Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. Homeland Security Program.


Part A. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

§ 7–2201. Declaration of intent; “civil defense” defined.

Because of the existing possibility of the occurrence of disaster of unprecedented destructiveness resulting from enemy attack, sabotage, or other hostile action, it is the intent of Congress that plans and programs to provide necessary protection, relief, and assistance for persons and property in the District of Columbia in the event such disaster shall occur or become imminent so as to require such protection, relief, and assistance, should be developed. As used in this chapter, the term “civil defense” shall mean all activities necessary for the development and execution of such plans and programs, unless the context indicates a different meaning.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 438, ch. 686, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1401.

1973 Ed., § 6-1201.


§ 7–2202. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency; Director and other personnel; compensation.

(a) To carry out the purposes of this chapter, the Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized to establish in the municipal government of such District a Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency to consist of a Director and such other personnel as may be needed. Such Director shall be the executive head of such Office [Agency].

(b) Notwithstanding the limitation of any law, there may be employed in such Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency any person who has been retired from any of the uniformed services of the United States or any office or position in the federal or District governments, and except as hereinafter provided, while so employed in such Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency any such retired person may receive the compensation authorized for such employment or the retirement compensation or annuity, whichever he may elect, and upon the termination of such employment, he shall be restored to the same status as a retired officer or employee with the same retirement compensation or annuity to which he was entitled before having been employed in such Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. While any person who has been retired from any of the uniformed services of the United States is so employed in such Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, he may receive the compensation authorized for such employment and his retired or retirement pay, subject to § 5532 [repealed] of Title 5, United States Code.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 438, ch. 686, § 2; Aug. 19, 1964, 87 Stat. 489, Pub. L. 88-448, title IV, § 401(b); Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(b), 54 DCR 794.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1402.

1973 Ed., § 6-1202.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-262, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency” for “Office of Emergency Preparedness”.

References in Text

Pursuant to Mayor’s Order 98-198 ( 46 DCR 240) pub. January 8, 1999, the name of the Office of Emergency Preparedness has been changed to the D.C. Emergency Management Agency.

Editor's Notes

Office of Civil Defense abolished: The Office of Civil Defense was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Reorganization Order No. 45 of the Board of Commissioners, dated June 26, 1953, and as amended October 22, 1953, established under the Board of Commissioners, a Citizens’ Civil Defense Advisory Council to advise and consult with the Board and the Director of Civil Defense on matters of basic civil defense policies. The Order describes the purposes and functions of the new Council, and abolished the previous Civil Defense Advisory CounciL. Reorganization Order No. 49, as amended November 10, 1953, established under the supervision and control of a Commissioner, an Office of Civil Defense headed by a Director. The Order set forth the purpose, organization, and functions of the new Office of Civil Defense. The previous Office of Civil Defense was abolished and its functions and positions together with all personnel, property, records, and unexpended funds relating to those functions and positions were transferred to the new Office of Civil Defense. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Reorganization Order No. 49 was rescinded by Commissioner’s Order No. 71-259, dated July 26, 1971, which established a new Office of Civil Defense. Organization Order No. 51 of the Commissioner of the District of Columbia, dated December 27, 1974, established in the Executive Office of the Commissioner, a new Office of Civil Defense, headed by a Director, and prescribed the purposes and functions thereof. The Order replaced and rescinded Commissioner’s Order No. 71-259, dated July 26, 1971, as amended by Commissioner’s Order No. 73-156, July 5, 1973. The name of the Office of Civil Defense was changed to the Office of Emergency Preparedness by Mayor’s Order No. 76-49, dated January 23, 1976.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Government Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor and the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 7–2203. Appointment of member of Police Department or Fire Department to position in Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized to appoint a member of the Metropolitan Police Department or a member of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia to any position in the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, with the salary provided by law for such position, chargeable to the appropriation for the newly established office or agency; provided, that during the tenure of his appointment such member so appointed shall be deemed to be a member of such Metropolitan Police Department or such Fire Department, as the case may be, for all purposes of rank, seniority, allowances, privileges and benefits, including retirement and disability benefits under the provisions of § 5-701 to § 5-724, to the same extent as though the appointment had not been made, and at the termination of such appointment he shall be entitled to resume his status within the Metropolitan Police Department or Fire Department, as the case may be, which shall include any promotion in rank to which he may have become entitled; provided further, that retirement and disability benefits and salary deductions shall be based on the salary of the rank or position held in the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire Department, as the case may be, prior to his appointment to such position in the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency or the salary of the position or rank he would have attained in the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire Department had his appointment to such position in the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency not been made, whichever is greater.


