Adds elderly persons to disaster preparedness registries and creates a state emergency assistance database; provides that the disaster preparedness commission shall establish the state emergency assistance database; provides that all records relating to SEAD shall be confidential and the commission shall not be liable for any claim based upon a good faith exercise or performance of duty.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 6, 2021
Introduced by Sen. TEDISCO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Securi-
ty and Military Affairs
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to adding elderly persons
to disaster preparedness registries and creating a state emergency
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The section heading and subdivisions 1, 2, 3 and 4 of
2 section 23-a of the executive law, as added by chapter 658 of the laws
3 of 1996, are amended to read as follows:
4 County registry of elderly or disabled persons; notice. 1. In each
5 county having a local disaster preparedness plan pursuant to section
6 twenty-three of this article, in order to meet the special needs of
7 persons who would need assistance during evacuations or other emergency
8 situations and sheltering because of physical or mental handicaps, [it
9 is recommended that] or whose ability to care for themselves during an
10 emergency situation is adversely affected by advanced age, or permanent
11 or temporary medical condition, each chief executive shall maintain a
12 registry of elderly or disabled persons located within the county. The
13 registration shall identify those persons in need of assistance and plan
14 for resource allocation to meet those identified needs. To assist the
15 chief executive in identifying such persons, the county department of
16 health, or such other county department or agency as designated by the
17 chief executive, shall provide voluntary registration information to all
18 of its special needs clients and to all incoming clients as part of the
19 intake process. The registry shall be updated annually at a minimum.
20 The registration program shall give elderly or disabled persons the
21 option of pre-authorizing emergency response personnel to enter their
22 homes during search and rescue operations if necessary to assure their
23 safety and welfare during disasters.
24 2. Upon the establishment of a voluntary registry of elderly or disa-
25 bled persons as provided in subdivision one of this section, the chief
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 217 2
1 executive shall make such registry available to the appropriate county,
2 state and federal agencies for their use in delivering services in the
3 event of a local or state disaster. The chief executive shall[, upon the
4 request of the state emergency management office,] provide such registry
5 information to [such office] the state emergency management office,
6 including all annual updates to such registry information, for placement
7 in the State Emergency Assistance Database. The chief executive may, at
8 his discretion, use the registry information for local disaster
9 preparedness only in coordination with other political subdivisions of
10 the state.
11 3. Upon the establishment of a voluntary registry of elderly or disa-
12 bled persons as provided in subdivision one of this section, at least
13 semi-annually, each chief executive shall cause to be published in a
14 newspaper of general circulation within the county a notice of the
15 availability of the voluntary registration program.
16 4. All records, data, information, correspondence and communications
17 relating to the registration of elderly or disabled persons as provided
18 in subdivision one of this section are confidential, except that such
19 information shall be available to other county chief executives for
20 local disaster preparedness only as the chief executive of the county
21 maintaining such registry deems necessary. Provided, however, the indi-
22 vidual file of a person having registered with the registry of disabled
23 persons shall be made available to that person upon request.
24 § 2. Section 23-a of the executive law is amended by adding a new
25 subdivision 7 to read as follows:
26 7. (a) The commission shall establish the State Emergency Assistance
27 Database (SEAD). The SEAD shall be a comprehensive listing of all
28 persons located in the state, who have voluntarily requested placement
29 on any county registry of elderly or disabled persons as established
30 pursuant to this section, and in addition shall accept voluntary regis-
31 trants directly as needed, at which time such registration information
32 collected shall be forwarded to the appropriate county registry.
33 (b) The SEAD shall be made accessible to all such appropriate state
34 and county emergency response personnel and organizations as may be
35 deemed appropriate by the commission in order to properly plan for
36 securing the needs, safety, and well-being of the registrants. This
37 shall include, but not be limited to, planning for evacuations, assess-
38 ing the need for individual evacuations during emergency situations that
39 may not require the evacuation of the general public, prepositioning
40 equipment and supplies, or such other measures as the commission deems
41 necessary to accomplish the objectives of this article. In addition, the
42 SEAD shall be made accessible to all appropriate federal emergency
43 response organizations and shall be made available to such other volun-
44 tary relief organizations as the commission deems necessary.
45 (c) All records, data, information, correspondence and communications
46 relating to the SEAD shall be confidential, except that such information
47 may be made available at the discretion of the commission in furtherance
48 of the objectives of this article. The individual file of a person
49 having registered with the SEAD shall be made available to that person
50 upon request.
51 (d) The commission shall not be liable for any claim based upon the
52 good faith exercise or performance or the good faith failure to exercise
53 or perform a function or duty on the part of any officer or employee in
54 the maintenance or usage of the SEAD.
55 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.