Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Weaponizing mutual aid: Can a pandemic or biological attack turn our strongest emergency management tool against us?

Benjamin Thomas Greer, JD

Abstract


A functional mutual aid system allows the effective cost sharing of resources and the swift mitigation of loss of life and property. COVID-19 has illuminated weaknesses in our mutual aid framework. Weaknesses could potentially allow abuse and the misuse of these unifying instruments. By designing our response system in an insightful and nuanced fashion, we are able to affectively lend aid to those in need. Our mutual aid systems allow us to be forward thinking—it challenges us to anticipate what could happen and how we should respond. This article will articulate challenges COVID-19 has posed in our mutual aid system and will propose potential improvements to better enhance our aid agreements for future pandemics.

Keywords


mutual aid agreements, Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), COVID-19

Full Text:

PDF

References


Association of State and Territorial Health Officials: Emergency authority and immunity toolkit, mutual aid and assistance agreements fact sheet. Available at https://www.astho.org/Programs/Preparedness/Public-Health-Emergency-Law/Emergency-Authorityand-Immunity-Toolkit/Mutual-Aid-and-Assistance-Agreements-Fact-Sheet/. Accessed April 15, 2020.

US Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): National incident management system guidelines for mutual aid. November 2017. Available at https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1510231079545-1fabc7af0e06d89d8c79c7b619e55a03/NIMS_Mutual_Aid_Guideline_20171105_508_compliant.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2020.

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States: The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. New York: Norton, 2004. Available at https://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2020.

New York Fire Department: FDNY fire operations response on September 11. Available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/fdny/pdf/mck_report/fire_operations_response.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Graham K: What are the factors that determine the severity of hurricanes? Digital Journal, September 1, 2019. Available at http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/science/what-are-thefactors-that-determine-the-severity-of-hurricanes/article/557059. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Treaster JB: Law officers, overwhelmed, are quitting the force. New York Times, September 4, 2005. Available at https://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/us/nationalspecial/law-officers-overwhelmed-are-quitting-the-force.html. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Quigley B: Six months after Katrina: Who was left behind then and who is being left behind now? Global Action on Aging, February 21, 2006. Available at http://globalag.igc.org/armedconflict/countryreports/americas/sixkatrina.htm. Accessed April 15, 2020.

White HP: Understanding the role of spontaneous volunteers in disaster: The case study of the World Trade Centre on 9/11. Emergency Management diss., Auckland University of Technology (AUT), 2016. Available at https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/45ca/06fe80970ce41f1fd332f366e9c7e47379e4.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2020.

US Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Managing spontaneous volunteers in times of disaster: The synergy of structure and good intentions. Available at https://www.fema.gov/pdf/donations/ManagingSpontaneousVolunteers.pdf; US Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): National Preparedness Course Catalog. Available at https://www.firstrespondertraining.gov/frts/npccatalog?catalog=EMI. Accessed July 17, 2020; US Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Emergency Management Professional Program (EMPP). Available at https://training.fema.gov/empp/. Accessed July 17, 2020.

McCammon S: The Cajun Navy: Heroes or hindrances in hurricanes? National Public Radio, September 22, 2018. Available at https://www.npr.org/2018/09/22/650636356/the-cajun-navy-heroesor-hindrances-in-hurricanes. Accessed April 15, 2020.

California Emergency Services Act: Article 11 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1454. §8615 Art. 11 – Mutual Aid.

California Emergency Services Act: Article 11 added by Stats. 1970, Ch. 1454. §8617 Art. 11 – Mutual Aid.

County of Los Angeles: Operational area emergency response plan. 2018, 77. Available at https://www.caloes.ca.gov/AccessFunctionalNeedsSite/Documents/LA%20County%20OA%20Emergency%20Response%20Plan.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2020.

National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Proceedings of the NEHRP Conference and Workshop on Research on the Northridge, California Earthquake of January 17, 1994. 1994, IV-41. Available at https://curee.org/conferences/Northridge/Proceedings/Volume_IV_Social_Services_and_Emergency_Management.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2020.

National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP): Proceedings of the NEHRP Conference and Workshop on Research on the Northridge, California Earthquake of January 17, 1994. 1994, IV-67. Available at https://curee.org/conferences/Northridge/Proceedings/Volume_IV_Social_Services_and_Emergency_Management.pdf. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Stier DD, Goodman RA: Mutual aid agreements: Essential legal tools for public health preparedness and response. Am J Public Health. 2007; 97(Suppl. 1): S62–S68. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2006.101626.

Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC): Public law 104-321, Article II: General implementation. 1996. Available at https://www.emacweb.org/index.php/learn-about-emac/emac-legislation. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC): Available at https://www.emacweb.org/. Accessed April 15, 2020.

109th Congress, United States Senate: Public law 109-417, S. Rept. 109-319—Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act 109th Congress (2005-2006). Available at https://www.congress.gov/congressional-report/109th-congress/senate-report/319/1. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Riley K: Senate health committee begins re-approval process for nation’s hazards preparedness law. Homeland Preparedness News, January 18, 2018. Available at https://homelandprepnews.com/countermeasures/26278-senate-health-committee-begins-reapproval-process-nations-hazard-preparedness-law/. Accessed April 15, 2020.

116th Congress, United States Senate: S.1379—Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019 (2019-2020). Available at https://www.congress.gov/bill/116thcongress/senate-bill/1379. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Ollstein AM: ‘There is no surge plan’: Despite warnings, congress failed to fully fund pandemics bill. Politco, March 28, 2020. Available at https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/28/congresspandemic-bill-coronavirus-152580. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC): Public law 104-321, Article IV: Limitations. 1996. Available at https://www.emacweb.org/index.php/learn-about-emac/emac-legislation. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Lincoln A: First inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln. Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library, The Avalon Project – Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy, March 4, 1861. Available at https://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/lincoln1.asp. Accessed April 15, 2020.

Royal Neckwear Co. v. Century City, Inc.: 205 Cal.App.3d 1146, 1988.

Sands v. E.I.C., Inc.: 118 Cal.App.3d 231, 1981.

Lippmann M, Cohen MD, Chen LC: Health effects of World Trade Center (WTC) dust: An unprecedented disaster’s inadequate risk management. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2015; 45(6): 492–530. DOI: 10.3109/10408444.2015.1044601.

Madhav N, Oppenheim B, Gallivan M, et al.: Pandemics: Risks, impacts, and mitigation (Chapter 17). In Jamison DT, Gelband H, Horton S, et al. (eds.): Disease Control Priorities: Improving Health and Reducing Poverty. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 2017. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525302/. DOI: 10.1596/978-1-4648-0527-1_ch17.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.5055/jem.0644

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2022 Journal of Emergency Management