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A Menu of Suggested Provisions for Public Health Mutual Aid Agreements

Organization and Coordination

Descriptive Note

To effectively implement an agreement or to promote continuity, parties to the agreement may wish to incorporate provisions creating a standing committee or similar working group comprised of members appointed by the parties. The function of the committee or group may be to monitor or coordinate activities under the agreement, or to provide ongoing advice to the parties concerning the agreement’s operation. Implementation may also be enhanced through the use of provisions promoting the exchange of information, requiring development of collaborative procedures or protocols, or contemplating periodic drills or exercises.

Optional sample provisions

Establishing a coordinating committee or working group:
  • Each Party will designate an authorized representative to attend meetings of the Advisory Committee, which shall promote emergency management coordination and preparedness at regional levels by:
    • providing a forum where members can raise issues and receive advice on emergency preparedness matters;
    • encouraging and supporting preparation and exercising of emergency plans for all members;
    • serving as a regional link to related groups.

  • The Parties will maintain a joint working group to confer at least annually for the purpose of reviewing and maintaining the procedures by which to share the information necessary for an effective response to a public health event and to conduct joint communication and coordination of information before and during a public health event.
Envisioning information exchange/coordination procedures:
  • To the extent practical, each Party shall:
    • Initiate a process to exchange contact lists, and develop a plan that will determine the mechanism for cooperation;
    • Coordinate the exchange of appropriate public health information between the Parties to better protect the communities of the region;
    • Develop procedures to resolve any identified inconsistencies or overlaps in existing or developed plans;
    • Develop comprehensive guidelines and procedures that address, including but not limited to, the following: projected or anticipated costs, checklists for requesting and providing assistance, record keeping for all participating political subdivisions, reimbursement procedures and other necessary implementation elements along with the necessary forms for requests and other records documenting deployment and return of assets.
Agreeing to participate in exercises or drills:
  • Each Party agrees to participate in any annual disaster exercise or drill as called upon by appropriate federal, state, or local governmental agencies with such authority. Such participation could include communicating to the agency a set of data elements or indicators describing the Party’s resource capacity under the situation that may be proposed as part of the exercise or drill.
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