Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–2304. Issuance of emergency executive order; contents; actions of Mayor after issuance.

(a) Upon reasonable apprehension of the existence of a public emergency and the determination by the Mayor that the issuance of an order is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or welfare, and as a prerequisite to requesting emergency or major disaster assistance in accordance with the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. § 5121) the Mayor may issue an emergency executive order which shall state:

(1) The existence, nature, extent, and severity of the public emergency;

(2) The measures necessary to relieve the public emergency;

(3) The specific requirements of the order and the persons upon whom the order is binding; and

(4) The duration of the order.

(b) Upon the issuance of an emergency executive order the Mayor may:

(1) Expend such funds appropriated to the District of Columbia government sufficient to carry out public emergency service missions and responsibilities;

(2) Implement those provisions of the District of Columbia response plan as issued by the Mayor, without regard to established operating procedures relating to the performance of public works, entering into contracts, incurring obligations, employment of temporary workers, rental of equipment, purchase of supplies and materials, and expenditure of public funds; provided, that this paragraph shall apply only to employees of the District of Columbia government;

(3) Prepare for, order, and supervise the implementation of measures designed to protect persons and property in the District of Columbia. Such measures may include the evacuation of persons in the District of Columbia to such emergency shelters within the District of Columbia as the Mayor may designate, or such shelters outside the District of Columbia as the Mayor may designate with the approval of the Governor of the state to which District of Columbia citizens are to be evacuated, and provision for the reception, sheltering, maintenance, and care of such evacuees. Evacuation of any personnel or activity of the federal government shall take place only with the consent of the President of the United States or the President’s designee; provided, that upon agreement between the federal and District of Columbia governments, any prearranged evacuation plan shall constitute such consent;

(4) Require the shutting off, disconnection, or suspension of service from, or by, gas mains, electric power lines, or other public utilities;

(5) Destroy or cause to be destroyed any property, real or personal, in the District of Columbia, found to be contaminated by any matter or substance which renders it deleterious to life or health, and by reason of such contamination is of immediate or imminent danger to persons or property; to cause the removal from the District of Columbia or from place to place within the District of Columbia of any contaminated property; and to prohibit persons from contacting or approaching such property so as to endanger their lives or health;

(6) Issue orders or regulations to control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production and distribution of food, fuel, clothing, and other commodities, materials, goods, services, and resources as required by the District of Columbia response plan or by any federal emergency plan;

(7) Direct any person or group of persons, in the District of Columbia, to reduce or otherwise alter the hours during which they conduct business or similar activity at premises established and maintained for a business and to direct any person or group, or class of persons, within the District of Columbia, to remain off the public streets in the event that any public emergency requires that the Mayor institute a curfew;

(8) Establish such public emergency services units as he or she may deem appropriate;

(9) Expand existing departmental and agency units within the District of Columbia government concerned with public emergency services;

(10) Exercise operational direction over all District of Columbia government departments and agencies during the period when an emergency executive order may be in effect;

(11) Procure supplies and equipment, institute training programs and public information programs and take all other preparatory steps, including the partial or full mobilization of public emergency services units in advance of actual disaster, to insure the furnishing of adequately trained and equipped personnel during a public emergency. Such programs shall be integrated and coordinated with the emergency services plans and programs of the federal government and of the neighboring states and political subdivisions thereof;

(12) Request predisaster assistance or the declaration of a major disaster from the federal government, certify the need for federal disaster assistance and commit the use of a certain amount of District of Columbia government funds to alleviate the damage, loss, hardship, and suffering resulting from the disaster;

(13) Prevent or reduce harmful consequences of disaster; or

(14) Detain for medical reasons any person for which there is probable cause to believe that the person is affected with a communicable disease and that the person’s presence in the general population is likely to cause death or seriously impair the health of others pursuant to subchapter II of Chapter 1 of this title.


(Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-149, § 5, 27 DCR 4886; Oct. 17, 2002, D.C. Law 14-194, §§ 202(c), 903(b), 49 DCR 5306; Mar. 13, 2004, D.C. Law 15-105, § 47(b), 51 DCR 881.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1504.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-204.50a, § 7-401, § 7-2304.01, and § 22-1319.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-194, in subsecs. (b)(2) and (b)(6), substituted “District of Columbia response plan” for “emergency operations plan”; made nonsubstantive changes in subsecs. (b)(12) and (b)(13); and added subsec. (b)(14).

D.C. Law 15-105, in pars. (2) and (6) of subsec. (b), validated previously made technical corrections.

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) additions, see §§ 2 to 4 of Natural Disaster Consumer Protection Temporary Act of 1989 (D.C. Law 8-51, October 19, 1989, law notification 37 DCR 7544).

Mayor's Orders

Emergency Declaration (As a Result of Severe Rain, Wind, and Thunderstorms of August 10-11, 2001), see Mayor’s Order 2001-126, August 13, 2001 ( 48 DCR 8214).

Declaration of a Public Emergency (Terrorist Acts), see Mayor’s Order 2001-138, September 11, 2001 ( 48 DCR 9002).

Rescission of September 11, 2001 State of Public Emergency; Continued Coordination of Subordinate Agencies to Meet Potential Terrorist Threats, see Mayor’s Order 2001-139, September 14, 2001 ( 48 DCR 9004).

Establishment of the “Mayor’s Domestic Preparedness Task Force”, see Mayor’s Order 2001-142, September 19, 2001 ( 48 DCR 9009).

2011-146: Declaration of Public Emergency, see Mayor’s Order 2011-146, August 26, 2011 ( 58 DCR 7905).

Declaration of Public Emergency, see Mayor’s Order 2011-148, September 2, 2011 ( 58 DCR 8083).