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Interstate Earthquake Emergency Compact

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Interstate Earthquake Emergency Compact
Formation date: 1989
Member jurisdictions: 4
Issue(s): Emergency management

The Interstate Earthquake Emergency Compact is an interstate compact among Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. It provides mutual aid in emergencies and disasters caused by earthquakes or a similar seismic disturbance. It also provides for reciprocal licensing for emergency response personnel, immunity from liability, compensation, reimbursement, and evacuation.[1]


The compact requires its member states to:

  • develop plans and programs for earthquake relief
  • inventory materials and equipment that could be used for relief efforts
  • maintain a database of regional resources that would be needed and share that database with the other member states[1]

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I

The purpose of this compact is to provide mutual aid among the states in meeting any emergency or disaster caused by earthquakes or other seismic disturbances. The full, immediate and effective utilization of the resources of the respective states, including such resources as may be available from the United States government or any other source, is necessary to provide needed short-term earthquake disaster assistance to states requesting aid. These resources shall be incorporated into a plan or plans of mutual aid to be developed among the appropriate agencies of states that are parties to this compact. These agencies shall develop and follow procedures designed to assure the maintenance of resource inventories and the exchange of information about earthquakes and disaster response. It is the policy of the party states to carry out this compact in a spirit of cooperation to provide the most effective earthquake disaster assistance to the residents of the states and to provide an equitable division of any necessary earthquake relief efforts in order to avoid a disproportionate allocation of contributed resources.

Article II

Each party state shall have the duty to formulate earthquake relief plans and programs within such state. There shall be frequent consultation between the representatives of such states and with the United States government and the free exchange of relief plans and information, including inventories of any materials and equipment available for response to earthquake emergencies. To this end, each state will maintain a bank of standardized data which will establish a comprehensive listing of all resources within the compact region that might be needed during an earthquake disaster. The inventory will be shared equitably among the party states in the event of an earthquake, recognizing each state's primary responsibility to assist and protect its residents. Each party state shall also share any available information on earthquake forecasts and reports of seismic activity.

Article III

Whenever the Governor of a party state requests aid from the Governor of another party state pursuant to this compact in coping with an earthquake emergency, the requested state shall make available all possible aid to the requesting state consonant with the maintenance of protection of its residents and the policies stated in Article 1.

Article IV

Whenever the officers or employees of any party state are rendering aid in another state pursuant to the request of another party state under this compact, those officers or employees shall, while under the direction of the authorities of the state to which they are rendering aid, have the same powers, duties, rights, privileges and immunities as comparable officers and employees of the state to which they are rendering aid. Any person holding a license, certificate or other permit issued by any state demonstrating the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical or other skills may render aid involving such skill in any party state to meet an earthquake emergency, and the state in which aid is rendered shall give due recognition to such license, certificate or other permit as if issued in the state in which aid is rendered.

Article V

No party or its officers, employees or other persons, certified by party states pursuant to agreed upon criteria and procedures for certification, rendering aid in another state pursuant to this compact shall be liable on account of any act or omission in good faith on their part while so engaged, or on account of maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies in connection therewith.

Article VI

Nothing in this agreement precludes any state from entering into supplementary agreements with another state or states for the undertaking of mutual aid and exchange of information in the event of an earthquake emergency. These supplementary agreements may comprehend but are not limited to provisions for evacuation and reception of injured and other persons and the exchange of medical, fire, police, public utility reconnaissance, welfare, transportation and communications personnel, equipment and supplies.

Article VII

Each party state shall provide compensation and death benefits to its insured officers, employees or other persons certified by party states, pursuant to agreed upon criteria and procedures for certification, and the representatives of deceased officers, employees and other certified persons sustaining injuries or death while rendering aid in another state pursuant to this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within the state by or in which the officer, employee or certified person was regularly employed.

Article VIII

Any party state rendering aid in another state pursuant to this compact shall be reimbursed by the party state receiving such aid for any loss or damage to, or expense incurred in the operation of, and equipment answering a request for aid, and for the cost of all materials, transportation, wages, salaries and maintenance of officers, employees and equipment incurred in connection with such request, including amounts paid under Article 7, provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent any assisting party state for assuming such loss, damage, expense or other cost or from loaning such equipment or from donating such services to the receiving party state without charge or cost. Any two (2) or more party states may enter into supplementary agreements establishing a different allocation of costs as among those states. The United States government may relieve the party state receiving aid from any liability and reimburse the party state rendering aid for loss, damage or expense incurred within the terms of this article.

Article IX

Plans for the orderly evacuation and reception of the civilian population as the result of an earthquake emergency shall be worked out from time to time between representatives of the party states. Such plans shall include the manner of transporting such evacuees, the number of evacuees to be received in different areas, the manner in which food, clothing, housing and medical care will be provided, the registration of the evacuees, the providing of facilities for the notification of relatives or friends and the forwarding of such evacuees to other areas or the bringing in of additional materials and supplies, and all other relevant factors. The plans must provide that the party state receiving evacuees shall be reimbursed generally for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in receiving and caring for the evacuees, for expenditures and transportation, food, clothing, medicines and medical care and like items. These expenditures shall be reimbursed by the party state of which the evacuees are residents or by the United States government under plans approved by it. The party state of which the evacuees are residents shall assume the responsibility for the ultimate support or repatriation of such evacuees.

Article X

Any state of the United States shall be eligible to become party to this compact. As to any eligible party state, this compact shall become effective when such state shall have enacted it into law; provided that it shall not become initially effective until enacted into law by two (2) party states.

Article XI

Any party state may withdraw from this compact by enacting a statute repealing the same, but no such withdrawal shall become effective until ninety (90) days after the Governor of the withdrawing state shall have set formal notice in writing to the Governor of each other party state informing such Governors of the action of the Legislature in repealing the compact and declaring an intention to withdraw. A withdrawing state shall be liable for any obligations which it may have incurred on account of its party status up to the effective date of withdrawal, except that if the withdrawing state has specifically undertaken or committed itself to any performance of an obligation extending beyond the effective date of withdrawal, it shall remain liable to the extent of such obligation.

Article XII

This compact is to be construed to effectuate the purposes stated in Article 1. If any provision of this compact is declared unconstitutional or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the constitutionality of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to other persons and circumstances is not to be affected by it.

See also

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