Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 2.2. Administration of Government
Chapter 2. Governor's Secretaries
12/2/2021

§ 2.2-222.1. Secretary to oversee and monitor the development, maintenance, and implementation of a comprehensive and measurable homeland security strategy for the Commonwealth.

A. The Secretary shall ensure that, consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), the Commonwealth implements a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action pursuant to securing the Commonwealth at both the state and local level against man-made and natural disasters. To that end, the Secretary shall take action to assign responsibility among agencies, jurisdictions, and subdivisions of the Commonwealth to affect the highest state of readiness posed by both man-made and natural disasters. In doing so, the Secretary shall ensure that preparedness initiatives will be effectively and efficiently coordinated, implemented, and monitored.

B. The Secretary shall also oversee and monitor the development, maintenance, and implementation of a comprehensive and measurable homeland security strategy for the Commonwealth. To ensure a comprehensive strategy, the Secretary shall coordinate the homeland security strategy with the Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel, as established in § 2.2-222.3, and all state and local, public and private, councils that have a homeland security focus within the Commonwealth. The strategy shall ensure that the Commonwealth's homeland security programs are resourced, executed, and assessed according to well-defined and relevant Commonwealth homeland security requirements. In support of the strategy, the Secretary shall provide oversight of the designated State Administrative Agency (SAA) for homeland security to ensure that applications for grant funds by state agencies or local governments describe well-defined requirements for planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action measures essential to Commonwealth security.

C. The homeland security strategy shall (i) designate a state proponent for each goal identified in the strategy; (ii) identify which state agencies shall have responsibility for prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery requirements associated with each goal; (iii) prescribe metrics to those state agencies to quantify readiness for man-made and natural disasters; (iv) ensure that state agencies follow rigorous planning practices; and (v) conduct annual reviews and updates to ensure planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action is fully implemented at state and local levels of government.

D. The Secretary shall ensure that state agencies develop and maintain rigorously developed response plans in support of the Commonwealth of Virginia Emergency Operations Plan (COVEOP). The Secretary shall designate the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) as the primary agent to ensure that state agencies are compliant with the COVEOP. The Secretary shall further require that VDEM ensure the development of state agency and local disaster response plans and procedures, and monitor the status and quality of those plans on a cyclical basis to establish that they are feasible and suitable and can be implemented with available resources.

E. The Secretary shall be responsible for the coordination and development of state and local shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort planning. The Secretary shall ensure that jurisdictions and subdivisions of the Commonwealth have adequate shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to support emergency evacuation in the event of a man-made or natural disaster. To that end, the Secretary shall direct VDEM to monitor, review, and evaluate on a cyclical basis all shelter, evacuation, traffic, and refuge of last resort plans to ensure they are feasible and suitable and can be implemented with available resources.

F. The Secretary shall also ensure that plans for protecting public critical infrastructure are both developed and fully implemented by those state agencies, jurisdictions, and subdivisions of the Commonwealth with responsibility for critical infrastructure protection.

G. The Secretary is authorized, consistent with federal and state law and procurement regulations thereof, to contract for private and public sector services in homeland security and emergency management to enable, enhance, augment, or supplement state and local planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and corrective action capability as he deems necessary to meet Commonwealth security goals with such funds as may be made available to the Secretary or the Department of Emergency Management annually for such services.

2014, cc. 115, 490; 2019, c. 615.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.