When disaster strikes elsewhere in the country, Arizona will be at the forefront coordinating interstate mutual-aid response among the 50 states and four territories.
Starting in March, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management will take administrative responsibility for a nationwide agreement that manages mutual aid in large disasters. ADEM will assume the chairmanship of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact Executive Task Force for one year.
This is the first time Arizona has served in this capacity.
The appointment places Arizona at the vanguard when other states need outside aid or resources to respond and rebound from a disaster, according to Matt Parks, assistant director for logistics for ADEM. Parks serves as the executive task force chairman and leader of the National Coordinating Group, which oversees the nationwide mutual aid response.
“This is a huge feather in our cap,” said ADEM Director Lou Trammell. “We are proud to be in a position of responsibility that other states can rely on to help manage resources and aid when they are overwhelmed,”
EMAC is a congressionally ratified compact that provides form and structure for state-to-state mutual aid during governor-declared emergencies. All states and four territories have enacted legislation to become members of EMAC. For more information on EMAC, visit www.emacweb.org.
A month-long transition exercise was completed Feb. 1, during which task force members faced multiple scenarios testing their ability to assemble the Executive Task Force, organize mutual aid requests, and coordinate with all states and territories to secure resources.
Residents wishing to access real-time emergency updates, preparedness and hazard information, and multimedia resources can visit the Emergency Information Network website at www.azein.gov