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Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

Most every season presents the possibility for extreme weather that could lead to a "natural disaster". Disasters like the hurricane and subsequent flooding in New Orleans and the recent earthquake in Haiti are reminders that a natural event can come anytine, anywhere. In such an event, how a comnnunity, state or nation responds becomes paramont to persevering. Addressing legal concerns can aid and protect during a response and can be used as guides for future ocurrences.

Federal Laws

U.S. President, Executive Order 13375, Amendment to Executive Order 13295, Relating to Certain Influenza Viruses and Quarantinable Communicable Diseases, (April 1, 2005).
President George Bush issued this ammendment to include an additional definition.
(Posted: 1/26/2006)

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Waiver under section 1135 of the Social Security Act, (September 7, 2005).
This enables the waiver of requirements or regulations regarding health care providers, sanctions under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), Medicare enrollees, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Measures to waive requirements were taken to meet the needs of Hurricane Katrina victims enrolled in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
(Posted: 10/18/05)

State Laws

Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, Memorandum Immunity Protection.
This memo was issued in response to Hurricane Katrina by Rick Hogan of the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services, and provides a summary of federal and state laws relating to emergency personnel and their immunity from liability in the event of a declaration of emergency or public health emergency.
(Posted: 10/18/05)

Arkansas Departments of Health and Human Services, Waiver of Immunization Requirements for Schools and Childcare Facilities for Children Displaced by Hurricane Katrina, (September 2, 2005).
Paul Halverson, Arkansas Public Health Officer, entered this order on September 2, 2005, and temporarily waived immunization requirements so that children from the Gulf Coast could attend school in Arkansas.
(Posted: 10/18/05)

Arkansas Departments of Health and Human Services,Emergency Order: Temporary Waiver of Office of Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Systems Regulations Regarding Reciprocity, (September 3, 2005).
Paul Halverson, Public Health Officer, filed this emergency order on September 3, 2005, to respond to a shortage of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) in the Arkansas. The order temporarily suspends the process required for certification of EMTs from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Iowa, Indiana, and Texas.
(Posted: 10/18/05)

Local Laws

Tribal laws

International

Articles and Reports

U.S. House of Representatives, "A Failure of Initiative: Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina"(February 15, 2006).
(Posted: 4/03/06)

Govt. Accountability Office (GAO), "Disaster Preparedness: Preliminary Observations on the Evacuation of Hospitals and Nursing Homes Due to Hurricanes.", (February 16, 2006)
Released by the Govt. Accountability Office (GAO), February 16, 2006. The GAO obtained information on (1) who is responsible for deciding to evacuate hospitals and nursing homes, (2) what issues administrators consider when deciding to evacuate hospitals and nursing homes, and (3) what federal response capabilities support the evacuation of hospitals and nursing homes. This report documents the GAO's preliminary views.
(Posted: 4/03/06)

Victoria Bannon and David Fisher, "Legal Lessons in Disaster Relief from the Tsunami, the Pakistan Earthquake and Hurricane Katrina",(March 15, 2006).
This article appeared in the March 15, 2006 issue on the American Society for International Law's (ASIL) Insight newsletter.
(Posted: 10/18/05)

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