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Exploring the dynamics


You just learn what people are capable of and what they

aren’t capable of. And you simply just play with their

strengths. When you know somebody could do

something well, you let them do it. But, there is

something they simply can’t do well or can’t do it at all,

you have to know what those things are and try your

very best to compensate. (ID4)

Generally speaking, Florida local governments engage in

EM-based horizontal-intersectoral collaboration for the

following reasons: 1) to seek resources; 2) to request intelligence,

and 3) to provide consulting services. To local governments,

cross-sector collaboration is an effective means of requesting

physical resources and manpower during a disaster (ID9). For

example, county EM agencies may decide to evacuate local

residents and establish emergency shelters when the county is

hit and damaged seriously by a storm or hurricane. County EM

agencies may request and receive food donations from local

restaurants or fast-food chain stores; water, blankets, and energy

cookies from grocery stores; flashlights, batteries, and

generators from hardware stores; and medicine from local

pharmacies. At the same time, numerous volunteers from non-

profit organizations and faith-based groups offer manpower to

help the county establish shelters, cook food, provide

emergency medical services and care for disaster- survivors. The

county government usually lacks money and manpower to buy

these substantive resources directly and provide the above

services, especially in a small county or municipality. The ability

to request goods and manpower becomes an incentive for

conducting horizontal-intersectoral collaboration. Local

governments have also faced layoffs, especially after a financial

crisis (ID13). It is hard for them to maintain the original EM

service level if they rely only on current public employees to

provide these EM services. Volunteers from non-governmental

organizations provide manpower to support local governments

as they attempt to respond instantly to emergencies.