(May 21, 1951, 65 Stat. 44, ch. 102; July 6, 1953, 67 Stat. 139, ch. 179, § 1; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 407, 54 DCR 794.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1403.

1973 Ed., § 6-1202a.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2204.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-262 rewrote this section, which formerly read:

“The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized to appoint a member of the Metropolitan Police Department or a member of the Fire Department of the District of Columbia to any position in the Office of Emergency Preparedness (authorized to be abolished by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952), with the salary provided by law for such position, chargeable to the appropriation for the newly established office or agency; provided, that during the tenure of his appointment such member so appointed shall be deemed to be a member of such Metropolitan Police Department or such Fire Department, as the case may be, for all purposes of rank, seniority, allowances, privileges and benefits, including retirement and disability benefits under the provisions of § 5-701 to § 5-724, to the same extent as though the appointment had not been made, and at the termination of such appointment he shall be entitled to resume his status within the Metropolitan Police Department or Fire Department, as the case may be, which shall include any promotion in rank to which he may have become entitled; provided further, that retirement and disability benefits and salary deductions shall be based on the salary of the rank or position held in the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire Department, as the case may be, prior to his appointment to such position in such office or agency succeeding to the functions of the Office of Emergency Preparedness or the salary of the position or rank he would have attained in the Metropolitan Police Department or the Fire Department had his appointment to such position in such office or agency not been made, whichever is greater.”

References in Text

Pursuant to Mayor’s Order 98-198 ( 46 DCR 240) pub. January 8, 1999, the name of the Office of Emergency Preparedness has been changed to the D.C. Emergency Management Agency.

Editor's Notes

Office of Civil Defense abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 7-2202.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia SelfGovernment and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 7–2204. “Metropolitan Police Department”, “Fire Department” defined.

As used in § 7-2203, the terms “Metropolitan Police Department” and “Fire Department” shall include, respectively, offices or agencies succeeding to the functions of such departments pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952.


(July 6, 1953, 67 Stat. 140, ch. 179, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1404.

1973 Ed., § 6-1202b.


§ 7–2205. Powers and duties.

The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency is authorized and directed, subject to the direction and control of the Mayor of the District:

(1) To prepare a comprehensive plan and program for civil defense, such plan and program to be integrated into and coordinated with the civil defense plans of the federal government, and of nearby states and appropriate political subdivisions thereof;

(2) To institute training programs and public information programs; to organize, equip, and train civil defense units, and to utilize regularly employed personnel of the government of the District of Columbia for service in and within such civil defense units and to train such personnel for such service; to expand existing agencies of the District government concerned with civil defense; and to take all other preparatory steps including the partial or full mobilization of civil defense organizations in advance of actual disaster;

(3) To make such studies and surveys of the resources and capabilities of the District for civil defense, and to plan for the most efficient emergency use thereof;

(4) To develop and enter into mutual aid agreements with states or political subdivisions thereof for reciprocal civil defense aid and mutual assistance in case of disaster too great to be dealt with unassisted. Such agreements may include the exchange of food, clothing, medicines, and other supplies; emergency housing; engineering services; police services; medical and nursing services; firefighting, rescue, transportation, and construction services and equipment; personnel necessary to provide or conduct these services; and such other supplies, equipment, facilities, personnel, and services as may be needed. Such agreements shall be consistent with the national civil defense plan and program. In time of emergency it shall be the duty of each agency and organization to render assistance in accordance with the provisions of such mutual aid agreements;

(5) To employ such technical, clerical, stenographic, and other personnel and make such expenditures within appropriations thereof or from other funds made available for purposes of civil defense, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter;

