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Can Counties and Cities Order “Stay-at-Home”?

March 23, 2020

As state and local government officials across the country struggle to respond to the rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic, some are exploring the need for increasingly stringent measures, including what are being referred to as “stay-at-home” restrictions (I’ll address the important … Continued

Can Counties and Cities Close Roads During an Emergency?

September 1, 2019

Counties and cities are vested with broad authority to impose restrictions and prohibitions during a locally declared state of emergency (GS 166A-19.31; for more information on local state of emergency declarations, see this blog post). These restrictions and prohibitions must … Continued

Local State of Emergency Declarations – Some FAQs

October 5, 2016

Hurricane Matthew is bearing down on North Carolina’s coast.  State and local officials are preparing for significant impacts.  The Governor has issued a state of emergency declaration for much of central and eastern North Carolina.  Local officials wonder whether they … Continued

2012 Emergency Management Legislative Wrap-up: Big Changes Ahead

July 17, 2012

During the 2012 Session, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted significant legislation that completely reorganized and updated the state’s emergency management statutes, extended the legal length of law enforcement and emergency management vehicles, and created the criminal offense of terrorism.  … Continued

“Mandatory” Evacuations – Are They Really Enforceable?

August 24, 2011

As Hurricane Irene barreled toward the eastern seaboard and North Carolina’s coast, local communities and state and local officials braced for a potentially significant hit.  Hyde County declared a local state of emergency. Under its declaration it ordered a mandatory … Continued