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order to receive federal public assistance through state

governments. In other words, both state and federal laws give

local governments legal reasons to collaborate with state and

federal governments.

Grants and finances provide other incentives for vertical

collaboration. Basically, the grant process can be viewed as a key

reason why vertical collaboration occurs; vertical collaboration

is particularly essential for small counties (ID4, ID9, & ID13).

For them, vertical collaboration typically manifests itself in the

form of grant relationship. Local governments rely heavily on

grants from state and federal governments to fund positions and

arrange EM training and exercises because they usually lack the

budget resources. EM directors of counties and big cities with

larger populations (i.e., those who were interviewed in this

study), also work closely with state governments to ensure that

they follow the state guidelines for grant applications in order

to be eligible to receive grants (ID10, ID11, ID14, & ID15).

Local governments seeking additional resources during a

disaster are also critically motivated to pursue vertical

collaboration. This refers to the basic vertical chain system of

requesting resources through state and federal governments

when local governments have exhausted their own resources

responding to a disaster. But local governments remain the

primary actor according to the local priority principle.

One county EM director describes this vertical chain

system as follows:

When the county has utilized all its resources and needs

more help, the first step is to reach out to the state and

ask the state to provide additional assistance. The state

will send us what we need or what they can send us.

And then after that, the state will do the same [thing].

They will ask the federal government for help and the

federal government will be going to provide assistance.

But both the state and federal governments support the

local governments, the county governments. So at the