(6) To cooperate with governmental and nongovernmental agencies, organizations, associations, and other entities, and coordinate the activities of all organizations for civil defense within the District;

(7) To accept from the United States or from any officer or agency thereof all facilities, supplies, and funds that may from time to time be offered to the District of Columbia, and to agree to such terms, conditions, rules, and regulations as may be imposed in connection with such offer;

(8) To utilize the services, equipment, supplies, and facilities of existing departments, offices, and agencies of the District to the maximum extent practicable, and the officers and personnel of all such departments, offices, and agencies are directed to cooperate with and extend such services and supply such equipment, supplies, and facilities to the said Director upon request, and, when authorized by the Mayor, appropriations available to the District of Columbia may be used to match financial contributions made by any department or agency of the United States to the government of the District for the purchase of civil defense equipment and supplies;

(9) To perform such other functions as may be assigned by the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 439, ch. 686, § 3; Apr. 5, 1952, 66 Stat. 44, ch. 159, § 1; Oct. 26, 1973, Pub. L. 93-140, § 17, 87 Stat. 507; June 28, 1977, D.C. Law 2-12, § 6(c), 24 DCR 1442; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 3205(tt), 25 DCR 5740; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(c), 54 DCR 794.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1405.

1973 Ed., § 6-1203.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-636.02.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-262, in the introductory paragraph, substituted “Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency” for “Office of Emergency Preparedness”.

References in Text

Pursuant to Mayor’s Order 98-198 ( 46 DCR 240) pub. January 8, 1999, the name of the Office of Emergency Preparedness has been changed to the D.C. Emergency Management Agency.

Editor's Notes

Office of Civil Defense abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 7-2202.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 7–2205.01. Fusion center.

*NOTE: This section was created by temporary legislation that will expire on December 24, 2021.*

(a) The Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency ("HSEMA") shall, subject to the direction and control of the Mayor, establish and direct the administration and operations of an intelligence fusion center for the District within HSEMA. The fusion center shall, at the discretion of the Mayor and the Director of HSEMA, also serve as the primary fusion center in the National Capital Region.

(b) The primary mission of the fusion center is to receive, coordinate, and share resources, expertise, and information, including criminal history record information and law enforcement intelligence information, from and among law enforcement, first responder, and criminal justice agencies; to facilitate and coordinate the receipt and sharing of such resources, expertise, and information from and among such agencies; and to analyze, handle, coordinate, and integrate such resources, expertise, and information from and among such agencies, with the goal of detecting and preventing terrorist and other criminal activity, such as criminal conspiracy, bomb threats, possession of illegal firearms and explosives, identity theft, money laundering, hate crimes, and organized crime, and for the purpose of investigating and responding to such activity. The fusion center shall collect, coordinate, and share information with law enforcement agencies only if a reasonable suspicion exists that the subject is involved in specific criminal acts or possible terrorist activity.

(c) The District's intelligence fusion center, which shall be a division of HSEMA, is designated a law enforcement unit for the purposes of carrying out the functions set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

(d) The fusion center shall work in partnership with other state, local, regional, and federal fusion centers and other state, local, regional, and federal law enforcement, criminal justice, and intelligence agencies.

(e) The fusion center shall represent the District's interests in the national network of fusion centers.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 439, ch. 686, § 3a; as added May 13, 2021, D.C. Law 24-2, § 2, 68 DCR 003438.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 3 of Non-Public Student Educational Continuity and Homeland Security Fusion Center and Law Enforcement Authority Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Act 24-68, Apr. 14, 2021, 68 DCR 004911).

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 2 of Homeland Security Fusion Center and Law Enforcement Authority Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Act 24-2, Jan. 15, 2021, 68 DCR 001527).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) creation of this section, see § 2 of Homeland Security Fusion Center and Law Enforcement Authority Temporary Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Law 24-2, May 13, 2021, 68 DCR 003438).


§ 7–2206. Limitation of liability.

