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Preparedness Association or local EM councils) or attending

conferences and workshops.

County governments that are in the same state region of

EM frequently cooperate with each other. Each region has a

coordinator who is responsible for communicating with county

EM directors within the region about daily basic EM-related

issues and serving as the voice of the county government to the

state government. Counties in the same region may meet

quarterly to update each other’s EM information and working

progress. Communication by phone and e-mail occurs on a daily

basis to exchange work-related information is also common.

This helps counties understand and support each other. These

pre-event relationships and collaborations are markedly critical

in order for each county to develop a good working knowledge

of their local partners.

When a disaster or an infrequent event happens, the

administrative boundary becomes hard to define. The county

and its surrounding counties are like siblings, which face similar

risks and problems. Thus, they need to collaborate to address

the needs of the community. County-county collaboration

during a disaster is generally regulated by mutual aid agreements.

Such agreements are written between governmental agencies to

support each other and primarily cover the areas of fire, law

enforcement, and emergency medical services. Florida Statute

252.40 authorizes local governments in the State of Florida to

develop and sign mutual aid agreements within the state for the

purpose of “reciprocal emergency aid and assistance in case of

emergencies too extensive to be dealt with unassisted.”

According to an interviewee’s description, there are

currently three different types of mutual aid agreements: the

automatic aid agreement, the local mutual aid agreement, and

the statewide mutual aid agreement (ID10). The automatic aid

agreement is for dealing with a situation in which the

governmental agency recognizes that it does not have adequate