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Exploring the dynamics

41

I would say that the business partners partner with us

because it’s good for them to be included in planning

and also in the hardening and strengthening of their

own capabilities and their own facilities. So they are

doing it more for as a . . . almost like an insurance

policy for their own business. (ID10)

VIII. Other Drivers of Local Emergency

Management Collaboration

A. Local Emergency Managers and Collaboration

According to Florida Statute 252.38, the duty of a county

EM director is to coordinate EM activities, services, and

programs within the county and serve as the liaison between the

state and other local EM agencies. County and city EM directors

generally have extensive experience in EM-related areas. These

local emergency managers are professionally appointed rather

than politically appointed.

According to the interview responses, local emergency

managers generally think their jobs involve performing the

following operations: 1) receive information from higher levels

of governments and depict and certify local EM plans in

compliance with federal, state, and county EM framework; 2)

enhance local EM capacity for such tasks as applying for grants

for mitigation and preparedness activities, conducting EM drills

or exercises, and educating administrative agencies and the

public about EM-related intelligence; 3) make decisions, calm

the public, and assure the public that the government will

provide the necessary assistance during a disaster; and 4)

encourage or implement various collaboration for successfully

dealing with all types of emergencies and disasters. The

interviewees emphasized that they have no substantive authority

until the local or state emergency is activated. Local govern-

ments are not those in the first line to rescue the public and they

have no substantive authority to command other agencies. They