1   Short title

   2   Interpretation

   3   Establishment of the Office

   4   Principal objects of Office

   5   Functions

   6   Policy directions

   7   Appointment of Director-General and other officers and agents

   8   Pensions, gratuities and other retiring benefits

   9   Funds

   10   Accounts and audit

   11   Annual report and estimates

   12   Minister may declare disaster areas

   13   Regulations

   14   Exemption from customs duty

   15   Exemption from income tax, stamp duty and transfer tax

   16   Offences and penalties

   17   Protection of officers, employees and authorised persons




[Date of Commencement: 25th June, 1993]

Act 15 of 1993.

1   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management Act.

2   Interpretation

   In this Act-

   "Board" means the board of management of the Office;

   "chairman" means the chairman of the Board;

   "Director-General" means the Director-General of the Office appointed under section 7;

   "disaster" means the occurrence or threat of occurrence of an event, caused by an act of God or otherwise, which results or threatens to result in loss or damage to property, damage to the environment, death or injury of persons, on a scale which requires emergency intervention by the state and includes widespread dislocation of essential services, fire, accidents, hurricane, pollution, disease, earthquake, drought and flood so declared under section 12;

   "disaster preparedness" includes an activity undertaken in anticipation of a disaster, hazard or other emergency situation in order to reduce any negative impact,

   "functions" includes powers and duties;

   "hazard" means a natural or manmade phenomenon which may cause physical damage, economic losses, or threaten human life and well-being, if it occurs in an area of human settlement, agricultural or industrial activity;

   "the Office" means the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management established under section 3.

3   Establishment of the Office

   (1) There is hereby established for the purposes of this Act, a body to be called the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management which shall be a body corporate to which the provisions of section 28 of the Interpretation Act shall apply.

   (2) The provisions of the Schedule shall have effect as to the constitution of the Office and otherwise in relation thereto.

4   Principal objects of Office

   The principal objects of the Office shall be to advance disaster preparedness and emergency management measures in Jamaica by facilitating and co-ordinating the development and implementation of integrated disaster management systems.

5   Functions

   (1) The functions of the Office shall be to carry out such activities as may be necessary to give effect to the objects specified in section 4 and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, such functions shall include-

   (a)   developing and implementing policies and programmes to achieve and maintain an appropriate state of national and sectoral preparedness for coping with all emergency situations which may affect Jamaica;

   (b)   encouraging and supporting disaster preparedness and mitigation measures in all the parishes in collaboration with the local government authorities, community based organisations and the private and voluntary agencies respectively;

   (c)   providing appropriate training programmes and consulting services related to all aspects of disaster preparedness, disaster mitigation, loss reduction, and disaster management;

   (d)   planning and implementing programmes to enhance public awareness and understanding of disaster related issues, emergency management, hazard prevention and other similar matters;

   (e)   identifying and analyzing hazards or emergency situations and conducting related operational research into their effects;

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