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Exploring the dynamics


B. Local Emergency Management Capacity and


Local EM capacity enhancement and maintenance are

essential and important duties for local emergency managers.

One interviewee indicated that local governments’ metropolitan

status, geographic location, population size, federal and state

grants, local EM resources, EM trainings, and local EM agency

size can influence their level of EM capacity, which changes the

way local governments respond to emergencies and why they

engage in various collaborations (ID5). For example, a small

rural county with a lower EM capacity has to ask for additional

resources from neighboring counties or from the state to

respond to an incident, which a large urban county with higher

EM capacity can possibly handle by itself. A larger urban county

with a strong EM capacity can extend its collaboration by

providing physical resources to assist neighboring small counties,

playing the role of consultant to offer EM-related advice to local

businesses, or speaking out as the local voice to state

government and further participating in state EM planning.

C. National Incident Management System

(NIMS) and Collaboration

According to FEMA, the NIMS is a national standard that


rovides a systematic, proactive approach to guide

departments and agencies at all levels of government,

nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector

to work seamlessly to prevent, protect against, respond

to, recover from, and mitigate the effects of incidents,

regardless of cause, size, location, or complexity, in

order to reduce the loss of life and property and harm

to the environment. (Federal Emergency Management

Agency, 2008)