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18

E

UR

A

MERICA

sign mutual aid agreements with other nearby local governments

in order to share human resources when dealing with personnel

shortages.

Moreover, local governments may face a shortage of

information, intelligence, or skills to conduct emergency

planning, preparedness, or response, especially for local

governments with small populations. Thus, they may need extra

training or related technical assistance from different partners,

which increases the opportunities for collaboration.

Neighboring local governments can provide good examples for

local governments to learn from and from which to request

information-sharing as they share similar risks. Agranoff and

McGuire (2003) point out that vertical collaboration can

happen when local governments seek grants, program-oriented

information, or assistance from state and federal governments.

Local governments may also collaborate with non-profit

organizations such as the American Red Cross and the United

Way, or work with private utility and phone companies to keep

communication systems stable and operational during disasters.

(B) Organizational Attention

Natural or man-made disasters, which EM deal with, can

be viewed as one type of focusing events (Birkland, 2009). These

focusing events easily attract attention from the media, the

public, and local policy makers, providing local policy

entrepreneurs working on related policy areas with increased

opportunities to set the agenda and attain resources during the

policy-formulation process (Birkland, 1997, 2006). Similarly,

these focusing events draw the attention of local governments

and prompt it to invest more local funding or manpower in EM

and consider strategies to effectively respond to future possible

hazards. In other words, a situation where a local government

uses more of its own resources to support EM implies that this

local government pays more attention to this policy area. When