Mutual Aid

CSG Midwest
States are accustomed to working together and helping one another through times of crisis or natural disasters. Between 2016 and 2019 alone, via the congressionally authorized Emergency Management Assistance Compact, more than half of the U.S. states requested assistance from others. Every state but one provided help to another state during this time. In all, more than 29,000 personnel were deployed to states in need of help.
But the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has brought challenges to states that they have not previously faced. That includes how to facilitate interstate cooperation and support.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments supports the establishment of a voluntary agreement to provide for the possibility of mutual assistance among the Central and Prairie Regions of the United States and Canada in managing any emergency or disaster when the affected jurisdiction or jurisdictions ask for assistance, whether arising from natural disaster, technological hazard, man-made disaster or civil emergency aspects of resource shortages. 

Suggested State Legislation: This Act creates a system of intrastate mutual aid between participating political subdivisions in the state. Each participant of this system recognizes that emergencies transcend political jurisdictional boundaries and that intergovernmental coordination is essential for the protection of lives and property and for best use of available assets. The system shall provide for mutual assistance among the participating political  subdivisions in the prevention of, response to, and recovery from, any disaster that results in a declaration of a local civil preparedness emergency in a participating political subdivision, subject to that participating political subdivision's criteria for declaration. The system shall provide for mutual cooperation among the participating subdivisions in conducting disaster-related exercises, testing or training activities.