Town of Falmouth, MA
Barnstable County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Falmouth Special Town Meeting 4-6-1993, Art. 2, approved 7-16-1993. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 110-1 Office of emergency management.

A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
(1) 
Any industrial, nuclear, hazardous materials or transportation accident, explosion, conflagration, power failure, natural resource shortage, environmental damage or other condition, except enemy action, resulting from man-made causes which threatens or causes human suffering, substantial damage to property or loss of life for a substantial number of citizens.
(2) 
Any hurricane, tornado, flood, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, drought, fire or other catastrophe which threatens or results in hardship, human suffering, substantial damage to property or possible loss of life for a substantial number of citizens.
(3) 
Any condition following an attack upon the United States resulting in substantial damage to property or injury to persons in the United States caused by bombs, missiles, shellfire, nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological means or other weapons, or other conditions such as sabotage, terrorist or overt paramilitary action.
EMERGENCY
Those conditions which may, by investigation made, be found actually or likely to:
(1) 
Affect seriously the safety, health or welfare of a substantial number of citizens of the Town, or preclude the operation or use of essential public services and facilities; or
(2) 
Be of such magnitude or severity as to necessitate seeking state or federal supplementation of local efforts or resources exerted or utilized in alleviating the danger, damage, suffering or hardship faced; or
(3) 
Have been caused by forces beyond the control of man, by reason of civil disobedience, riot or disturbance, or by factors not foreseen and not known to exist when all expenditure warrants were approved by a vote of Town Meeting members.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The judicious planning, assignment and coordination of all available resources in an integrated program of prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery for an emergency resulting from a disaster of any kind.
EMERGENCY SERVICES
The preparation for and the carrying out of functions, other than functions for which military forces are primarily responsible, to prevent, minimize and provide emergency repair of injury and damage resulting from disaster, together with all other activities necessary or incidental to the preparation for and carrying out of those functions. The functions include, without limitation, fire-fighting, rescue and police services; health and medical services; communications and disaster warning services; radiological, chemical and biological weapons defense services; evacuation and emergency transportation, shelter and welfare services; engineering, resources management, road clearing and temporary restoration of utilities; and such other functions related to civilian protection.
LOCAL EMERGENCY
The condition declared by the Town Administrator or, in his/her absence, by the Emergency Interim Successor, when in his/her judgment the threat or actual occurrence of a disaster is or threatens to be of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant coordinated local government action to prevent or alleviate the damage, loss, hardship or suffering threatened or caused thereby. A "local emergency" cannot be declared where the emergency arises solely out of resource shortage since such an emergency may only be declared under the act of the Governor.
B. 
Creation. The Falmouth Office of Emergency Management (FOEM) is here by established under the Office of the Town Administrator and shall be managed by a Director appointed annually by the Town Administrator.
C. 
Function. The Falmouth Office of Emergency Management will coordinate activities pertaining to natural, man-made and war-caused disasters and will assist the Town Administrator as he/she exercises the authority and discharges the responsibilities vested in him/her in this bylaw and other applicable laws of the state and the bylaws and Charter of the Town of Falmouth.

§ 110-2 The role of the Town Administrator.

A. 
Authority.
(1) 
The Town Administrator is authorized to declare a local emergency upon finding a disaster is imminent or has occurred. Such a declaration is subject to the approval by the Chair of the Board of Selectmen or his/her designee, such designee to be an elected official of the Town of Falmouth.
(2) 
Such a declaration shall not be continued or renewed beyond seven (7) days without the approval by a majority vote of the Board of Selectmen. Any order or proclamation declaring, extending or terminating the state of emergency shall be given prompt and general publicity and shall be immediately filed with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, in writing and signed by the Town Administrator and the Chair of the Board of Selectmen or his/her designee as defined above. Such a declaration activates the response and recovery aspects of the Town of Falmouth's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
(3) 
During any declared local emergency the Town Administrator:
(a) 
Shall have the full authority and power to act on behalf of the Town and exercise the powers conferred on the Town under the applicable provisions of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Emergency Management Regulations as defined in the Civil Defense Acts of 1953 as amended and detailed in subsequent executive orders.
(b) 
May control egress and ingress to and from a disaster area, and the occupancy of the premises therein.
(c) 
May impose and enforce a curfew.
(d) 
May suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms and explosives.
(e) 
May require the emergency services of any Town officer or employee.
(f) 
May suspend the routine hours for operation of the Town government.
(g) 
May call for mutual aid from communities with whom prior mutual aid agreements have been signed.
(h) 
May request state or federal assistance.
B. 
A new Administrator shall be apprised of his or her role in emergency management within thirty (30) days of assuming the position.
C. 
The Town Administrator and Board of Selectmen will consider Town Meeting members as a primary resource in the planning and response to an emergency situation in the Town of Falmouth.

