Bills aim to modernize Nevada’s emergency management
March 4, 2019
A package of bills designed to reorganize, streamline and upgrade emergency management in Nevada was presented to the Senate Government Affairs Committee on Monday.
Homeland Security Administrator Caleb Cage told lawmakers work started in 2018 after Nevada's disastrous 2017 experience with multiple federal emergency disaster declarations followed by a horrible fire season and then the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
He said the package of seven measures is, "intended to set the foundation and improve the way we do emergency management."
It centers around SB35, a bill that creates a Resilience Advisory Committee to streamline the number of public bodies, now 34 in all, that the Division of Emergency Management is part of and to streamline the grant procedure.
SB67 creates the Nevada Tribal Emergency Coordinating Council and SB34 allows the emergency management division to establish regulations governing numerous grants that come to the state and local entities. It also calls for regulations for local and tribal governments to receive and manage those grants.
SB15, Cage said, creates incident management assistance teams designed to back up county teams in the immediate time after a disaster and for extended periods when necessary. It would also allow emergency management to work with volunteers.
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SB66 refocuses the disaster identification team to help coordinate information needed to identify victims and contact their relatives during a disaster, including handling patient privacy issues.
SB68 provides for the expedited granting of provisional registration to volunteer providers of health or veterinary services during an emergency.
Finally, SB69 deals with cyber-security emergencies, revising requirements for creation and updating emergency response plans for schools, cities, counties and hotels. It also clarifies the governor's ability to call the Nevada National Guard in the event of a major cyber-security incident.
The committee took no action on the package of bills but there was no testimony in opposition to any of them.