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and from an institutional perspective, national standards and

mutual aid agreements can be viewed as two examples

facilitating collaboration (Sylves, 2008; Waugh, 2011). The

purpose of adopting a national standard for local governments

is to ensure that everyone is on the same page and using the same

language, which decreases response times and increases the

capacity to deal with disasters. Taking NIMS as an example, it is

a national standard developed by DHS after the 2001 terrorist

attacks that was operative at all levels of governments for

standardizing disasters. It requires that all levels of governments

adopt the Incident Comment System (ICS) for integrating the

activities of different governmental entities in order to

efficiently respond to each disaster. This national standard seeks

to improve post-disaster operations through pre-disaster

planning and capacity establishment. The procedure of NIMS

also emphasizes the improvement of interoperability among all

types of responders, including those in the private and nonprofit

sectors (McEntire & Dawson, 2007).

(E) Emergency Managers’ Capability and Leadership

Recently, more local governments have organized offices

and hired managers to direct EM-related initiatives. These local

emergency managers are usually expected to have professional

knowledge and a background in the field so that they will be

capable of implementing policies and guidelines formulated by

state and federal governments, and to reflect local preferences

and needs to state and federal governments (McGuire, 2009). In

addition, these emergency managers are responsible for

communicating and cooperating with other local governments,

private companies, and non-profit organizations to establish

complete plans and initiatives for dealing with emergencies.

These emergency managers are responsible for ensuring

that all resources are in place during all mitigation, preparedness,

response, and recovery stages, and for determining what level of