The Emergency Assistance Management Compact: A History and Analysis of the Evolution of National Mutual Aid Policy and Operations

NEMA is very proud to release the first-ever report tracing the history of EMAC and its impact on national mutual aid policy and operations. A state-driven solution, EMAC stands as a tested and proven success story and an example of what determined individuals can accomplish when working together to make a difference for the nation.


EMAC’s implementation and capabilities have matured through member-driven action and responsiveness to lessons learned. In the past decade, NEMA has used Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to develop new EMAC capability, and standardize and institutionalize processes, help to transform what began as a concept—namely, neighbors helping neighbors in times of crises—into an effective system for interstate mutual aid.

EMAC allows the nation to leverage the billions of dollars spent to increase capability across the United States, providing the key mechanism to build capability as a nation, as opposed to individual jurisdictions. In the process, EMAC has influenced other mutual aid efforts, including intrastate and cross-border mutual aid.

The History of EMAC takes you through the most significant events that influenced the creation and evolution of EMAC and how it was used to meet some of the nation’s largest response challenges.

  • The Beginning (1989-1995)
  • Making the Case for EMAC Nationwide (1995-2003)
  • EMAC Pushed to New Limits (2004-2006)
  • Building Capability (2003-Present)

 Download the entire report:  The Emergency Assistance Management Compact: A History and Analysis of the Evolution of National Mutual Aid Policy and Operations