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governments. Nonetheless, every municipality in the same

county should coordinate its EM activities with the county EM

agency. Each municipal EM plan has to be consistent with, and

subject to, the applicable county EM plan. Therefore, in EM,

the county serves as the leader of its municipal governments. In

general, municipalities within the county usually work closely

with county government but still own some level of autonomy

during normal times and this pattern is most obvious in big cities.

A big city EM deputy points out that a big city tends to be more

self-supported (ID14). It will not always depend on the county

for everything. However, during a disaster, a county

government often views other municipalities as a part of the

county government, and the relationship between a county and

its municipalities may become more directive in disasters.

Local Florida governments collaborate with other local

governmental agencies for several reasons: 1) to follow legal

requirements; 2) to receive grants; 3) to seek resources; 4) to

provide resources; 5) to exchange information and intelligence;

and 6) to share similar risks. According to the interview

responses, legal requirement is a critical rationale used to

explain horizontal-interlocal collaboration (ID3-1 & ID11).

The responses indicated that

coordination between county and

its municipalities

. Moreover, the statewide mutual aid system

also forces local governments to collaborate with each other

when a large scale disaster strikes the State of Florida.

With respect to grant purpose, local emergency managers

in city and county governments both mentioned that they

collaborate with each other when applying for federal and state

funding (ID8 & ID15-2). It is especially beneficial for small

counties and small cities to work with their neighboring local

governments to design a regional project. They can propose a

more influential and attractive project and spend less time and

effort in doing so. In fact, state and federal governments also

currently encourage partnership and collaboration when