed as emergency management agencies. The emergency management agencies are required to develop a local or interjurisdictional plan that includes provisions for preparation, prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery from emergencies and disasters. Agencies may incorporate by reference existing locally adopted plans, plans approved by the office of emergency management or the federal emergency management agency, and other relevant plans.

Section 15 amends a requirement in existing law that the governor consider steps that could be taken on a continuing basis to prevent and reduce the harmful consequences of disasters and adds language requiring the governor to also consider mitigation and recovery from disasters.

Sections 16, 19, and 20 make conforming amendments.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


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Bill Text