WHEREAS, I have been advised by the Director of the State Emergency Management Agency that the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama are requesting assistance under the Emergency Mutual Aid Compact (EMAC), codified in Missouri at Section 44.415, RSMo, in response to Hurricane Katrina; and
WHEREAS, the EMAC is designed to protect the safety and welfare of the citizens in the affected participating EMAC states; and
WHEREAS, as a result of Hurricane Katrina, hundreds of thousands of inhabitants in the coastal communities of the States of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama have been forced to evacuate this disaster stricken region; and
WHEREAS, due to the widespread loss of power and inhospitable conditions in the disaster stricken region, the ability of many health care facilities to provide necessary care to patients that were hospitalized prior to, or as a result of, Hurricane Katrina has been severely compromised; and
WHEREAS, the conditions wrought by Hurricane Katrina have necessitated the immediate evacuation of these vulnerable patients and their caregivers from the disaster stricken region and requires their placement in affiliated healthcare facilities where proper care can be rendered; and
WHEREAS, these patients and their caregivers have requested refuge in certain affiliated healthcare facilities located within the State of Missouri; and
WHEREAS, protection of the safety and welfare of the citizens in the affected communities requires an invocation of the provisions of Section 44.415, RSMo, which provides for emergency mutual aid with other states, and Section 44.100, RSMo, which authorizes the Governor to waive or suspend the operation of any statutory requirement or administrative rule regarding the licensing, certification or issuances of permits evidencing professional skills during the existence of a state of emergency.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MATT BLUNT, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 44.100, RSMo and Section 44.415, RSMo do hereby declare a state of emergency in Missouri occasioned by the impending influx of substantial numbers of hospitalized individuals from the disaster stricken regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama to affiliated healthcare facilities in the State of Missouri. This influx of patients will compromise the ability of Missouri health care providers to care for existing patients as well as evacuees, creating a substantial risk to the safety and welfare of inhabitants of the State of Missouri. As such, I do hereby suspend the operation of any statutory requirements or administrative rules regarding the licensing, certification or issuance of permits evidencing professional skills for the healthcare providers accompanying and providing direct care to evacuees in affiliated healthcare facilities. The suspension of the appropriate statutory requirements or administrative rules regarding the licensing, certification or issuance of permits to the subject healthcare providers shall only apply with regard to their treatment of evacuees from the disaster stricken regions of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama and only for treatment rendered in affiliated healthcare facilities.
This order shall terminate upon the declaration of an end to the emergency, or October 15, 2005 unless extended in whole or in part.
[Matt Blunt's signature]
[Robin Carnahan's signature]
Secretary of State