Neither the District of Columbia nor any volunteer agency in the service of said District nor, except in cases of willful misconduct or gross negligence, any officer, agent, or employee of the District of Columbia or volunteer agency, or any regularly appointed volunteer worker, engaged in civil defense activities, while complying with or attempting to comply with any provision of this chapter or of any rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant to this chapter, shall be liable to any person, whether or not such person is engaged in civil defense, for death, injury, or property damage resulting therefrom. The provisions of this section shall not affect the right of any person to receive benefits to which he would otherwise be entitled under any workmen’s compensation law, or under any pension, retirement, or disability law, nor the right of any such person to receive any benefits or compensation under any other act of Congress.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1406.

1973 Ed., § 6-1204.


§ 7–2207. Appropriations authorized.

Appropriations for carrying out the purposes of this chapter are hereby authorized.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1407.

1973 Ed., § 6-1205.


§ 7–2208. Annual report.

The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, through the Mayor of the District of Columbia, shall submit to the Senate and House of Representatives on the 1st day of each regular session of the Congress a report of its activities and expenditures under this chapter.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 6; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262,§ 101(d), 54 DCR 794.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1408.

1973 Ed., § 6-1206.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-262, substituted “Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency” for “Office of Emergency Preparedness”.

References in Text

Pursuant to Mayor’s Order 98-198 ( 46 DCR 240) pub. January 8, 1999, the name of the Office of Emergency Preparedness has been changed to the D.C. Emergency Management Agency.

Editor's Notes

Office of Civil Defense abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 7-2202.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 7–2209. Interstate civil defense compacts.

(a) The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized to enter into and execute on behalf of the District of Columbia interstate civil defense compacts with the states, substantially in the form set forth in this subsection. The form of compact set forth in this subsection may include, in lieu of the 2nd sentence of Article 3 thereof, the following: “Each party state shall extend to the civil defense forces of any other party state, while operating within its state limits under the terms and conditions of this compact, the same powers (except that of arrest unless specifically authorized by the receiving state), duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as are extended to the civil defense forces of such state.”

FORM OF INTERSTATE COMPACT

The contracting States solemnly agree:

Article 1 The purpose of this compact is to provide mutual aid among the States in meeting any emergency or disaster from enemy attack or other cause (natural or otherwise) including sabotage and subversive acts and direct attacks by bombs, shellfire, and atomic, radiological, chemical, bacteriological means, and other weapons. The prompt, full, and effective utilization of the resources of the respective States, including such resources as may be available from the United States Government or any other source, are essential to the safety, care, and welfare of the people thereof in the event of enemy action or other emergency, and any other resources, including personnel, equipment, or supplies, shall be incorporated into a plan or plans of mutual aid to be developed among the civil-defense agencies or similar bodies of the States that are parties hereto. The Directors of Civil Defense of all party States shall constitute a committee to formulate plans and take all necessary steps for the implementation of this compact.

Article 2 It shall be the duty of each party State to formulate civil-defense plans and programs for application within such State. There shall be frequent consultation between the representatives of the States and with the United States Government and the free exchange of information and plans, including inventories of any material and equipment available for civil defense. In carrying out such civil-defense plans and programs the party States shall so far as possible provide and follow uniform standards, practices, and rules and regulations including —

(a) Insignia, arm bands, and any other distinctive articles to designate and distinguish the different civil-defense services;

(b) Blackouts and practice blackouts, air-raid drills, mobilization of civil-defense forces, and other tests and exercises;

(c) Warnings and signals for drills or attacks and the mechanical devices to be used in connection therewith;

(d) The effective screening or extinguishing of all lights and lighting devices and appliances;

(e) Shutting off water mains, gas mains, electric power connections, and the suspension of all other utility services;

(f) All materials or equipment used or to be used for civil-defense purposes in order to assure that such materials and equipment will be easily and freely interchangeable when used in or by any other party State;

(g) The conduct of civilians and the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrians and vehicular traffic, prior, during, and subsequent to drills or attacks;

(h) The safety of public meetings or gatherings; and

(i) Mobile support units.

