There are a number of pieces of legislation that relate to disaster preparation, mitigation and recovery. The following are some key pieces and the main provisions of each. Laws are available on gazettes.gov.ky and links are provided. Copies of all legislation can be purchased from the Legislative Assembly of the Cayman Islands, telephone 345-949-4236.
THE DISASTER PREPAREDNESS AND HAZARD MANAGEMENT LAW, 2016 (LAW 46 OF 2016)The main guiding legislation establishing Hazard Management Cayman Islands and outlining the responsibilities etc. for the comprehensive management of disasters that may befall the Cayman Islands.
The building code was amended to define what constitutes an unsafe structure, the manner in which building officials will record and give notice to such property owners, and provisions for restoration.
Following Hurricane Ivan changes were made to the Planning Law to help ensure that recovery efforts are not made more onerous by planning requirements. The amending legislation defined 'natural disaster' and provided for the relaxation of certain planning requirements, including notification requirements, which might otherwise delay the construction/recovery process in post-disaster recovery periods. Other post-disaster provisions to accelerate recovery included reduction of infrastructure fees by 50%, and the extension of the period of validity of approvals, from 12 months to 18 months from issue.
Also see: Emergency Powers Law
In the face of an impending strike by a major hurricane or other action likely to endanger public safety or in the immediate aftermath of another type of disaster, the Governor may, as a precaution, issue a "Proclamation of Emergency" in accordance with the Emergency Powers Law (1997 Revision).
This allows the Governor to expedite actions in the interests of
- public safety and security,
- the acquisition or distribution of essential goods, or
- any other purpose deemed essential to good governance.
This law (effective 9 August 2005) enables a temporary work permit holder who applies for a one-year work permit on the same terms and conditions as the temporary work permit to continue to work for the same employer in the same capacity after the expiration of the temporary work permit while awaiting the outcome of the application.
These new measures were aimed at enabling the Immigration Department to respond in a timely way, appropriately meeting the needs of employers engaged in the reconstruction processes following a major disaster. It thus strengthened the department's capacity to respond sensitively to community needs.
At the same time, the law seeks to require all persons to remain off the island at the time new work permit applications are submitted. This included a provision empowering the Chief Immigration Officer to waive these requirements in exceptional circumstances. Immigration officers will (as in most other modern jurisdictions) be allowed to refuse entry to persons coming to the Islands strictly to seek employment.
This law allows police to establish temporary cordons around certain areas; impose limited or country-wide curfews for limited durations; stop, search and arrest suspicious persons without a warrant. Upon conviction, it allows the crown to forfeit any goods or money in possession of such persons.
This law, which is only valid after the declaration of a state of emergency following a natural disaster, prohibits the charging of 'unconscionable' prices based on the price before the disaster occurred. It did, however, allow for reasonable price increases.