Alabama Emergency Declaration Winter Storm 021421
STATE OF ALABAMA
BY THE GOVERNOR
WHEREAS the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955, as amended, confers upon the Governor the power to proclaim a state of emergency when there exists certain conditions of disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the State caused by natural or man-made disasters, Ala. Code§§ 31-9-3 and 31-9- 8 (1975);
WHEREAS the National Weather Service is forecasting that certain counties in the western and northwestern parts of Alabama may be severely affected by ice, snow, sleet, freezing rain, and/or severe weather, as well as extreme and prolonged freezing temperatures, beginning on February 14, 2021;
WHEREAS this winter storm system could cause significant damage to public and private property and poses a danger to the health and safety of the people of Alabama, including, potentially, property damage, personal injury, and loss of life;
WHEREAS disruption of essential utility systems could occur and may continue to occur, causing extreme peril to the citizens in the State;
WHEREAS due to the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus known as COVID- 19, a state public health emergency is currently in effect that has strained state and local resources and has required extraordinary measures to prevent the spread and mitigate the consequences of COVID-19;
WHEREAS those extraordinary measures include a series of emergency proclamations issued by me, as Governor of Alabama, in connection with the state public health emergency I proclaimed on March 13, 2020, as well as the Order of the State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings Due to Risk of Infection by COV1D-19 and various local government orders related to COVID-19 (collectively " the COVID-19 Orders"); and
WHEREAS this winter storm event, coupled with the COVID-19 public health emergency, poses extraordinary conditions of disaster and of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the State, and it is anticipated that these conditions, by reason of their magnitude, are, or are likely to be, beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single county, city and county, or city, and will require combined forces to combat, see Ala. Code§ 31-9-3;
NOWTHEREFORE, I, Kay Ivey, Governor of the State of Alabama, pursuant to section 8 of the Alabama Emergency Management Act of 1955, as amended, Ala. Code § 31-9-8 (1975), do hereby proclaim that a state of emergency exists as of 5:00 p.m. CDT on Sunday, February 14, 2021 in the following counties: Bibb, Blount, Choctaw, Colbert, Cullman, DeKalb, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marengo, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Perry, Pickens, Shelby, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston. I hereby direct the activation of the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), and all appropriate annexes. The Alabama Emergency Management Agency State Operations Center, as well as all Alabama Emergency Management Agency Divisions, shall be placed on alert and/or activated.
FURTHER, I hereby proclaim and direct the following:
I. Applicability of COVID-19 Orders
Because this storm event will occur during the State's response to the COVID-19"" related public health emergency, I find that it would further promote the safety and protection of the people of Alabama to clarify the applicability of the COVID-19 Orders as they relate to this storm event. To that end:
A. Any provision of the COVID-19 Orders is suspended to the extent that its application or enforcement would endanger any person affected by this storm event or impede the ability of any individuals, governmental entities, organizations, or businesses responding to this storm event to preserve human life, to prevent or mitigate human suffering, or to protect or repair critical infrastructure as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency.
B. Except as provided in this section, nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to modify, alter, or amend any provision of the COVID-19 Orders, which shall remain in full force and effect according to their terms.
C. All persons responding to this storm event are encouraged to remain vigilant against the spread of COVID -19 and to comply with theCOVID-19Orders to the greatest extent possible, even when excused from compliance under this section. Shelters should remain open and accessible to all individuals seeking refuge from this storm while implementing reasonable practices and procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among those seeking shelter.
II. Activation of the Alabama National Guard and other state agencies
I hereby direct the Alabama National Guard to prepare to be activated on order of the Governor to respond to this winter storm event, and I direct the appropriate state agencies to exercise their statutory and regulatory authority to assist the affected communities and entities in responding to and recovering from this event. I also direct the Alabama Emergency Management Agency to make the appropriate assessment of damages from this event and seek the necessary state and federal assistance for the affected areas.
