Part 3. Local Emergency Management.

166A-19.15. County and municipal emergency management.

(a) Governing Body of Counties Responsible for Emergency Management. - The governing body of each county is responsible for emergency management within the geographical limits of such county. All emergency management efforts within the county will be coordinated by the county, including activities of the municipalities within the county.

(b) Counties May Establish and Maintain Emergency Management Agencies. - The governing body of each county is hereby authorized to establish and maintain an emergency management agency for the purposes contained in G.S. 166A-19.1. The governing body of each county which establishes an emergency management agency pursuant to this authorization shall appoint a coordinator who will have a direct responsibility for the organization, administration, and operation of the county program and will be subject to the direction and guidance of such governing body. In the event that any county fails to establish an emergency management agency, and the Governor, in the Governor's discretion, determines that a need exists for such an emergency management agency, then the Governor is hereby empowered to establish an emergency management agency within that county.

(c) Municipalities May Establish and Maintain Emergency Management Agencies. - All incorporated municipalities are authorized to establish and maintain emergency management agencies subject to coordination by the county.

(d) Joint Agencies Authorized. - Counties and incorporated municipalities are authorized to form joint emergency management agencies composed of a county and one or more municipalities within the county's borders, between two or more counties, or between two or more counties and one or more municipalities within the borders of those counties.

(e) Local Appropriations Authorized. - Each county and incorporated municipality in this State is authorized to make appropriations for the purposes of this Article and to fund them by levy of property taxes pursuant to G.S. 153A-149 and G.S. 160A-209 and by the allocation of other revenues, use of which is not otherwise restricted by law.

(f) Additional Powers. - In carrying out the provisions of this Article each political subdivision is authorized to do the following:

(1) To appropriate and expend funds, make contracts, obtain and distribute equipment, materials, and supplies for emergency management purposes and to provide for the health and safety of persons and property, including emergency assistance, consistent with this Article.

(2) To direct and coordinate the development of emergency management plans and programs in accordance with the policies and standards set by the Division, consistent with federal and State laws and regulations.

(3) To assign and make available all available resources for emergency management purposes for service within or outside of the physical limits of the subdivision.

(4) To delegate powers in a local state of emergency declared pursuant to G.S. 166A-19.22.

(5) To coordinate the voluntary registration of functionally and medically fragile persons in need of assistance during an emergency either through a registry established by this subdivision or by the State. All records, data, information, correspondence, and communications relating to the registration of persons with special needs or of functionally and medically fragile persons obtained pursuant to this subdivision are confidential and are not a public record pursuant to G.S. 132-1 or any other applicable statute, except that this information shall be available to emergency response agencies, as determined by the local emergency management director. This information shall be used only for the purposes set forth in this subdivision.

(g) County Eligibility for State and Federal Financial Assistance. - Each county which establishes an emergency management agency pursuant to State standards and which meets requirements for local plans and programs may be eligible to receive State and federal financial assistance, including State and federal funding appropriated for emergency management planning and preparedness, and for the maintenance and operation of a county emergency management program. Such financial assistance is subject to an appropriation being made for this purpose. Where the appropriation does not allocate appropriated funds among counties, the amount allocated to each county shall be determined annually by the Division. The size of this allocation shall be based in part on the degree to which local plans and programs meet State standards and requirements promulgated by the Division, including those relating to professional competencies of local emergency management personnel. However, in making an allocation determination, the Division shall, where appropriate, take into account the fact that a particular county may lack sufficient resources to meet the standards and requirements promulgated by the Division. (1951, c. 1016, s. 6; 1953, c. 1099, s. 4; 1957, c. 950, s. 2; 1959, c. 337, s. 5; 1973, c. 620, s. 9; 1975, c. 734, ss. 12, 14, 16; 1977, c. 848, s. 2; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1310, s. 2; 1995, c. 509, ss. 126, 127; 2009-196, s. 2; 2009-225, s. 2; 2012-12, s. 1(b).)