Article 3 Any party State requested to render mutual aid shall take such action as is necessary to provide and make available the resources covered by this compact in accordance with the terms hereof; provided, that it is understood that the State rendering aid may withhold resources to the extent necessary to provide reasonable protection for such State. Each party State shall extend to the civil-defense forces of any other party State, while operating within its State limits under the terms and conditions of this compact, the same powers (except that of arrest unless specifically authorized by the receiving State), duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as if they were performing their duties in the State in which normally employed or rendering services. Civil-defense forces will continue under the command and control of their regular leaders but the organizational units will come under the operational control of the civil-defense authorities of the State receiving assistance.

Article 4 Whenever any person holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any State evidencing the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills, such person may render aid involving such skill in any party State to meet an emergency or disaster and such State shall give due recognition to such license, certificate, or other permit as if issued in the State in which aid is rendered.

Article 5 No party State or its officers or employees rendering aid in another State pursuant to this compact shall be liable on account of any act or omission in good faith on the part of such forces while so engaged, or on account of the maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies in connection therewith.

Article 6 Inasmuch as it is probable that the pattern and detail of the machinery for mutual aid among two or more States may differ from that appropriate among other States party hereto, this instrument contains elements of a broad base common to all States, and nothing herein contained shall preclude any State from entering into supplementary agreements with another State or States. Such supplementary agreements may comprehend, but shall not be limited to, provisions for evacuation and reception of injured and other persons, and the exchange of medical, fire, police, public utility, reconnaissance, welfare, transportation, and communications personnel, equipment, and supplies.

Article 7 Each party State shall provide for the payment of compensation and death benefits to injured members of the civil-defense forces of that State and the representatives of deceased members of such forces in case such members sustain injuries or are killed while rendering aid pursuant to this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within such State.

Article 8 Any party State rendering aid in another State pursuant to this compact shall be reimbursed by the party State receiving such aid for any loss or damage to, or expense incurred in the operation of, any equipment answering a request for aid and for the cost incurred in connection with such requests; provided, that any aiding party State may assume in whole or in part such loss, damage, expense, or other cost, or may loan such equipment or donate such services to the receiving party State without charge or cost; and provided further, that any two or more party States may enter into supplementary agreements establishing a different allocation of costs as among those States. The United States Government may relieve the party State receiving aid from any liability and reimburse the party State supplying civil-defense forces for the compensation paid to and the transportation, subsistence, and maintenance expenses of such forces during the time of the rendition of such aid or assistance outside the State and may also pay fair and reasonable compensation for the use or utilization of the supplies, materials, equipment, or facilities so utilized or consumed.

Article 9 Plans for the orderly evacuation and reception of the civilian population as the result of an emergency or disaster shall be worked out from time to time between representatives of the party States and the various local civil-defense areas thereof. Such plans shall include the manner of transporting such evacuees, the number of evacuees to be received in different areas, the manner in which food, clothing, housing, and medical care will be provided, the registration of the evacuees, the providing of facilities for the notification of relatives or friends, and the forwarding of such evacuees to other areas or the bringing in of additional materials, supplies, and all other relevant factors. Such plans shall provide that the party State receiving evacuees shall be reimbursed generally for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in receiving and caring for such evacuees, for expenditures for transportation, food, clothing, medicines, and medical care and like items. Such expenditures shall be reimbursed by the party State of which the evacuees are residents, or by the United States Government, under plans approved by it. After the termination of the emergency or disaster the party State of which the evacuees are resident shall assume the responsibility for the ultimate support or repatriation of such evacuees.

Article 10 This compact shall be available to any State, territory, or possession of the United States, and the District of Columbia. The term “State” may also include any neighboring foreign country or province or state thereof.

Article 11 The committee established pursuant to Article 1 of this compact may request the Civil Defense Agency of the United States Government to act as an informational and coordinating body under this compact, and representatives of such agency of the United States Government may attend meetings of such committee.

Article 12 This compact shall become operative immediately upon its ratification by any State as between it and any other State or States so ratifying and shall be subject to approval by Congress unless prior Congressional approval has been given. Duly authenticated copies of this compact and of such supplementary agreements as may be entered into shall, at the time of their approval, be deposited with each of the party States and with the Civil Defense Agency and other appropriate agencies of the United States Government.

