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Mutual Aid Agreements and Assistance Agreements

What Are Mutual Aid Agreements and Assistance Agreements?

Mutual aid agreements and assistance agreements are agreements between agencies, organizations, and jurisdictions that provide a mechanism to quickly obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services.  The primary objective is to facilitate rapid, short-term deployment of emergency support prior to, during, and after an incident. A signed agreement does not obligate the provision or receipt of aid, but rather provides a tool for use should the incident dictate a need.

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What Are the Different Types of Agreements?

There are several types of these kinds of agreements, including but not limited to the following:

Jurisdictions should be party to agreements with the appropriate jurisdictions and/or organizations (including NGOs and the private sector, where appropriate) from which they expect to receive, or to which they expect to provide, assistance. States should participate in interstate compacts and look to establish intrastate agreements that encompass all local jurisdictions. Authorized officials from each of the participating jurisdictions and/or organizations should collectively approve all mutual aid agreements and assistance agreements.

Memorandums of understanding and memorandums of agreement are needed with the private sector and NGOs, including community-based, faith-based, and national organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, to facilitate the timely delivery of assistance during incidents.

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What Is Included in Agreements?

Agreements, preferably written, should include the following elements or provisions:

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