In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Florida and other southeastern states pursued development of an interstate compact to authorize and implement cross-border assistance during emergencies. This effort culminated in Congressional authorization in 1996 of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Beyond the southeastern states,there was relatively little interest in EMAC until September 11, 2001. Shortly thereafter, many states enacted EMAC legislation, and EMAC is now an agreement involving all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and theDistrict of Columbia. This agreement makes EMAC the single largest legal “bridge” crossing state borders to protect public health and safety. It was most visibly used in the response to Hurric ane Katrina as many states provided personnel, equipment and resources to distressed areas.
This fact sheet provides information on EMAC and its limitations, as well as information on other cross-border agreements.