Article 13 This compact shall continue in force and remain binding on each party State until the legislature or the Governor of such party State takes action to withdraw therefrom. Such action shall not be effective until 30 days after notice thereof has been sent by the Governor of the party State desiring to withdraw to the Governors of all other party States.

Article 14 This compact shall be construed to effectuate the purposes stated in Article 1 hereof. If any provision of this compact is declared unconstitutional, or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the constitutionality of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 (50 U.S.C. App., § 2251 et seq. [repealed]), the consent of Congress is hereby granted to each compact entered into by the District of Columbia with any state pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(c) Whenever any such compact becomes operative by ratification of the parties thereto, such compact shall have the force and effect of law.

(d) As used in this section the word “state” includes the territories and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia and with respect to the District of Columbia the word “Governor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(Apr. 22, 1954, 68 Stat. 62, ch. 172, §§ 1-4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-1409.

1973 Ed., § 6-1207.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.

Complementary Legislation: Ala.—Code 1975, § 31-9-7. Ariz.—A.R.S. § 26-309 note. Ark.—A.C.A. §§ 12-76-101, 12-76-102. Cal.—West’s Ann. Cal.Gov.Code, §§ 177 to 178.5. Del.—20 Del.C. §§ 3301, 3302. D.C.—D.C. Official Code, 2001 Ed. § 7-2209. Kan.—K.S.A. 48-3201, 48-3202. La.—LSA-R.S. 29:721 to 29:738. Maine—37-B M.R.S.A. §§ 901 to 915. Md.—Code, Public Safety, §§ 14-601 to 14-605. Mich.—M.C.L.A. § 30.261. Neb.—R.R.S. 1943, § A1-109. Nev.—N.R.S. 415.010. N.J.—N.J.S.A. 38A:20-3. N.Y.—McKinney’s Unconsol.Laws, §§ 9231 to 9233. Pa.—35 Pa.C.S.A. § 7111. R.I.—Gen.Laws. 1956, § 30-15-14. S.C.—Code 1976, §§ 25-9-10, 25-9-20. Tenn.—T.C.A. § 58-2-402. U.S.—Jan. 12, 1951, ch. 1228, 64 Stat. 1249. Utah—U.C.A. 1953, 39-5-1 to 39-5-3. Virgin Islands—23 V.I.C. § 1128.


Part B. Homeland Security Program Implementation.

§ 7–2231.01. Findings.

The Council finds that:

(1) The District of Columbia has been designated a high-threat target city by the United States Department of Homeland Security, and needs commensurate capabilities for preventing, mitigating, and responding to terrorist attacks. These capabilities include risk-based strategic planning, threat and vulnerability analysis, and gap assessments.

(2) It is the policy of the District of Columbia to warn, inform, and protect its residents by providing timely and accurate information before, during, and after times of emergency. Such information can save lives, reduce property losses, and speed economic recovery by providing residents with the information they need to make informed decisions and to take appropriate protective actions.

(3) The District of Columbia seeks to promote transparency regarding homeland security efforts, in order that government officials and the public can assess the risks, adequacy of programs, the progress made, and gaps remaining.

(4) Risks and vulnerabilities identified through an ongoing program of analysis should be addressed expeditiously and comprehensively.

(5) The Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States outlined appropriate roles for the federal government and its counterparts at the local government level, and concluded that homeland security priorities and assistance should be based strictly on an assessment of risks and vulnerabilities.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 201; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)


§ 7–2231.02. Definitions.

For the purposes of this part, the term:

(1) “Agency” means the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

(1A) "COOP" means the continuity of operations.

(1B) "COOP Coordinator" means the District government agency employee designated pursuant to § 7-2231.11(b)(1).

(1C) "COOP Plan" means the living document containing specific policy and guidance for a District government agency to ensure the District government agency can continue to perform essential functions during short-term and long-term emergencies, including localized acts of nature, accidents, and technological or attack-related emergencies.

(2) “Director” means the Director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency.

(2A) "District COOP Program Manager" means the Agency employee designated pursuant to § 7-2231.11(a)(1).

(2B) "District government agency" means a subordinate or independent agency.

(2C) "Independent agency" means any agency of the District of Columbia government that is not under the direct administrative control of the Mayor.

