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EMAC Response

Prior to 2004, EMAC was primarily used in the deployment of state emergency management and National Guard personnel.  That changed in 2004, when Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne, and Ivan battered Florida's coast, and Florida's emergency management director, Craig Fugate (now FEMA administrator), called upon EMAC to deliver response and recovery personnel, equipment, and supplies from every major discipline (law enforcement, fire and hazmat, medical, public health, emergency management, National Guard, animal resources, engineers, and more).

The 2004 EMAC response consisted of more than 800 state and local personnel from 38 states (including California, which was not an EMAC member at that time). The cost was approximately $15 million in personnel, equipment, and National Guard expenditures.


While states had learned that they needed to develop EMAC training and pass intrastate mutual aid legislation enabling a seamless response from in-state resources through EMAC, time did not wait.  In 2005, states were asked to use EMAC in the nation's largest mutual aid response in history.

The 2005 response under EMAC scaled operations more than 20 times more than those of 2004: member states combined deployed nearly 67,000 personnel in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, and Florida. The Gulf Coast states relied heavily on support through EMAC to supplement their own emergency response efforts.  During the first two weeks of the response, personnel deploying under EMAC represented approximately 53% of the total personnel (GAO-07-854 Emergency Management Assistance Compact Report).

Some interesting facts about the 2005 deployments include the following (from the 2005 EMAC After-Action Report):


  • More than 1,300 search-and-rescue personnel from 16 states searched more than 22,300 structures and rescued 6,582 people.
  • More than 2,000 healthcare professionals from 28 states treated more than 160,000 patients in the days and weeks after the storms under the most primitive of conditions.
  • Nearly 3,000 fire/hazmat personnel from 28 states deployed.
  • Two hundred engineers from nine states assisted.
  • More than 6,880 sheriff's deputies and police officers from 35 states and countless local jurisdictions deployed across Louisiana and Mississippi—a total of 35% of all of the resources deployed.
  • More than 100 animal rescue personnel from 4 states deployed; one team alone sheltered approximately 1,500 animals.

Today, EMAC stands as the primary mutual aid system in the nation. Both intrastate and international mutual aid agreements are modeled afer EMAC.

To engage the multitude of response and recovery disciplines, The EMAC Advisory Group was established in 1996, composed of the national organizations that have been or may be deployed under EMAC.  The EMAC Member States are committed to educating all disciplines about how EMAC works so that mutual aid under EMAC can be both effective and efficient.