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States Assisting States During Disasters, EKU Graduate Student Completes EMAC Study

States Assisting States During Disasters, EKU Graduate Student Completes EMAC Study

As record rainfall devastated portions of South Carolina in October 2015 as a result of Hurricane Joaquin, other portions of the country were recovering from one of the worst drought and wildfire seasons in recent history. Thanks to the Emergency Management Assistance Compact or EMAC, states have a mechanism to request and receive aid from neighboring states to help communities recover.

Authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1996, all states and the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Territory of Guam, and Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands have enacted legislation to become EMAC members. EMAC provides a legal framework to expedite the provision of aid during governor-declared disasters. It also offers an operational structure that supported the deployment of more than 67,000 personnel in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and resources from 38 states following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.    

EKU graduate student Audra Cronen spent the fall 2015 semester conducting research in support of EMAC. According to Cronen, “researching EMAC laws provided an incredible opportunity and an in-depth understanding of how states and territories support each other during critical disaster times…I greatly appreciate the project guidance from Ms. Angela Copple, National Emergency Management Association, and Dr. Chad Foster, EKU.”

Cronen is enrolled in the Master of Science in Safety, Security, and Emergency Management degree program at EKU. Disaster management topics, including the use of mutual aid systems, are a focal point for many graduate and undergraduate courses at EKU.

Angela Copple is the EMAC program director at the National Emergency Management Association or NEMA, the professional association of and for emergency management directors from all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. According to Copple, “Audra’s final analysis will be provided to the state emergency management agencies and utilized by the NEMA Legal Counsel Committee to ensure that states understand the legal implications of changes in language and what that means to the first responders who deploy through EMAC.” She adds, “It was an absolute pleasure working with Audra and we hope that she continues to stay engaged in mutual aid in the future.”

Pictured to the right is Angela Copple, the EMAC program director at NEMA, and Audra Cronen, EKU graduate student. For additional information on EMAC, see the following web page:http://www.emacweb.org/

Author: Dr. Chad Foster, assistant professor, EKU

Published on January 15, 2016

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