Emergency Management Assistance Compact

EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact is an all-hazards – all disciplines mutual aid compact that serves as the cornerstone of the nation’s mutual aid system.

EMAC is the first national disaster–relief compact since the Civil Defense and Disaster Compact of 1950 to be ratified by the U.S. Congress. Since ratification and signing into law in 1996 (Public Law 104-321), 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands have enacted legislation to become EMAC members.

EMAC offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency or disaster through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states. Through EMAC states can also transfer services (such as shipping newborn blood from a disaster-impacted lab to a lab in another state) and conduct virtual missions (such as GIS mapping).

The strength of EMAC and the quality that distinguishes it from other plans and compacts lie in its governance structure; its relationship with federal agencies, national organizations, states, counties, territories, and regions; the willingness of state and response and recovery personnel to deploy; and the ability to move ANY resource one state wishes to utilize to assist another state.

The National Guard deploys through EMAC in both State Active Duty and Title 32 to assist the Member States.

EMAC establishes a firm legal foundation for sharing resources between states. Once the conditions for assisting a requesting state have been set, the terms constitute a legally binding agreement. The EMAC legislation solves the problems of liability and responsibilities of cost and allows for credentials, licenses, and certifications to be honored across state lines. Learn more about EMAC’s protections from the links on the right-hand side of this page.

EMAC is implemented within the State Emergency Management Agency on behalf of the Governor of the State. This provides a consistent and coordinated response across the nation.

Deploying resources through EMAC leverages federal grant dollars (such as the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) & the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG)) invested in state and local emergency management resource capabilities.

Through EMAC, states are able to join forces and help one another when they need it the most: whenever disaster strikes!

  • Mutual Aid (intrastate sharing of resources)

During a disaster, MEMA uses Mission Assignments for tasking other State and local agencies/departments to provide essential assistance and support during a disaster when it is beyond local capabilities. Requests for resources are made through WEBEOC and routed to the designated agency for processing and to the EMAC/MA Coordinator to be mission assigned and for MEMA Executive Leadership approval.  These resources can be anything from the National Guard, Fire departments, Search and Rescue teams, to Helicopters, Special Needs Shelters, and Mobile Hospitals. We have used the Mississippi National Guard to help man our COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites and deployed the Mississippi Homeland Security Search and Rescue Task Force to the Mississippi Gulf Coast for almost every hurricane.


Contact: Brandi Hughes, EMAC/MA Coordinator, bhughes@mema.ms.gov