(a) (1) It is found and determined by the General Assembly that:
(A) There exists a history of violent seismic activity within the central United States seismic zone which includes the New Madrid Fault, the southern branch of the New Madrid Fault being at or about Marked Tree, Arkansas, and extends northeast into Missouri and Tennessee;
(B) That a recurrence of the 1811-1812 earthquake swarm, whereby fifty-five (55) of the approximate two thousand ten (2,010) earthquakes occurring during a three-month period that had surface wave magnitudes of 6.0 -- 8.7 on the Richter scale, estimated to have affected in excess of eight hundred thousand (800,000) square miles, is again possible; and
(C) That it is essential for the protection of life and limb of the citizens of this state, and particularly those approximately six hundred fifty thousand (650,000) citizens on and in close proximity of the fault, that a program be initiated to provide for continuous mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery capability for violent seismic activity.
(2) The General Assembly further determines that it is appropriate to amend the Interstate Civil Defense and Disaster Compact, § 12-76-101 et seq., to be in concert with the Central United States Earthquake Consortium efforts to develop an Interstate Earthquake Emergency Compact.
(b) Therefore, it is the purpose and intent of this chapter to initiate a program to deal with this matter and to charge the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, Earthquake Preparedness Program, with the responsibility of carrying out the program requiring the full cooperation of all other state and local government agencies, departments, offices, and personnel and requiring that all earthquake mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery-related functions of Arkansas be coordinated to the maximum extent with comparable functions of the federal government, including its various departments and agencies, with other states and localities, and with private agencies of every type, to the end that the most effective earthquake mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery capabilities may be accomplished.