Situations may arise where a state of emergency or disaster exists. York County ordinance dated May 1996 provides for the declaration of an emergency or disaster.

Emergency Declaration - may be declared by the County Manager and/or the Emergency Management Director. Emergency declarations are generally for a specific area of the county where it is necessary to implement measures over and above a normal emergency response to resolve a situation. An example may be a hazardous materials incident, small aircraft accident, tornado effecting a limited area or other situation where additional direction and control measures are necessary but not of the magnitude requiring a disaster declaration. The County Manager must provided a written report as soon as possible explaining the need for the emergency to be declared. SCEMD should be notified as soon as possible of the event and actions taken.

Disaster Declaration - may be declared by the County Council if available, if not, the line of succession is the County Council Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, any council member, County Manager or Emergency Management Director. Disaster declarations are generally for a wide spread or emergency that effects a large area of the county or is a large scale event. A declaration disaster is used to bring resources to assist with the response and recovery to an emergency situation and or allow the county council to implement special emergency powers such as curfews, stop the sale of alcohol or firearms etc. An example may be a tornado effecting a large area, hurricane, major hazardous materials incident, emergency at the Catawba Nuclear Station, civil unrest or other event requiring efforts above and beyond those normally available to control the incident. SCEMD should be notified of the event and actions taken. After action reports should be made as soon as possible.

Emergency and disaster declarations are used only when absolutely necessary to provide direction and control, bring resources, manpower and other items not usually available to assist with the emergency. Procurement and other policies may be circumvented during those situations with proper documentation.