III. Price gouging
In accordance with sections 8-31-1 through 8-31-6 of the Code of Alabama, all persons are hereby p1aced on notice that it is unlawful for any person within the State of Alabama to impose unconscionable prices (i.e., to engage in "price gouging'') for the sale or rental of any commodity or rental facility during the period of a declared state of emergency.
IV. Propane gas
Section 9-17-109(d) of the Code of Alabama and section 530-X-2-.16(c) of the Alabama Administrative Code are hereby suspended during this state of emergency to allow any propane gas dealer operating within the State of Alabama to fill any container if necessary to mitigate the effects of the winter weather justifying this emergency proclamation.
V. Waiver of federal motor-carrier regulations
Pursuant to 49 CPR§ 390.23, this declaration of a state of emergency facilitates a waiver of certain regulations of the U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), including 49 C.F.R. Part 395 (Hours of Service for Drivers), as it relates to the provision of emergency-or disaster-related materials, supplies, goods, and services for this storm event. The waiver for this event shall terminate at the earliest of (1) the conclusion of the motor carrier's or driver's direct assistance in providing emergency relief; (2) 30 days from the initial declaration of emergency; (3) the issuance of a proclamation terminating this state of emergency; or (4) any other time dictated by the FMCSA's regulations. Motor carriers that have an out-of-service order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulation that this declaration provides under 49 C.F.R. § 390.23.
VI. Transportation of emergency equipment, supplies, etc.
I instruct the appropriate agencies to take necessary steps and issue the appropriate documents to expedite the movement of vehicles, or vehicles and loads, that are transporting emergency equipment, services and supplies, storm-related debris, building and construction materials, or temporary emergency buildings and their components, subject to the following rules:
A. Documents issued under authority of this 'proclamation shall be subject to approval and clearance by the Alabama Department of Transportation and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and shall cover specific designated state routes.
B. The director of the Alabama Department of Transportation, or his designee, may issue waivers for vehicles or combinations of vehicles and loads, whether these loads are divisible or non-divisible, with weights, dimensions, or combinations thereof exceeding the maximum limits specified by law.
C. Transporters are responsible to ensure that they have proper oversize signs, markings, flags, and escorts as defined in the State of Alabama's rules and regulations.
D. Insurance requirements shall not be waived.
E. Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to allow any vehicle to exceed the weight limits posted for bridges and like structures, nor shall anything in this proclamation be construed to relieve any vehicle, or the carrier, owner, or driver of any vehicle from compliance with any restrictions other than those specified in this proclamation, or from any statute, rule, order, or other legal requirement not specifically waived herein.
VII. State government office closings
State government offices may be closed at the direction of the Governor. State agency heads will receive instructions from the Governor's Office or the State Personnel Director if closures are authorized.
IX. Actual expense reimbursement
I find that it is fair, reasonable, and appropriate that those State of Alabama employees who are required to perform disaster recovery and response services away from their home base of operations for this event be reimbursed for the actual expenses they incur while performing these services on behalf of the State of Alabama. Therefore, I authorize the reimbursement of actual and necessary expenses, as prescribed by the Fiscal Policies and Procedures Manual, for state employees who have been, are being, or may be called away from their home base in response to this state of emergency. All such claims for expense reimbursement must be reasonable and must be certified as such by the employee's agency head or appointing authority. To the extent that this order conflicts with any provision of state law, such law is hereby suspended for the duration of this state of emergency, and this order shall control.
FURTHER, to the extent a provision in this proclamation conflicts with any provision of state law, that law is hereby suspended for the duration of this state of emergency, and this proclamation shall control.
FURTHER, I declare that this proclamation, and all subsequent orders, laws, rules, or regulations issued pursuant hereto, shall remain in full force and effect for the duration of this state of emergency, except as otherwise expressly specified.
IN WITNESS, WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal to be affixed by the Secretary of State at the State Capitol in the City of Montgomery on this the 14th day of February 2021.
Kay Ivey, Governor
John H. Merrill, Secretary of State