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Exploring the dynamics

29

(FDEM) is the primary state partner with local governments in

Florida.

According to Chapter 252.35 of the Florida Statute,

the FDEM is responsible for “coordination with efforts of the

Federal Government with other departments and agencies of

state government, with county and municipal governments and

school boards, and with private agencies that have a role in

emergency management.”

Normally, county governments do not interact directly

with the federal government except during a disaster, or for

training and education purposes. However, county governments

may receive notices from the FEMA when policy changes occur.

FEMA will also reach out to localities when some specific

projects and involvements from local governments are needed.

In sum, state and federal governments play supporting roles to

local governments in EM. One county EM director pointed out

the following:

Generally based on the local priority, the federal

government and state government are not going to

come in, take over an incident, or manage the disaster

for a county’s daily-base[work], falling in more of a

supporting role providing resources and expertise, or

personnel or whatever you need based on the request

from that local jurisdiction. (ID5)

The reasons why local governments collaborate with the

state and federal governments include: 1) legal requirements, 2)

grant purposes, 3) resource seeking, 4) training purposes, and 5)

information and voice exchanges. Several county EM directors

indicated that vertical collaboration is somehow defined by the

laws (ID5, ID6, ID7, ID10, & ID12). Florida Statute 252 and

Florida Administrative Code 9G define and regulate the roles of

state, county, and municipal governments and their

relationships in EM. At the federal level, the Robert T. Stafford

Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act legally authorizes

local governments to send a disaster declaration to FEMA in