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Exploring the dynamics


end of the day, the county governments still retain the

control but the state and federal governments provide

the assistance. So that is how our system works. (ID11)

Local governments can collaborate with state and federal

governments for the purposes of training and exercises.

Interviewees point out that FEMA and FDEM usually provide

various EM-related training opportunities through conferences

or workshops (ID3-2 & ID7). Local governments are

encouraged to attend. A small county EM director describes a

case about how their county EM agency collaborates with state

and local health departments to conduct flu exercises (ID8). In

reality, it may be too much for a small county to successfully

conduct a county-wide flu exercise if they fail to collaborate

with the state health department.

The purpose of information and voice exchange can also

be essential to vertical collaboration (ID12). In Florida, county

governments exchange information with state governments to

make sure that all plans and procedures work properly and do

not conflict with state guidelines, which is important for

maintaining good communication and a good relationship with

the state governments. Additionally, the county governments

want their voices to be heard by the state governments to certify

that FDEM will not establish an unfeasible EM policy or

unrealistic EM plan.

B. Activities and Rationales for Horizontal-

Interlocal Collaboration

In Florida, collaboration between neighboring counties or

among county governments in the same region is common and

frequent. For example, in normal times, counties may work with

neighboring counties to write a proposal to apply for state or

federal mitigation grants. Informal and formal relationships

among counties can be built through joining professional

networking organizations (e.g., the Florida Emergency