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general views of each respondent. Second, according to Glaser

and Strauss’s (1967) method of constant comparison, and Miles

and Huberman’s (1994) suggestions for coding qualitative data,

lines and paragraphs in the respondent’s responses pertaining to

local governments’ motivations and activities for the three types

of collaboration proposed in this study were examined, and the

role of local emergency managers was determined and labeled.

Third, these labels were sorted and categorized according to the

theoretical framework. The similarities and differences between

theoretical perspectives and interview findings were reviewed

and discussed. The overall interview findings are showed and

discussed in the following sections.

VII. Florida-Based Local Emergency

Management Collaboration in the Vertical

and Horizontal Contexts

A. Activities and Rationales for Vertical


In Florida, the county government is basically the lowest

level of government when dealing with disasters, and serves as

the first and primary responder. County governments are

treated as regular liaisons to the state and can request needed

resources and assistance from the state. If the state does not have

the needed resources, the state can request assistance from other

states or the federal government. City governments need to go

through the county to the state if they are looking for a federal

declaration of disaster emergency. State government usually

plays a supporting role by providing training through

conferences or workshops in normal times, and offering

essential resources to the localities during disasters. State

governments also pass federal funding to local governments to

assist their mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery

activities. The Florida Division of Emergency Management