I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the following findings concerning disaster planning in Alaska:
1. AS 26.23.070 of the Alaska Disaster Act provides for the designation by Governor’s Order of an interjurisdictional disaster planning and service area encompassing two or more adjoining political subdivisions when certain factors exist that make it difficult for the political subdivisions to maintain an efficient and effective disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery system without an interjurisdictional relationship. These factors may include the political subdivisions’ small or sparse population, significantly limited financial resources, unusual vulnerability to disaster, interrelated character, or other relevant factors.
2. Communities in northern Southeast Alaska outside of Juneau, Sitka, and Petersburg that are in the Northern Southeast Local Emergency Planning District are experiencing difficulties in establishing and maintaining an efficient and effective disaster prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery system without an interjurisdictional relationship.
3. The difficulties are due primarily to the sparse population in the area, the small population of the communities, and their limited financial resources, making maintenance of separate disaster agencies and services unreasonably burdensome. The communities are interrelated because of their location in relative proximity to each other and to regional centers; their similar topography as coastal communities; their similar economies, based on tourism, fishing, seafood processing, and logging; and the similar risks they face, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hazardous substance releases, and fires.
4. The creation of an interjurisdictional disaster planning and service area will allow the communities collectively to pool their limited resources to meet the matching money requirements of various grant sources.
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 1, of the Alaska Constitution and AS 26.23.070, I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, order the following:
1. The Northern Southeast Interjurisdictional Disaster Planning and Service Area is established, consisting of the communities in the area from Yakutat south to a line from the Southern tip of Baranof Island, east across Sumner Strait to the Stikine River, and north and west along the Alaska/British Columbia border to the Gulf of Alaska, excluding the City and Borough of Juneau, the City and Borough of Sitka, the City of Petersburg, and the City of Kupreanof. Included in the Northern Southeast Interjurisdictional Disaster Planning and Service Area are the City and Borough of Yakutat, the Haines Borough, the Cities of Haines, Skagway, Pelican, Tenakee Springs, Port Alexander, Hoonah, and Angoon, the unincorporated communities of Cube Cove, Elfin Cove, Freshwater Bay, Gustavus, Hobart Bay, Rowan Bay, Whitestone, Game Creek, and Klukwan, and other communities within the boundaries described above.
2. The Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Division of Emergency Services, shall work with these communities to prepare an areawide disaster and emergency services plan. For those communities that have adopted local plans, the areawide plan will supplement, but not supersede, the local plans.
The communities listed above are encouraged to enter into response agreements and as a whole continue completing the steps necessary to receive financing as an interjurisdictional disaster planning and service area. This will enable the communities to compete collectively for the limited amount of Emergency Management Program Grant money available, and will allow the required match to be met by the entire planning and service area, alleviating the burden on any single community.
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Juneau, Alaska, this 3rd day of July, 2001.
By: S/S Tony Knowles