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12.1.2.1 Overview

Disaster declarations occur at presidential (federal) levels, state, or local levels. Governing officials may issue a disaster declaration in situations where they deem it necessary to exercise emergency powers in order to preserve life, property, and public health. As an example, many states issued local emergency declarations in or around March 2020 so that emergency powers could be exercised in response to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, badly damaged townships in New Jersey issued local emergency declarations in order to operate under martial law; local officials imposed curfews, road restrictions, and other emergency measures.2

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