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Exploring the dynamics

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When an emergency exceeds that emergency threshold

and becomes a disaster, then I need to be able to look

to other agencies to support my activities. That respect

is not uncommon. If we can’t find resources locally

then we reach vertically to the state warning office, the

State Division of Emergency Management, who is at

the state level of coordinating agencies. (ID13)

Put differently, when local governments recognize the

existence of hazards in their jurisdictions that can bring damages

to them, they are more willing to collaborate with all levels of

governments, for-profit businesses, and non- governmental

organizations. When an emergency scales up to become a

disaster and local governments cannot respond to it relying only

on local resources, local governments will search for outside

support through all types of collaboration to deal with this

disaster.

E. Past Experience, Relationship Building, and

Collaboration

According to the literature, the past experiences of

partners will hinder or facilitate future collaboration. If

Organization A previously collaborated positively with

Organization B, A will be more likely to continue collaborating

with B. During the interviews, it was found that the influence of

favorable past experience is often understood as an important

factor in establishing a good relationship. Based on the

interviewees’ opinions, this study posited that collaboration is

built on relationships. Good relationships facilitate good EM

collaboration. Several local EM directors emphasized that

building and maintaining relationships with all current or

potential partners during normal periods of time is important

and necessary, which can help local EM agencies rapidly and

smoothly collaborate with all partners during an emergency. An

EM director from a small county indicated the following: