Emergency Power Laws

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Emergency Powers Law

In the face of an impending strike by a major hurricane or other action likely to endanger public safety or in the immediate aftermath of another type of disaster, the Governor may, as a precaution, issue a "Proclamation of Emergency" in accordance with the Emergency Powers Law (1997 Revision).

This allows the Governor to expedite actions in the interests of

  • public safety and security,
  • the acquisition or distribution of essential goods, or
  • any other purpose deemed essential to good governance.

Among specific actions, the Governor may appoint "requisition" officers

Requisition officers are empowered, as part of their delegated role in maintaining public order and good governance, to take possession of property. If that step is taken in the public's interest, it is with the proviso that persons whose property may be temporarily requisitioned are appropriately compensated when conditions normalise.

Requisition officers’ maybe the chairman and members of the National Hazard Management Committee, constables, members of the Special Constabulary who have been called out for service, and members of the Fire Service.

The Emergency Powers Law also enables the Governor to amend or suspend any law. Traditionally this power is used, for example, to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages, due to the potential impact of alcohol consumption on general order.