A Descriptive Study of Training to Request Defense Support to Civil Authorities Aid by City and County Emergency Mangers
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Research Purpose: The purpose of this study is to describe the level of understanding of local emergency managers and officials in FEMA Region VI on the purpose, capabilities and effectiveness of requesting Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA). The intent is to describe and expand the general knowledge of the emergency management officials and indicate where further research can occur to improve the emergency management field at the local level. This research incorporates a thorough review of existing literature and focuses on several main areas including legal authorities, the process for requesting DSCA, the training, coordination and integration of federal aid, and the specific federal capabilities available through DSCA. Methods: This research effort sent surveys to county and city emergency management officials throughout FEMA Region VI. The surveys were divided into questions focused on demographic data and the core research questions. The core research questions were structured with a 7 point Likert-type scale ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Results: Results were aggregated onto tables and charts to demonstrate trends on the various categories and topics of interest. The research indicated that emergency management officials have a high confidence in their understanding of the legal authorities, the process for requesting DSCA and the coordination, training and integration of federal assets. They also indicated that they generally understood the capabilities that federal forces bring to a disaster and that they generally did not see how to improve the various categories.