2021 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XVII MILITARY AFFAIRS AND RELATED MATTERS
Chapter 252 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
SECTION 36Emergency management powers of the Governor.
252.36 Emergency management powers of the Governor.—
(1)(a) The Governor is responsible for meeting the dangers presented to this state and its people by emergencies. In the event of an emergency beyond local control, the Governor, or, in the Governor’s absence, her or his successor as provided by law, may assume direct operational control over all or any part of the emergency management functions within this state, and she or he shall have the power through proper process of law to carry out the provisions of this section. The Governor is authorized to delegate such powers as she or he may deem prudent.
(b) Pursuant to the authority vested in her or him under paragraph (a), the Governor may issue executive orders, proclamations, and rules and may amend or rescind them. Such executive orders, proclamations, and rules shall have the force and effect of law. An executive order, a proclamation, or a rule must be limited to a duration of not more than 60 days and may be renewed as necessary during the duration of the emergency. If renewed, the order, proclamation, or rule must specifically state which provisions are being renewed.
(c) The Legislature intends that, during an extended public health emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, there should be a presumption that K-12 public schools, to the greatest extent possible, should remain open so long as the health and safety of students and school personnel can be maintained by specific public health mitigation strategies recommended by federal or state health agencies for educational settings. The Legislature also intends that during such an event, there be a presumption that businesses should remain open to the greatest extent possible so long as the health and safety of employees and customers can be reasonably protected by specific public health mitigation strategies recommended by federal or state health agencies, including, but not limited, to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
1. If the Governor declares by executive order or proclamation that the emergency requires closure of or restricted in-person attendance at K-12 public schools, the executive order or proclamation must contain specific reasons for those determinations, and he or she must review and reassess the situation regularly.
2. If the Governor declares by executive order or proclamation that the emergency requires businesses to restrict their operations or close, the executive order or proclamation must contain specific reasons for those determinations, and he or she must review and reassess the situation regularly.
(2) A state of emergency must be declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor if she or he finds an emergency has occurred or that the occurrence or the threat thereof is imminent. The state of emergency must continue until the Governor finds that the threat or danger has been dealt with to the extent that the emergency conditions no longer exist and she or he terminates the state of emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of emergency may continue for longer than 60 days unless renewed by the Governor. All executive orders or proclamations issued under this section must indicate the nature of the emergency, the area or areas threatened, and the conditions which brought the emergency about or which make possible its termination. An executive order or proclamation must be promptly disseminated by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public; and, unless the circumstances attendant upon the emergency prevent or impede such filing, the order or proclamation must be filed promptly with the Department of State, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the offices of the county commissioners in the counties to which the order or proclamation applies.
(3)(a) At any time, the Legislature, by concurrent resolution, may terminate a state of emergency or any specific order, proclamation, or rule thereunder. Upon such concurrent resolution, the Governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation consistent with the concurrent resolution.
(b) Notwithstanding s. 252.46(2), all emergency declarations and orders, regardless of how titled, issued under the authority of this part by the Governor or any agency, whether by direct, delegated, or subdelegated authority, before, during, or after a declared emergency, must be immediately filed with the Division of Administrative Hearings. Failure to file any such declaration or order with the division within 5 days after issuance voids the declaration or order. The division shall index all such declarations and orders and make them available in searchable format on its website within 3 days of filing. The searchable format must include, but is not limited to, searches by term, referenced statutes, and rules and must include a search category that specifically identifies emergency orders in effect at any given time. A link to the division’s index must be placed in a conspicuous location on the Division of Emergency Management’s website.
(4) An executive order or proclamation of a state of emergency shall:
(a) Activate the emergency mitigation, response, and recovery aspects of the state, local, and interjurisdictional emergency management plans applicable to the political subdivision or area in question; and
(b) Be authority for the deployment and use of any forces to which the plan or plans apply and for the use or distribution of any supplies, equipment, and materials and facilities assembled, stockpiled, or arranged to be made available pursuant to ss. 252.31-252.90 or any other provision of law relating to emergencies.
(c) Identify whether the state of emergency is due to a minor, major, or catastrophic disaster.
1. For a major or catastrophic disaster, the proclamation is authority for a health care practitioner licensed in another state to assist in providing health care in the disaster area according to the provisions specified in the proclamation.
