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Florida is a “disaster-prone state with a crowded intergovern-

mental landscape” (Caruson & MacManus, 2012: 170),

therefore each county government legally constitutes an EM

agency and appoints a director


rding to Chapter 252.38 of

the Florida Statute. The county EM directors are primarily

responsible for coordinating with state governments and other

local governments in dealing with local EM. Municipalities are

also encouraged to create an EM agency which, under law, shall

coordinate its activities with those of the county EM agency.

There are 67 counties in Florida. This study uses county

location and county population as criteria in sampling

interviewees. Because Florida counties are grouped as seven

regions under the Florida EM system (Florida Division of

Emergency Management, n.d.a), this study selected three

counties (i.e., the largest, a medium-size, and the smallest

counties) from each region to include in the sample. Such a

selection criterion is helpful for examining the effect of

population size on local EM collaboration in the various

geographic areas of Florida. County emergency managers in the

sample counties are treated as interview subjects. A total of 21

counties were selected. The population size and geographic

characteristics of the selected counties are shown in Appendix 1.

As for city-level interviewees, this study followed the

selection rules from the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)

grant program and chose the cities of Miami, Tampa, Fort

Lauderdale, Jacksonville, and Orlando as sample cities because

these large cities pay attention to local EM initiatives and are

capable of applying for and handling federal support funds.

These five areas were allocated UASI grant money in FY2010.

City emergency managers in the above five cities were contacted

for interviews.

After sending out interview invitations twice within a

month, a total of 15 counties and cities agreed to be interviewed

during the months of July and August 2011, including six large