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Interstate Partnerships in Emergency Management: Emergency Management Assistance Compact in Response to Catastrophic Disasters


Naim Kapucu is an associate professor in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida. His main research interests are homeland security and crisis management, decision making in complex environments, and organizational learning and design. He teaches nonprofit management, emergency management and homeland security, and analytic techniques in public administration courses. His book From Tradition to the Modern Age: A Handbook of Turkish Public Administration (coauthored with Hamit Palabiyik) was recently published by the International Strategic Research Organization.

Maria-Elena Augustin is a project manager in the Capacity Building Institute at the University of Central Florida, where she is also a student in the master of public administration program pursuing a certificate in nonprofit management. She is a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, having served 12 years on active duty and 18 years in the reserves.

Vener Garayev is a research analyst in the Department of Public Administration and a graduate student in the master of public administration program at the University of Central Florida. He received his bachelor‘s degree in political science and international relations from Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2005.


The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is a mutual aid agreement and partnership that allows states to assist one another in responding to natural and man-made disasters, often in advance of federal disaster assistance. This article examines EMAC’s response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in order to address the significant need for analysis of emergency management at the state level. A content analysis of news reports, government documents, and reports from a number of institutions was performed to determine the volume and direction of EMAC’s performance and its transactions during the response operations. The authors find a lack of EMAC training among responders, potentially reducing communication and coordination and the efficiency and effectiveness of response operations. A network analysis assessed the relationships among the responding organizations to coordinate their emergency response operations.