NACo, joining with three other organizations comprising leadership of local government and public safety sector services, has released information on the recent effects and follow-up to Hurricane Sandy. From their main findings:
The National Association of Counties (NACo), the International Association of Emergency Managers, the American Public Works Association, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, and other local government organizations stressed that the overall response to a major event like Sandy requires seamless and timely federal-state-local coordination and collaboration, which has been on display for Americans to see. Much planning and intergovernmental policy development and cooperation, as well as sufficient resources, are necessary to ensure that the proper framework is in
place when emergency responders are called into action.
The groups point out that emergency responders – often firefighters, emergency managers, emergency medical service workers, search and rescue teams, public works and law enforcement personnel – provide an enormous service to the communities they serve. Upon arrival at a scene in often extremely stressed and dangerous conditions, they must – at great risk to themselves – immediately assess and assist victims and prevent further danger in emergency situations while calling for the appropriate backup assistance.
Since local governments are responsible for much of what constitutes a community (i.e. roads and bridges, water and sewer systems, courts and jails, healthcare, parks, libraries), these officials routinely work side-by-side with state and federal officials to respond accordingly when disaster strikes.