Declaring a Disaster


Disaster declarations are necessary when incidents occur that temporarily overwhelm local response and recovery capabilities. The Emergency Management Agency must complete a damage assessment in the aftermath of each incident. Disaster declarations are made to provide special authorities for responders and other departments of government and to provide for the delivery of local aid or state and federal assistance in the form of grants or loans to individuals, businesses, non-profits and local jurisdictions.

Who Can Declare a Disaster?

All Chief Elected Officials may declare an emergency or a disaster for their community, however, when additional resources are needed they must request a State Disaster Declaration through the County Emergency Management Agency. In addition, The County Sheriff is authorized by the O.R.C. to make emergency declarations for severe snowstorms or to maintain civic order. The Governor will issue an Emergency Declaration to authorize Departments of State government to assist local jurisdictions. The Governor may also forward a request for a Presidential Declaration of Emergency that provides for the use of federal funds to support the response and recovery effort.