As a general rule, even if authorized and enforced by law, mutual assistance agreements will not be fully effective unless the necessary follow-up measures are taken to ensure that the agreements serve their purpose. States must cooperate and coordinate with other relevant legal systems through table exercises and other planning and enforcement measures to ensure that mutual assistance agreements deliver on their promises as effective instruments of preparedness and response to public health. However, in the absence of the protection offered by EMAC in the event of a declared emergency, concerns about legal liability, compensation and reimbursement would certainly require binding agreements prior to the sharing of equipment, supplies and personnel. Of course, states can go to Congress, individually or collectively, to seek approval for binding agreements that go beyond those currently approved by the EMAC. Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington have received congressional approval for their Pacific Northwest Emergency Management Arrangement (PNEMA) with British Columbia and the Yukon Territory (Table 2?). Six New England states signed an EMAC emergency management agreement with five provinces in eastern Canada in July 2000. , known as the International Emergency Management Assistance Memorandum of Understanding (IEMAC). 22 Despite the lack of authorization, IEMAC was actually used to share equipment during small events such as snow emergencies. The State Mutual Assistance Committee for Mutual Assistance develops comprehensive guidelines and procedures for, these include expected or expected costs, checklists for requesting and granting assistance, records of all participating political subdivisions, reimbursement procedures and other elements necessary for implementation, as well as forms for applications and other files that document the availability and return of assets. In response to the growing recognition of the importance of mutual assistance agreements, the Public Health Law Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made efforts to characterize the legal framework for mutual assistance.
In particular, the programme collected information on mutual assistance and related laws for the categories of intergovernmental and international mutual assistance, systematically established and synthesized information, conducted basic complementary legal research, and evaluated and identified legal approaches to achieving effective mutual assistance. These efforts included meetings, follow-up and participation in the activities of several groups that participated, at the national level, in projects to improve state mutual assistance to other states or against other states in Mexico and Canada. Contributions D. D. Taurus collected, collected and synthesized information on mutual assistance, conducted basic complementary legal research and evaluated and identified legal approaches to achieving effective mutual assistance, and wrote the article.