Ready for the future: assessing the collaborative capacity of state emergency management agencies
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Emerging needs of the emergency management discipline are outlined in recent presidential directives, national strategies and federal emergency management strategic initiative documents. Meeting these needs requires collaboration as a core capability. Collaboration with diverse communities, volunteers and the private sector are essential, as are strategic and operational actions for collaboration, building social capital, and using social media for collaboration. The future of our nation’s resilience to disasters depends on a collaborative network of partners that reaches from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to individual citizens and the communities they inhabit. State emergency management agencies are the hub of this network and must lead the effort to effectively collaborate at all levels. The research findings of this thesis show that state emergency management organizations have not yet fully developed the collaborative capacities necessary to meet emerging needs. In addition, data shows that organizational structures of state emergency management organizations are impacting collaborative capacity development. In particular, military-based organizations lag behind their civilian-based counterparts in every area of collaborative capacity building. Reasons for these differences, and research into more effective structural models, should be explored.
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