(3) “Program” means the Homeland Security Program created by § 7-2231.03.

[(4)] Subordinate agency" shall have the same meaning as provided in § 1-603.01(17).


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 202; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794; Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-219, § 2(a), 67 DCR 13906.)


§ 7–2231.03. Homeland Security Program.

(a) The Director shall develop a Homeland Security Program to identify and mitigate threats, risks, and vulnerabilities within the District of Columbia. The program shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Identifying public infrastructure and other public assets in the District that need protection, assessing vulnerability, and addressing priority needs;

(2) Establishing measurable readiness priorities and targets that balance the potential threat and magnitude of terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies with the resources required to prevent, respond to, and recover from them;

(3) Establishing readiness metrics and performance measures for preparedness in the areas of prevention, protection, response, and recovery;

(4) Assisting residents and public and private entities in emergency preparedness;

(5) Coordinating with federal, state, and regional authorities, and with private entities; and

(6) Developing a budget to implement the Program.

(b) Within one year of March 14, 2007, the Director shall contract for a baseline threat and vulnerability assessment of the District of Columbia to include risks associated with, but not limited to, terrorism (including bioterrorism), radiological weapons and their potential transport into the District of Columbia, food and water supply, cybersecurity, fire and rescue capability; an assessment of actions already taken to address security issues and recommendations on whether additional safety and security enforcement actions are needed; and recommendations for additional legislation needed to enhance the security of District residents.

(c) Beginning one year after the establishment of the Program, the Mayor shall submit an annual report to the Council describing the current level of the preparedness of the District of Columbia, including reports on the District’s homeland security capabilities, priority unmet needs and the cost of meeting those needs, relevant training and readiness exercises, resident education, and the utilization of mutual aid.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 203; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 7-2231.02.


§ 7–2231.04. Public information and involvement program.

(a) The Mayor shall:

(1) Disseminate homeland security information to the public and engage residents in homeland security emergency planning;

(2) Solicit resident input in vulnerability assessment and planning activities; and

(3) Offer periodic training opportunities to members of the public.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 204; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)


§ 7–2231.05. District of Columbia government employee security training program.

(a) The Director, in consultation with other District of Columbia agencies, law enforcement, security, and terrorism experts, and representatives of public employees, shall develop and issue guidelines for a public employee security training program to meet requirements established in the District of Columbia Emergency Response Plan.

(b) At the request of the Director, District government agencies shall submit employee training programs to the Director for annual review.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 205; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)


§ 7–2231.06. Large building security.

(a) In consultation with organizations representing property owners, property managers, and building operators and managers, the Director shall develop guidance for building operators and managers to enhance the security of large commercial and residential buildings.

(b) In consultation with the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and organizations representing property owners, property managers, and building operators and managers, the Director shall occasionally review the building code to determine potential changes that could improve building security.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 206; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)


§ 7–2231.07. Exercises.

The Agency shall coordinate a regular program of readiness exercises to test the District of Columbia’s emergency preparedness, propose action to address any gap in preparedness, and coordinate with regional, federal, and private entities.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 207; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)


§ 7–2231.08. Public notification of emergencies.

The Agency shall establish and implement an effective homeland security public warning and information capability that can be used during emergencies to warn residents timely and to disseminate emergency information to residents, both indoors and outdoors, at any time and regardless of residents’ special needs. The Agency shall also pay particular attention to the needs of senior citizens and low-income residents in establishing an effective homeland security public warning and information capability.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 208; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)


§ 7–2231.09. Private sector vulnerability assessments and mitigation plans.

The Director shall request the voluntary sharing of information from private entities on best practices for prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery from a terrorist or other security incident, including information on relocation and other business continuity plans and programs, for the purpose of collaboration to improve public and private preparedness.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 209; as added Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-262, § 101(e), 54 DCR 794.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 3008 of Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-468, July 28, 2008, 55 DCR 8746).


§ 7–2231.10. Rules for use of surveillance cameras.

