Most jurisdictions or organizations do not have resource levels to handle extreme events on their own. A mutual aid agreement is a tool you can use to enhance your resources during a high-demand incident. The National Incident Management System guideline for mutual aid helps with mutual aid planning and shows how to create legal agreements that include common practices and processes.
What a mutual aid agreement does
Mutual aid agreements establish the terms under which one party provides resources — personnel, teams, facilities, equipment and supplies — to another party. They can support all mission areas; they can be established before, during or after incidents; and they can be between all levels of government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.
Mutual aid planning
Your community risk assessment will identify potential shortfalls and capability gaps that a mutual aid agreement can help address. Before your organization decides to enter into a mutual aid agreement, be sure to:
- Identify and type resources.
- Inventory your resources.
- Qualify, certify and credential personnel.
- Plan for resources.
What to include in an agreement
Your mutual aid agreement should include:
- Credentialing and qualifications.
- Licensure and certification.
- Operational support.
For more information about mutual aid and the National Mutual Aid System, visit FEMA.gov.