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from responding to natural disasters to dealing with terrorism

and intentional man-made disasters. However, the massive

damages and losses caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 forced

the U.S. government to reconsider the necessity of an all-hazard

approach to deal with natural disasters. Today, governments at

all levels take responsibility for dealing with unplanned natural

disasters as well as intended and unintended man-made disasters.

III. The Necessity of Local Emergency

Management Collaboration

In general, collaboration can be viewed as a process of

facilitating and implementing multi-organizational arrange-

ments to solve problems that an organization on its own cannot

solve, or will have a difficult time solving. A purposive

relationship thus exists among these organizations (Agranoff &

McGuire, 2003). This study adopts Agranoff and McGuire’s

definition and collaboration is viewed as a process in which

multiple organizations or individuals work together to solve

complicated problems. In this process, organizations and

individuals share mutual goals, trust, and benefits and establish

long-term interdependent relationships. In the context of local

EM, collaboration is used to explain the situation in which local

governments create a long-term relationship with other public

agencies, private companies, or non-profit organizations to

efficiently and effectively respond to all kinds of emergencies

through sharing resources and risks.

EM studies have recognized and advocated the necessity of

establishing a network or collaborative approach that

emphasizes communication, coordination, resource-sharing,

and leadership among different levels of the governments and

cross-sector organizations (Comfort, 2002, 2007; Kapucu et al.,

2010; Schneider, 2011). Drabek (1985) addressed four

characteristics of the EM system in the U.S.: localism, lack of