(a) The Mayor, pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2, shall issue rules for the use of surveillance cameras and technology in the operation of its Video Interoperability for Public Safety (“VIPS”) program; provided, that the Agency shall not use cameras maintained or monitored by either the Department of Corrections or the Metropolitan Police Department. The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, by resolution, within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed disapproved.

(b) Until rules are issued and approved pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the use of any video surveillance cameras that are part of the VIPS program shall be governed by the regulations promulgated pursuant to the Use of Closed Circuit Television to Combat Crime Amendment Act of 2006, effective March 14, 2007 (D.C. Law 16-284; 54 DCR 938), and published in Chapter 25 of Title 24 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

(c) The Metropolitan Police Department shall maintain a right of access to all surveillance cameras and technology in the VIPS program, without limitation, except as stated in applicable rules or regulations governing the VIPS program.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 210; as added Aug. 16, 2008, D.C. Law 17-219, § 3008, 55 DCR 7598; Mar. 5, 2010, D.C. Law 18-113, § 2, 57 DCR 487.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-113, in subsec. (a), substituted “program; provided, that the Agency shall not use cameras maintained or monitored by either the Department of Corrections or the Metropolitan Police Department.” for “program.”; and added subsec. (c).

Short Title

Short title: Section 3007 of D.C. Law 17-219 provided that subtitle C of title III of the act may be cited as the “Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Video Surveillance Rules Amendment Act of 2008”.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority Pursuant to section 3008 of D.C. Law 17-219, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Video Surveillance Rules Act of 2008, see Mayor’s Order 2008-135, October 10, 2008 ( 55 DCR 11216).


§ 7–2231.11. District government continuity of operations planning.

(a) The Agency shall coordinate COOP planning for the District government, including by:

(1) Designating a senior Agency employee to serve as the District COOP Program Manager, whose primary responsibility shall be to implement this section;

(2) Developing internal policies and procedures, including after-action reviews, for the Agency to govern its implementation of this section;

(3) Maintaining a complete and accurate list of COOP Coordinators and backup COOP Coordinators;

(4) Developing, updating, and distributing a COOP Plan template and guidance for each District government agency;

(5) Ensuring each District government agency develops, updates, and conducts exercises of its COOP Plan;

(6) Consulting with each District government agency on after-action reviews of exercises of its COOP Plan;

(7) Monitoring the status of each District government agency's COOP Plan and bringing the District government agency into compliance with subsection (b) of this section; and

(8) Submitting an annual report to the City Administrator, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, and Council Committee with jurisdiction over the Agency on COOP planning for the District government, including:

(A) An after-action review of the Agency's implementation of this section; and

(B) For each District government agency, a description of the:

(i) Agency's implementation of this section, specifically with respect to that District government agency, since the submission of the last report; and

(ii) District government agency's compliance or noncompliance with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Each District government agency shall work with the Agency to:

(1) Within 30 days after March 16, 2021, designate a senior employee to serve as its COOP Coordinator and an employee to serve as its backup COOP Coordinator, should the COOP Coordinator be unavailable at any time, and submit their names and contact information to the District COOP Program Manager;

(2) By October 1, 2021, develop and submit a COOP Plan that conforms with the Agency's COOP Plan template and guidance to the District COOP Program Manager;

(3) By July 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, conduct an exercise of its COOP Plan and an after-action review of the exercise, which shall include the preparation of a report, submitted to the District COOP Program Manager, describing any deficiencies in and necessary revisions to the COOP Plan identified through the exercise; and

(4) By October 1, 2022, and annually thereafter, update its COOP Plan submitted pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection, in coordination with the District COOP Program Manager, and re-submit the updated COOP Plan to the District COOP Program Manager.

(c) The COOP Coordinator and backup COOP Coordinator designated pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this section shall work with the District COOP Program Manager to facilitate and ensure the District government agency's compliance with subsection (b) of this section.

(d) By January 31, 2022, the Inspector General shall audit COOP planning for the District government, including in relation to COVID-19, and submit a report to the Mayor and Council on the Inspector General's findings.


(Aug. 11, 1950, 64 Stat. 440, ch. 686, § 211; as added Mar. 16, 2021, D.C. Law 23-219, § 2(b), 67 DCR 13906.)