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Exploring the dynamics

49

resources or professional knowledge to assist local governments

deal with disasters. Compared with private companies, these

non-profit organizations are thought to be more philanthropic

and more willing to voluntarily work with local governments.

Non-profit organizations offer lots of volunteers, equipment,

and professional knowledge to work with local governments for

opening up and constructing shelters, and providing heated

food and emergency medical assistance. Many volunteers

actually come from faith-based organizations. Local governments

have recognized the importance of cross-sector collaboration

and regularly include partners from different sectors at all stages

of planning and responding.

According to the interview data, reasons explaining why

Florida local governments collaborate with each other are

identified. These reasons include legal requirements, grant

purposes, resource seeking and provision, information and

intelligence exchanges, and risk similarity. Regarding horizontal-

intersectoral collaboration, seeking resources and manpower,

requesting intelligence, and providing consul- tations are the

three main factors that motivate local governments. Financial

incentives are not a top reason of horizontal collaboration;

however, local governments may work together to develop a

regional grant project to apply for funding from state and

federal governments. Compared with local government-based

vertical collaboration, in which local governments generally

serve the role of resource recipients, local government-based

horizontal collaboration involves local governments requesting

resources or information as well as providing support,

intelligence, or consultation. Particularly, after 9/11, more

private companies are concerned with security issues and ask for

EM-related knowledge and assistance. Local EM managers

generally believe that providing support to local communities

through collaboration, especially during a disaster, is their duty.

They think such collaboration is reciprocal and essential.