Order Code RS21928
September 3, 2004
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Wyoming Emergency Management and
Homeland Security Statutory Authorities
Specialist in American National Government
Government and Finance Division
L. Cheryl Runyon and Kae M. Warnock
Government and Finance Division
The Wyoming Emergency Management Act gives the governor authority to assume
operational control over state emergency management functions, delegates powers to the
state emergency management agency and local emergency management agencies, and
provides for mutual aid agreements. The state Emergency Management Advisory Board
assists with preparedness and advises the governor. Federal aid constitutes the primary
source of emergency management funds.
This report is one of a series that profiles emergency management and homeland
security statutory authorities of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,
American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each profile identifies the more
significant elements of state statutes, generally as codified. Congressional readers may
wish to conduct further searches for related provisions using the Internet link presented
in the last section of this report. The National Conference of State Legislatures provided
primary research assistance in the development of these profiles under contract to the
Congressional Research Service (CRS). Summary information on all of the profiles is
presented in CRS Report RL32287. This report will be updated as developments
Entities with Key Responsibilities
Governor: The governor exercises general direction and control of the state
Emergency Management Agency (EMA). In disaster situations that exceed local control
capabilities, the governor is authorized to assume direct operational control over all, or
any part of, the state’s emergency management functions. The governor is authorized to
cooperate with the federal government and with other states and private agencies. The
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
governor may make, amend, and rescind emergency orders, rules and regulations “with
due consideration” of federal plans, and may assign to a state agency any activity
concerned with mitigation of the effects of a disaster or national emergency related to the
duties of the agency (including interstate activities). The governor is authorized to
prepare a comprehensive emergency management plan and program; procure supplies and
equipment; institute training and public information programs; and make studies and
surveys of emergency management resources and facilities. The governor may delegate
administrative authority, provide for the sub-delegation of authority, and appoint, in
cooperation with local authorities, emergency management coordinators of political
subdivisions (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-104).
The governor serves as commander-in-chief of all the military forces of the state, and
may call out the militia to preserve the public peace, execute the laws, suppress
insurrection or repel an invasion (Wyo. Constitution §97-17-005).
The governor may order any military unit to aid in suppressing any tumult, riot, mob
or invasion; assist in preserving order; protect public safety when other civil agencies are
unable to do so; insure public safety; and protect property or persons in times of fire, flood
or other domestic catastrophe. Expenses incurred by such actions are to be borne by the
state from the general funds until other provisions are made. Upon the declaration of war,
the breaking out of insurrection, or the imminence of either, the governor may activate the
Wyoming state guard (Wyo. Stat.§19-9-207).
Political subdivisions: Each emergency management program and its officers
executes and enforces orders, rules and regulations made by the governor and provides
for their inspection (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-116). The statute also authorizes creation of local
emergency management programs in political subdivisions (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-103).
Emergency Management Agency (EMA): The statute created the EMA within the
office of the adjutant general: to assist political subdivisions’ work in organizing and
maintaining emergency management programs; assign disaster or emergency
responsibilities to state agencies; and coordinate emergency management functions with
political subdivisions and federal government (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-103).
Coordinator of Emergency Management Program: The coordinator, appointed by
the governor, serves as administrative head of the EMA, helps local authorities and
organizations plan and develop emergency management plans and programs, coordinates
emergency management activities, and maintains liaison with and cooperates with
emergency management agencies and programs of other states and the federal government
Emergency Management Advisory Board: The board assists with emergency
management preparedness and recovery and advises the governor and coordinator on all
matters pertaining to emergency management. Members of the board are appointed by,
and may be removed by, the governor and represent “commercial enterprises, service
organizations and public-spirited groups” (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-106).
Emergency support task forces: The governor, or political subdivisions, are
authorized to establish the number of necessary task forces which are activated on the
orders of the governor or political subdivision governing bodies that perform emergency
management functions in any part of the state or in other states (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-107).
Search and Rescue Council: The statute created the council, composed of 11
members, which reviews and acts upon claims submitted for reimbursement from the
search and rescue account (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-302).
