The United States Department Of Justice

1586 WordsFeb 25, 20167 Pages
Emergency management (EM) addresses how government prepares for, mitigates against, responds to, and recovers from emergencies and disasters. The law regulating this area changes frequently with the goal of improving our ability to prevent loss of life and property; however, a recent legal development has not only hampered emergency management response efforts, but it also threatens to harm the very vulnerable portion of society it is intended to benefit. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently adopted an aggressive stance toward enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). First, the legal history leading up to this development will be examined. Second, this new focus and several recent DOJ cases will be…show more content…
The specific subject of evacuations and sheltering shall be addressed subsequently during the DOJ cases segment. At the state level, EM authority lies in Chapter 252 (Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, "State Emergency Management Act", 2015). While this Chapter sets forth express language, it also contains broad language, such as “to take such measure as are necessary and appropriate to carry out the provision of 252.31 - 252.90.” (Chapter 252, 2015). Chapter 252 provides the Governor with the authority to declare or proclaim a state of emergency either for an emergency that has occurred or one that is imminent. This state of emergency cannot last longer than 60 days, unless renewed by the Governor. This grants the Governor the following powers: (1) Suspending the provisions of any regulatory statute; (2) Utilizing all resources of state government; (3) Compelling the evacuation of some or all areas of the population; (4) Commandeering private property, subject to appropriate compensation; (5) Suspending the sale of alcohol, firearms, and explosives; and (6) Controlling the movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic (Chapter 252, 2015). At the federal level, the seminal statutory authority governing the federal response to disasters is the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford, 2013). The Stafford Act was originally enacted in 1988 and has been
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