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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Interstate Regional Management Coordination (Tier 5)


Interstate Regional Management Coordination (Tier 5)

Tier 5 describes the processes by which States assist one another and coordinate management and response activities during times of crisis. It includes State-level agencies that oversee emergency management, public health, medical, and public safety emergency preparedness and response. 

Key Points of the Chapter

During a catastrophic event, interstate coordination is an effective and often necessary means to acquire adequate MSCC. Collaborative efforts between States promote system-wide consistency in response strategies and ensure optimal utilization of available public health and medical resources. An effective regional response must be rooted in an open exchange of information, incident management coordination, and mutual aid support, as described below:

  • Information sharing: Before addressing communications technology, States should establish what type of information is important to share, and to whom that information should be provided. These information "requirements" generally include the following:
    • Overarching management strategies and specific tactics
    • Situation assessments and resource updates
    • Safety information for responders and the public.
  • Management coordination: Incident action plans and support plans should be shared between incident managers while these plans are still in developmental stages. This will help identify potential areas of conflict in response strategy between States and allow for corrective action before such conflicts undermine the success of the overall response system.
  • Mutual aid: This describes the provision of emergency services and assets to provide MSCC when individual State resources are insufficient to meet surge demands. Strategic mutual aid guidelines provide the general framework for tactical mutual aid agreements between States. The latter specify operational processes for requesting, receiving, and managing emergency support assets.

The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) provides a vehicle for regional coordination and mutual aid during a Governor-declared emergency or disaster. Public health and medical assistance is specifically noted in EMAC, and public health and medical emergency planners are encouraged to review EMAC and how it is being implemented in their State as part of their preparedness activities. In addition, they should work closely with the HHS Regional Emergency Coordinators (REC) in their region to coordinate planning for and execution of interstate regional public health and medical mutual aid assistance.[1] 

  1. Tier 6 discusses the roles and responsibilities of HHS RECs in greater detail.

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  • This page last reviewed: February 14, 2012