A weather-related mailing list I’m on touched on the confusion created by the declaration of a “state of emergency” (SOE). The author of the message passed along this bit of information, which came directly from his local office of emergency management (OEM); I thought it may prove useful to others as well.
What is a State of Emergency?
What exactly does that mean? If you ever wondered, below is a plain language explanation.
Your municipal OEM, County OEM or the Governor can declare a State of Emergency for your jurisdiction. When a large event occurs such as Superstorm Sandy, you may see the Governor declare a SOE statewide, or for many counties.
A State of Emergency is declared when a disaster has occurred or may be imminent that is severe enough to require state aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering. This declaration authorizes the Governor to speed State agency assistance to communities in need. It enables him/her to make resources immediately available to rescue, evacuate, shelter, provide essential commodities (i.e., heating fuel, food, etc.) and quell disturbances in affected localities. It may also position the State to seek federal assistance when the scope of the event exceeds the State’s resources.