Chapter 15.04 Emergency Code


15.04.010 Title.

This Title shall be known as the “Emergency Code.”


15.04.020 Purpose.

The purpose of this Title is to provide for regulations which set forth the responsibilities of the City in the event an emergency exists within the City.  The regulations are intended to reduce the risk of the City to loss of life, injury to persons, property, and the environment.  The goal of regulations and the emergency code is to decrease human suffering and financial loss resulting from emergencies or disasters and to assign authority and responsibilities to various City bureaus.  The State has assigned the responsibility for responding to emergencies and disasters to local governments.


15.04.030 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187370, effective October 7, 2015.) 

A.  "Emergency" means any natural, technological or human-made event or circumstance causing or threatening: widespread loss of life, injury to persons or property, human suffering or financial loss, including but not limited to fire, explosion, flood, severe weather, landslides or mud slides, drought, earthquake, volcanic activity, tsunamis or other oceanic phenomena, spills or releases of oil or hazardous material, contamination, utility or transportation emergencies, housing emergencies, disease, blight, infestation, civil disturbance, riot, sabotage, acts of terrorism and war.


15.04.040 Declaration of State of Emergency.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187370, effective October 7, 2015.)

A.  A state of emergency exists when:

1. The situation requires a coordinated response beyond that which occurs routinely;

2. The required response is not achievable solely with the added resources available through mutual aid or cooperative assistance agreements; and

3. The Mayor or other City official, as provided in Portland City Code Section 15.08.010, has declared by proclamation that a State of Emergency exists.

B.  The declaration shall be in writing, shall designate the geographic boundaries of the area in which the State of Emergency exists, and shall fix the duration of time in which the State of Emergency shall exist.  Except for a declared housing emergency, the initial duration shall not exceed a two-week period, but may be extended in two-week increments.  The initial duration of a housing emergency shall not exceed one year, but may be extended in six-month increments.

C.  The Mayor must declare the City in a State of Emergency prior to requesting from the governing body of Multnomah County resources not available through mutual aid or cooperative assistance agreements.

D.  The Mayor shall have the power to ask the Governor to declare a State of Emergency within the City.  Pursuant to ORS 401.165 (2), the Mayor must submit the request through the governing body of Multnomah County.

E.  Except for a declared housing emergency, the Mayor shall terminate the State of Emergency by proclamation when the emergency no longer exists or when the threat of an emergency has passed.  The Mayor will communicate the change from the disaster response phase to the recovery phase with all appropriate officials.

F.  When circumstances create an immediate need to provide adequate, safe, and habitable shelter to persons experiencing homelessness, the Council may declare a housing emergency exists.  A housing emergency is a health and safety emergency under Portland City Code Subsection 33.296.030 G. and mass shelters are allowed as temporary activities for the duration of the emergency subject to the standards in Section 33.296.040.

G.  The Council shall terminate a housing emergency by resolution when the emergency no longer exists or when the threat of an emergency has passed.