(a) The science of earthquake prediction is developing rapidly and, although still largely in a research stage, these predictions are now being initiated and are certain to continue into the future. Administrative procedures exist within the Office of Emergency Services to advise the Governor on the validity of earthquake predictions. Numerous important actions can be taken by state and local governments and special districts to protect life and property in response to earthquake predictions and associated warnings. It is the intent of this legislation to ensure that those actions are taken in the public interest by government agencies acting in a responsible manner without fear of consequent financial liabilities.
(b) The Governor may, at his or her discretion, issue a warning as to the existence of an earthquake or volcanic prediction determined to have scientific validity. The state and its agencies and employees shall not be liable for any injury resulting from the issuance or nonissuance of a warning pursuant to this subdivision or for any acts or omissions in fact gathering, evaluation, or other activities leading up to the issuance or nonissuance of a warning.
(c) Public entities and public employees may, on the basis of a warning issued pursuant to subdivision (b), take, or fail or refuse to take, any action or execute or fail or refuse to execute any earthquake or volcanic prediction response plan with relation to the warning which is otherwise authorized by law. In taking, or failing or refusing to take, such action, neither public entities nor public employees shall be liable for any injuries caused thereby or for any injuries resulting from the preparation of, or failure or refusal to prepare, any earthquake hazard or damage prediction maps, plans for evacuation of endangered areas, and other plan elements.
(d) An earthquake or volcanic warning issued by the Governor pursuant to subdivision (b) is a sufficient basis for a declaration of a state of emergency or local emergency as defined by Section 8558. Public entities and public employees shall be immune from liability in accordance with all immunity provisions applicable during such state of emergency or local emergency.
(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 352, Sec. 103.)