„Many local jurisdictions have agreements, but they vary considerably from country to country. Moreover, many are not formal agreements and do not address key issues such as liability and compensation; and include multi-disciplinary groups. In order to enable an effective transfer of assets between local jurisdictions and across national borders, mutual assistance agreements should be robust and comprehensive, demonstrate an effective relationship with EMAC and treat liability and compensation issues in a manner consistent with state law. 2 The obligation for a participating political sub-division to provide prevention, response and recovery assistance from a state of emergency reported locally or during approved exercises or exercises, is subject to the following conditions: A participating political sub-division may request assistance from other participating political sub-divisions for the prevention, mitigation, response and repair of disasters leading to locally declared emergencies or in coordination with approved exercises or exercises, in accordance with this agreement/convention. Requests for assistance are made through the Director General of a participating political sub-division or his representative. Applications may be oral or written and are not required to go directly to the national civil protection authority, but are notified to the Agency in all cases, as soon as this is done in practice. Oral questions will be followed by a written question as soon as it is practical or as many days as the state requires at its discretion. In each of these events, the merit of mutual assistance between governments, both inside and within the state, has always been proven. As the emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) has repeatedly demonstrated, states can rely on personnel and material resources in an emergency. EMAC shines as the mutual assistance system of states; and currently has 48 states, 2 territories and Washington D.C. as signatories to the Pact. For more than a decade, EMAC has served its members well. One of the most important aspects of the model is that jurisdictional care is completely voluntary.
The model is supposed to be a tool and resource for states and jurisdictions that can be used to develop or refine national self-help agreements. States and jurisdictions are expected to want to change the model to comply with their own laws and public authorities or to meet unique needs and circumstances. In addition, the articles and provisions proposed in the model complement the recommended minimum elements to be included in mutual assistance agreements that are part of the proposed national incident management system. In the face of recent fears of terrorism, the Department of Homeland Security has decided to focus on mutual aid. There is no doubt that systems of mutual assistance in the field of state aid, and in particular between local jurisdictions, are needed. Indeed, the author recently wrote in an issue of State Government News: „Through the National Homeland Security Strategy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has put a new emphasis on state and local assistance (emphasizing) as the key to the country`s emergency capabilities for all human hazards or natural hazards. The National Incident Management System (NIMS), currently being developed by DHS, provides an operational framework for the response of federal, regional and local authorities.