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Emergency Management Assistance Compact logo

What is EMAC? The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) is a congressionally ratified mutual aid compact that legally establishes a national system to facilitate resources across state lines during an emergency or disaster.  

Its ratification in 1996 as Public Law 104-321 made EMAC the first national disaster compact to be ratified by Congress since the Civil Defense Act of 1950.

The questions below represent those most frequently asked about the Compact. Do you have a question not answered here? Contact us.

  • Is EMAC an organization? +

    EMAC is not an organization but, rather, an agreement between states.

    The Compact is administered by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), a professional nonprofit association of, and for, state emergency management directors—but EMAC is not in itself an organization.

  • What does "state" mean in terms of EMAC membership? +

    When referring to “states” in terms of EMAC, what does “state” mean? Only the fifty states of the nation?

    According to EMAC’s Article of Agreement I, “states” in reference to EMAC is defined as the fifty states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories.

  • How many states are members of EMAC? +

    How many states have become members of EMAC?

    To date, all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are EMAC members.

  • What makes EMAC different from other mutual aid agreements? +

    EMAC’s distinctive character among mutual aid agreements lies in its governance structure; its relationship with states, regions, territories, national membership, and federal organizations; and its ability to move any type of needed resource from one state to another.

  • Who administers EMAC? +

    NEMA logoThe National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) has administered EMAC since 1995.

    NEMA is the professional association of and for emergency management directors from all fifty states, eight territories, and the District of Columbia.

  • What types of resources may be deployed through EMAC? +

    EMAC resources may include any capabilities — no matter how large or small, how typical or specialized — that one member state possesses that can be shared with another member state. The law says that states will make use of all of the resources within their state to make them deployable through EMAC (including local government resources). 

    With such resources as emergency operations center support, disaster recovery, security, fire fighting, law enforcement, medical personnel and resources, public utilities management, public health, GIS support, engineering, transportation, and community outreach, the capabilities that states can share with one another are nearly limitless.

    Learn more about some of the resources that can deploy through EMAC and how!

  • May a state modify the EMAC Articles of Agreement and still be a member? +

    When a state adopts the EMAC Articles of Agreement, the state must adopt them in their entirety and without modification to the intent of the articles to be considered a Member State and to use the Compact legally.

  • Who provides workers compensation benefits? +

    Workers' compensation is provided by the home jurisdiction/state.  Contact your state to learn more about how this works. 

    Under EMAC law, the payment of workers' compensation is not an eligible reimbursement expense.

  • Who provides tort liability and immunity under EMAC? +

    Tort liability and immunity protection is provided by the Requesting State under EMAC law so long as personnel are acting in good faith. 

  • What was SREMAC? +

    SREMACSREMAC is an acronym for the Southern Regional Emergency Management Assistance Compact, which was the precursor state-to-state mutual aid agreement to EMAC.

    SREMAC was created by the Southern Governors’ Association and adopted in 1993 by seventeen southern states after Hurricane Andrew.

    In 1994, all states were invited to join the Compact, and it was renamed EMAC.

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