LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued an executive order aimed at protecting the people and infrastructure of Arkansas during man-made or natural disasters.
The order signed on January 24 instructs the director of the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management to direct the emergency and disaster operations of the state while coordinating the activities of all non-state agencies, departments and/or organizations involved in emergency management in the state.
The order will constitute the Arkansas Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, which will be “binding on all departments, commissions, boards, agencies, organizations and employees of the State of Arkansas, political subdivisions of the State of Arkansas authorized or directed to conduct homeland security and emergency management operations.”
The text of the order says that the director will control the activation and implementation of the plan, as well as determine when it concludes or deactivates. The same applies to the State Emergency Operations Center.
The order listed 16 emergency support function agencies and branches that fall under the umbrella of the order and noted that the department heads for each will designate both an emergency coordinator and an alternate. Those ESF heads will then submit implementing procedures to the director.
Each department and division will be staffed for training, exercises and emergencies as requested by the director. The order noted that the state has also adopted the National Incident Management System in accordance with the Homeland Security Presidential Directive.