Political subdivisions are authorized to establish local emergency management plans
and programs, with coordinators appointed by the governor on the recommendation of
local jurisdictions. The coordinator has direct responsibility for the organization,
administration, and operation of local emergency management plans and programs (Wyo.
No specific provisions.
Types of Assistance
The adjutant general and executive officers of governing bodies of political
subdivisions are directed to utilize services, equipment, supplies and facilities of existing
departments, offices and agencies and political subdivisions to the maximum extent
possible (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-111).
A fire protection service, emergency medical care provider, emergency management
program, or local government subdivision may appropriate funds, and sell, lease, or
supply material to any entity for carrying out mutual aid agreements (Wyo. Stat.§19-13210).
The Emergency Management Assistance Compact is codified (Wyo. H.B. No. 0019,
signed by the governor on 2/21/2003).
The Interstate Emergency Services Mutual Aid Act authorizes fire protection
services, emergency medical care providers, emergency management programs or local
government subdivisions to enter into mutual aid agreements with similar entities in any
other state, or the federal government, to provide emergency services to the area covered
by the agreement (Wyo. Stat.§ 19-13-203).
The statute mandates that local emergency management coordinators develop
mutual aid arrangements in collaboration with public and private agencies for reciprocal
emergency management aid and assistance in disasters of extreme nature affecting two
or more political subdivisions. With governor’s approval, coordinators may enter into
mutual aid arrangements with agencies in other states (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-109).
The governor may enter into interstate mutual aid and international compacts with
other states and foreign countries or subdivisions, and may coordinate mutual-aid plans
between, and among, political subdivisions of the state (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-104 (c) (v)).
Political subdivisions may make appropriations for local emergency management
programs. The governor, or the governing body of a political subdivision acting with
governor’s consent, may accept offers from any federal agency or officer, firm or
corporation for services, equipment, supplies, materials or funds in the form of gifts,
grants or loans for disaster relief or emergency management (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-110 (b)).
The statute authorizes county commissioners to levy taxes for local emergency
management programs (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-110 (c)).
The governor is authorized to accept gifts, grants, funds or other assistance from
the federal, state or local governments, or from private sources (Wyo. Stat.§9-1-210).
The statute created the search and rescue account and authorizes expenditures to
be made by EMA to reimburse counties for costs directly incurred in a specific search and
rescue operation. The funds may be used for search and rescue training; equipment
purchases; and development of statewide search and rescue teams (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-301
The statute created the emergency fire suppression account, which is administered
by the state forester, to reimburse participating counties for the actual costs incurred in
suppressing emergency fires. Counties are required to pay assessments to participate in
funded activities (Wyo. Stat.§36-1-402).
See “Entities with Key Responsibilities.”
Continuity of Government Operations
The statute provides for a line of succession for the adjutant general, including
assistants, deputy military advisor and coordinator of emergency management (Wyo. Stat.
The statute grants immunity from civil liability to persons who voluntarily and
without compensation permit their property to be used for the purposes of sheltering
persons during an actual, impending, or mock attack, or practice exercise (Wyo. Stat.§1913-113(d)).
The statute prohibits anyone who advocates or has advocated a change by force
or violence in the constitutional form of the government of the United States or of the
state, or who has been convicted of or is under indictment for any subversive act against
the United States, from employment in any capacity in any emergency management
program (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-114).
The statute provides for reciprocity in the event disaster conditions in Wyoming
require assistance by emergency management personnel from other states during the
period of the emergency (Wyo. Stat.§19-13-115).
Table 1. Key Emergency Management and Homeland Security
Terms Defined in Wyoming Statutes, with Citations
County or county-city program
Wyo. Stat. § 19-13-102 (a) (i)
Wyo. Stat. §19-13-102 (a) (ii)
Emergency support task force
Wyo. Stat. §19-13-102 (a) (iii)
Mutual aid agreement
Wyo. Stat. §19-13-202 (a) (iv)
Party emergency service
Wyo. Stat. §19-13-202 (a) (v)
For Further Research
The citations noted above and other elements of the state code for Wyoming may
be searched at [http://legisweb.state.wy.us/titles/statutes.htm].