§ 110-3 The Director.

The Director shall report directly to the Town Administrator. He/she shall be responsible for the planning, administration and operation of the Falmouth Office of Emergency Management, subject to the direction and control of the Town Administrator. The Director will also serve as a link between Town government and the state and federal emergency management agencies.

§ 110-4 Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

A. 
The Office of Emergency Management shall prepare and maintain a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEM) in the format required by both federal and state emergency management agencies.
B. 
As a part of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan each Town department shall submit and identify the emergency services, equipment, facilities, procedures and personnel, as well as extra needs, to be utilized during a threatened or actual emergency. Such plan shall be submitted within ninety (90) days of acceptance of this bylaw and shall be reviewed annually.

§ 110-5 Emergency Operation Center.

A. 
The Office of Emergency Management shall establish an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) equipped with a communications system and generator to support government operations during an emergency. It shall provide those essential facilities and equipment needed to sustain personnel while working in the EOC for long periods of time.
B. 
Each Town department shall be represented in the EOC by the department head or his or her designate so that coordination of emergency operations can take place.
C. 
A media center shall be established outside the EOC to provide up-to-date information about the status of the emergency for dissemination to the public.

§ 110-6 Continuity of government.

A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DULY AUTHORIZED DEPUTY
A person who is presently authorized to perform all functions, exercise all powers and discharge all duties of an office in the event the office is vacant or at such times as it lacks administration due to the death, absence or disability of the incumbent officer.
EMERGENCY INTERIM SUCCESSOR
A person designated pursuant to this section for temporary succession to the powers and duties, but not the office, of a Town official in the event such official or any duly authorized deputy is unavailable to exercise the powers and discharge the duties of the office.
UNAVAILABLE
Either that a vacancy in office exists and there is not deputy authorized to exercise all of the powers and discharge the duties of the office, or that the local incumbent of the office and his duly authorized deputy is absent or unable, for physical, mental or legal reasons, to exercise the duties of the office.
B. 
Emergency interim successors.
(1) 
General.
(a) 
No person shall be designated or serve as emergency interim successor unless he or she may, under the Constitution, the laws of the Commonwealth and the Town Charter, hold the office of the person to whose powers and duties he is designated to succeed.
(b) 
No provision of the Town Charter nor local law prohibiting an officer or employee of the Town from holding another office shall be applicable to an emergency interim successor.
(2) 
Elected officials.
(a) 
The Board of Selectmen shall meet on an as-needed basis during a state of emergency.
(b) 
In the event that neither the Town Clerk nor his or her Deputy are available during a proclaimed state of emergency, the Board of Selectmen shall designate an emergency interim successor from the staff of the Town Clerk's office, in accordance with procedures specified in Massachusetts General Laws.
(c) 
A person designated an emergency interim successor shall take the oath of the office to which they are designated at the time they are required to assume the powers of the office and shall serve for the duration of the emergency, or until they are replaced or until the holder of the office is again available.
(3) 
Town Administrator. In the event the Town Administrator shall become unavailable during a declared state of emergency, the Assistant Town Administrator shall assume the powers and duties of the Town Administrator, and in the event the Assistant Town Administrator shall become unavailable during that time, the Board of Selectmen shall designate an emergency interim successor they deem suitable by training and experience for the position.
[Amended AFTM 11-13-2006, Art. 16, approved 3-6-2007]
(4) 
Other appointive officials. Annually, each department head shall identify the chain of command in his/her department and submit the list to the Town Administrator.
C. 
Preservation of vital records.
(1) 
All vital records shall be physically protected through one (1) or more of the following: dispersal, duplicate copies, secure storage facilities. Automatic data processing systems and records shall be maintained in duplicate and transportable off-site as needed during an emergency.
(2) 
Each department shall identify by list those records essential for its continuing functions during an emergency, their locations and the procedures for moving such records to a secure location if necessary so they are immediately available as needed for the duration of the emergency.
(3) 
Each department that handles records of vital statistics or records for which originals must be maintained shall ensure that such records have safe and accessible storage during an emergency.
(4) 
All records that are necessary for government functions and protection of the rights and interests of the public, such as but not limited to charters, statutes, legal and financial reports, shall be immediately available to Town officials if relocation of Town government is required during an emergency.
D. 
Relocation of seat of government. When the Town Hall becomes temporarily unusable for continuing government operations for the duration of the emergency, the Town Administrator shall order the relocation of certain personnel to temporary quarters at another site.