Resources In Times Of Disaster

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is an interstate compact in the United States that provides a system for the cooperative sharing of resources in times of disaster. It was created in 1996 and is now in effect in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The compact allows states to request and receive assistance from other states in times of emergency. Assistance can include personnel, equipment, and supplies.

Emergency Management Assistance Compact

Mutual Aid Agreement between U.S. States and Territories
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The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) it is a Mutual help agreement between states and US territories. It allows states to share resources during natural and man-made disasters, including terrorism.

EMAC complements the national disaster response system. EMAC is used in conjunction with federal assistance or when federal assistance is not guaranteed. EMAC facilitates maximum utilization of all resources available in member states’ inventories.

How it works

In EMAC, resource requests and deployment are made at the discretion of the affected state. At all times, affected states retain the option of seeking resource support from the states, the federal government, or both, as determined by the size of the disaster event. The primary contact for agencies, organizations and the private sector to learn more about EMAC is state emergency management agencies.

EMAC works as follows: when a disaster occurs, the governor of the affected state or territory declares emergency state. The affected state assesses its resource needs and identifies deficiencies for which assistance will be requested, and the affected state’s authorized representatives engage EMAC. These authorized representatives, as well as members of the EMAC Advance Team (A-Team), determine the state’s personnel and equipment needs and transmit an EMAC requisition to other states. States with available resources negotiate costs with the affected state through the EMAC network by completing Form EMAC Req-A. Helping states committing to an agreement mobilizes and distributes the agreed resources (personnel or equipment) to the affected state. Once the mission is completed, resources are demobilized and redistributed to their home states. Deployed personnel provide receipts and records to their home state to develop a reimbursement package, which is then sent to the affected state, which then reimburses the assisting state.

EMAC is administered by the National Association of Emergency Management (NEMA), which provides the day-to-day support and technical backbone for EMAC’s education and operations at its headquarters in lexington, kentucky.


EMAC was proposed by the former governor of Florida Lawton Chiles after 1992 hurricane andrew. It was formed in 1993, and in 1995 any state was allowed to join and the National Emergency Management Association was named trustee. After the 1996 consent of the 104th United States Congress for EMAC (PL-104-321), which is required by Compact Clause of United States Constitution for any pact between states, EMAC has grown into a national system of mutual aid. To be a member of EMAC, each state or territory legislature must have passed legislation that has been signed into law, adopting the Covenant’s standard language. Since at least 2003, all US states, the District of Columbia, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam have been members of EMAC.

In 2004, EMAC was used during the hurricane response charley, French, Ivanand Joana. Through EMAC, more than 800 state and local officials from 38 states (including California, which was not a member of EMAC at the time)[citation needed]) have been deployed in Florida, Alabama, and West Virginia. The cost was approximately $15 million in personnel, equipment and National guard expenses.

In 2005, EMAC was activated ten times in response to a wildfire, a flood, a tropical storm, two winter storms and five hurricanes. Most impressive, more than 65,000 officials from 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands were deployed under EMAC through state emergency management agencies in response to hurricanes. Katrina and Rita. The total costs of the EMAC 2005 events are expected to exceed $840 million.


In addition to providing yet another avenue for states to receive assistance in times of disaster, EMAC offers the following benefits:

  • Assistance may be more readily available. EMAC allows states to request any assistance needed for any type of emergency – from earthquakes to acts of terrorism. EMAC’s simple procedures help states bypass bureaucratic disputes.
  • The legislation solves the problems of liability and cost liability. Once the conditions for providing assistance to a requesting State are defined, the terms constitute a legally binding contractual agreement that makes affected States responsible for reimbursement. Responding states can be confident that sending aid will not be a financial or legal burden, and seconded personnel are protected under workers compensation and responsibility provisions.
  • Legislation allows credentials to be honored across state lines.


External Links

Source: Emergency Management Assistance Compact

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