2. For a catastrophic disaster, the proclamation constitutes a formal request for mobilization of the military, which shall be communicated to the President of the United States.
(5) During the continuance of a state of emergency, the Governor is commander in chief of the Florida National Guard and of all other forces available for emergency duty. To the greatest extent practicable, the Governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or rules, but nothing herein restricts the Governor’s authority to do so by orders issued at the time of the emergency.
(6) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, she or he may:
(a) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders or rules of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any such statute, order, or rule would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.
(b) Utilize all available resources of the state government and of each political subdivision of the state, as reasonably necessary to cope with the emergency.
(c) Transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments and agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services. The transfer of the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments and agencies must be reported monthly on a cumulative basis to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
(d) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under s. 252.43, commandeer or utilize any private property if she or he finds this necessary to cope with the emergency.
(e) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if she or he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other emergency mitigation, response, or recovery.
(f) Prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation.
(g) Control ingress and egress to and from an emergency area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein.
(h) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles. However, nothing contained in ss. 252.31-252.90 shall be construed to authorize the seizure, taking, or confiscation of firearms that are lawfully possessed, unless a person is engaged in the commission of a criminal act.
(i) Make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing.
(j) Take effective measures for limiting or suspending lighting devices and appliances, gas and water mains, electric power distribution, and all other utility services in the general public interest.
(k) Take measures concerning the conduct of civilians, the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic prior to, during, and subsequent to drills and actual or threatened emergencies, the calling of public meetings and gatherings, and the evacuation and reception of civilian population, as provided in the emergency management plan of the state and political subdivisions thereof.
(l) Authorize the use of forces already mobilized as the result of an executive order, rule, or proclamation to assist the private citizens of the state in cleanup and recovery operations during emergencies when proper permission to enter onto or into private property has been obtained from the property owner. The provisions of s. 768.28(9) apply to this paragraph.
(m) Authorize businesses and their employees who sell commodities as defined in s. 501.160(1)(a) to exceed the times of curfews for the purpose of ensuring that the supplies of commodities are made available to the public and direct local law enforcement to assist and accommodate those businesses and their employees in ensuring that commodities are available in coping with the emergency.
(n) By executive order, authorize the operator of solid waste disposal facilities to extend operating hours to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the general public.
(o) Waive the patient eligibility requirements of s. 465.1902.
(7) The Governor shall take such action and give such direction to state and local law enforcement officers and agencies as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of ss. 252.31-252.90 and with the orders and rules made pursuant thereto.
(8) The Governor shall employ such measures and give such directions to the Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of ss. 252.31-252.90 or with the findings or recommendations of such agency of health by reason of conditions arising from emergencies or threats of emergency.
(9) The Governor shall delegate emergency responsibilities to the officers and agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof prior to an emergency or threat of an emergency and shall utilize the services and facilities of existing officers and agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof, including their personnel and other resources, as the primary emergency management forces of the state, and all such officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend their services and facilities to the division, as it may require.
(10) The Governor and the division shall establish agencies and offices and appoint executive, professional, technical, clerical, and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of ss. 252.31-252.90.
(11) The Governor shall formulate and execute plans and rules for the control of traffic in order to provide for the rapid and safe movement or evacuation over public highways and streets of people, troops, or vehicles and materials for national defense or for use in any defense industry and may coordinate the activities of the departments or agencies of the state and the political subdivisions thereof concerned directly or indirectly with public highways and streets in a manner which will best effectuate such plans.
(12) During a declared state of emergency, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Surgeon General, the Director of the Division of Emergency Management, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may disseminate public service announcements concerning the emergency and the provisions of ss. 112.3148 and 112.3215 do not apply.
History.—s. 1, ch. 74-285; s. 1, ch. 77-47; s. 4, ch. 79-12; s. 21, ch. 81-169; s. 2, ch. 83-44; s. 19, ch. 83-334; s. 11, ch. 93-211; s. 129, ch. 95-148; s. 47, ch. 99-8; s. 33, ch. 2001-61; s. 2, ch. 2005-283; s. 1, ch. 2006-100; s. 2, ch. 2020-23; s. 8, ch. 2021-8.