Emergency officials should meet regularly with government authorities, community organizations and specialized response organizations to discuss emergencies and their ability to provide resources. Mutual assistance agreements should facilitate the rapid and short-term delivery of emergency assistance before, during and after an incident. However, the National Incident Management System (NIMS) planning guide indicates that a response from public or federal resources can take up to 72 hours or more. Given that states conclude that their existing laws allow for the entry into mutual aid agreements or when they adopt new laws to obtain such power, concerted efforts should be made to share and make the most of the lessons learned among themselves. Similarly, strategies to meet the constitutional requirements of the federal state should be pursued jointly. Non-binding agreements can be a convenient way to exchange health information. However, liability, compensation and reimbursement issues related to the distribution of supplies, equipment or personnel (in the event of an undeclared emergency outside the EMAC) can only be dealt with effectively in mutual assistance agreements that create binding obligations for the parties. States may be comfortable concluding binding agreements drawn up taking into account existing judicial interpretations of the compact clause or useful proposals from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Or, like EMAC and PNEMA, states may decide to seek congressional approval for binding agreements. The Congress agreement on PNEMA (particularly if IEMAC subsequently obtains approval), coupled with the Confederation`s strong promotion of state mutual assistance, suggests that congressional approval of an international EMAC agreement covering all states along the borders between the United States, Canada and Mexico could be possible.
Mutual assistance agreements (MAA) and other types of assistance agreements before, during and after an emergency meeting facilitate the rapid mobilization of personnel, equipment and stocks. Agreements can be concluded at several levels: between public and local authorities; between a state and localities in the state; between two or more states in a region; between states and tribes; internationally between states and neighbouring jurisdictions in Canada or Mexico. MAAS can also exist among a wide range of types of organizations, including governments, non-profit organizations and private companies. Agreements can range in the form of formal pacts introduced into law by a state legislator, up to informal declarations of intent explaining how public and private resources provide assistance within a given community. Emergency maas generally deal with emergency management, fire, enforcement and medical problems, although they can address other issues (see below). Participation in AMAH is seen as an important part of the Federal Government`s National Disaster Management System (NIMS), which aims to provide a systematic approach to helping governments at all levels, non-governmental organizations and the private sector conduct collaborative preparedness and response activities1. CEECs may be legally binding depending on the intent of the parties, the language used in the document and the jurisdiction of residence.