U.S. DOT Waives Truck Driver HOS Rules for Hurricane-Affected States

The regional emergency declaration applies to Florida and seven other states.

September 29, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) last night issued a regional emergency declaration for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee in the wake of Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida’s Gulf Coast yesterday as a category 4 hurricane.

Emergency Declaration No. 2022-013 waives certain federal hours of service rules under 49 CFR § 395.3 for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the response efforts of Hurricane Ian.

The agency says “direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential supplies or essential services. Direct assistance does not include transportation related to long-term rehabilitation of damaged physical infrastructure or routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration, after the initial threat to life and property has passed.”

In accordance with 49 CFR § 390.23, the Emergency Declaration will remain in effect until the end of the emergency (as defined in 49 CFR § 390.5T) or until 11:59 p.m. ET, October 28, 2022, whichever is earlier.

The National Hurricane Center said hurricane-force winds will continue to spread across central Florida today, with continued widespread catastrophic flooding across portions of central Florida and northern Florida, then moving to southeastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina as the storm moves northward.

More than 2 million customers in Florida were without power last night, according to tracking site poweroutage.us.

NACS has resources that can help convenience retailers create or enhance their disaster planning procedures. Developed alongside the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FEMA experts, convenience retailers can boost their business’s resiliency as they plan, prepare and recover from a disaster.

For emergency planning resources, NACS Magazine articles and Convenience Matters podcast episodes, visit the NACS Disaster and Emergency Preparedness topics page.