EMI SIG Synergy

Published in Collaboration on 3/15/2018

Today, more than ever, coordination, cooperation and collaboration are essential to emergency management organizations. How connected are you and your emergency organization to those in your local, state, tribal, federal and private sector?

Tagged Under: Interagency, Offsite Response

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Coordination, Cooperation and Collaboration – according to research this is how emergency managers and organizations need to approach response to, and recovery from, extreme events, whether man-made or natural. It was also the theme of the 2017 EMI SIG annual meeting.  Working together to enhance programs, support one another, and find the best practice to put in place so when a crisis happens we – together – can work our way through the issues and concerns and identify improved solutions.

Today, more than ever, coordination, cooperation and collaboration are essential to emergency management organizations whether in the planning, response or recovery stage.  When extreme events happen, connectedness to local, state, tribal, and other federal agencies is critical to work through the crisis. 

When an extreme event occurs, many of the responding organizations will not have trained together nor will they have any idea of the problems they will be facing. Effective emergency management requires coordination, cooperation, and collaboration; this builds trust among government agencies at all levels, non-governmental organizations and the public. Raising trusts among all these entities cannot be overemphasized.

Many organizations have mutual aid agreements (MAAs), memorandums of understanding/agreements (MOUs/MOAs) or working partnerships that allows assisting one another in response to natural and man-made disasters.  Innovative partnerships bring diverse expertise together to resolve problems. Formal and informal relationships, during times of extreme events, enhance efforts toward achieving shared goals, addressing concerns and attaining beneficial outcomes. These relationships can play an important role in facilitating the flow of information across organizational boundaries.

Collaborative networks are the basis to emergency management. Coordination, cooperation, and collaboration are how professional emergency managers get their jobs done. 

How connected are you and your emergency organization to those in your local, state, tribal, federal and private sector? Do you have MAAs, MOUs, and MOAs with response elements in your community and state?  How often do you train together, effectively, from planning through to recovery? 

The time to start is now! Being part of a team provides additional resources, expertise, and time to deal with the issues you may be facing. Share the workload with others and let them share the workload with you.  Be sure you know who to contact and who to keep in touch with on a regular basis.  Hold quarterly meetings and walk through roles and responsibilities, available assets, questions and concerns – become partners. When the time comes to call on one another you’ll be ready!