Interstate Civil Defense and Disaster Compact

Save as PDF


To provide aid among the States for any emergency or disaster from enemy attack or natural cause.



A State or its officers or employees who, in good faith, provide aid to another State will not be legally responsible for acting or failing to act.

Licensure Reciprocity

A person who holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by a State for professional, mechanical, or other skills and they are providing aid will be considered licensed, certified, or permitted in the State requesting aid.

Workers' Benefits

A person who is killed or injured while providing aid in a requesting State will be entitled to the same workers' compensation as if they were in their home State from their home State.


INTERSTATE DISASTER COMPACT The contracting states solemnly agree: Article 1. The purpose of this compact is to provide mutual aid among the states in meeting an emergency or disaster, including fire, flood, snow, ice, windstorm, wave action, water contamination requiring emergency action to avert danger or damage, utility failure, hazardous radiological incident, major transportation accident, epidemic, air, contamination, blight, drought, infestation, explosion, or hostile military or paramilitary action. The prompt, full, and effective utilization of the resources of the respective states, including resources available from the United States government or any other source, are essential to the safety, care, and welfare of the people of the respective states in the event of enemy action, and any other resources, including personnel, equipment, or supplies, shall be incorporated into a plan or plans of mutual aid to be developed among the emergency management agencies or similar bodies of the state that are parties to this compact. The directors of emergency management of all party states shall constitute a committee to formulate plans and take all necessary steps for the implementation of this compact. Article 2. It shall be the duty of each party state to formulate disaster preparedness plans and programs for application within the state. There shall be frequent consultation between the representatives of the states and with the United States government and the free exchange of information and plans, including inventories of any materials and equipment available for disasters. In carrying out disaster preparedness plans and programs, the party states shall so far as possible provide and follow uniform standards, practices, and rules and regulations, including: (a) Insignia, arm bands, and any other distinctive articles to designate and distinguish the different disaster relief forces. (b) Blackouts and practice blackouts, drills, mobilization of disaster relief forces, and other tests and exercises. (c) Warnings and signals for drills or attacks and the mechanical devices to be used in connection therewith. (d) The effective screening or extinguishing of all lights and lighting devices and appliances. (e) Shutting off water mains, gas mains, electric power connections, and the suspension of all other utility services. (f) All materials or equipment used or to be used for disaster preparedness purposes in order to assure that such materials and equipment will be easily and freely interchangeable when used in or by any other party states. (g) The conduct of civilians and the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrians and vehicular traffic prior, during, and subsequent to drills or attacks. (h) The safety of public meetings or gatherings. (i) Mobile support units. Article 3. Any party state requested to render mutual aid shall take such action as is necessary to provide and make available the resources covered by this compact in accordance with the terms hereof: Provided, That it is understood that the state rendering aid may withhold resources to the extent necessary to provide reasonable protection for the state. Each party state shall extend to the disaster relief forces of any other party state, while operating within its state limits under the terms and conditions of this compact, the same powers (except that of arrest unless specifically authorized by the receiving state), duties, rights, privileges, and immunities as if they were performing their duties in the state in which normally employed or rendering services. Disaster relief forces will continue under the command and control of their regular leaders, but the organizational units will come under the operational control of the emergency management authorities of the state receiving assistance. Article 4. Whenever any person holds a license, certificate, or other permit issued by any state evidencing the meeting of qualifications for professional, mechanical, or other skills, such person may render aid involving such skill in any party state to meet an emergency or disaster, and such state shall give due recognition to such license, certificate, or other permit as if issued in the state in which aid is rendered. Article 5. No party state or its officers or employees rendering aid in another state pursuant to this compact shall be criminally liable on account of any act or omission in good faith on the part of such forces while so engaged, or on account of the maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies in connection therewith. Article 6. Inasmuch as it is probable that the pattern and detail of the machinery for mutual aid among 2 or more states may differ from that appropriate among other states party to this compact, this instrument contains elements of a broad base common to all states, and nothing contained in this compact shall preclude a state from entering into supplementary agreements with another state or states. Supplementary agreements may comprehend, but shall not be 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 7. Each party state shall provide for the payment of compensation and death benefits to injured members of the disaster relief forces of that state and the representatives of deceased members of such forces in case such members sustain injuries or are killed while rendering aid pursuant to this compact, in the same manner and on the same terms as if the injury or death were sustained within such state. Article 8. Any party state rendering aid to 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 any equipment answering a request for aid, and for the cost incurred in connection with such requests: Provided, That any aiding party state may assume in whole or in part such loss, damage, expense, or other cost, or may loan equipment or donate such services to the receiving party state without charge or cost: And provided further, That any 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 supplying disaster relief forces for the compensation paid to and the transportation, subsistence and maintenance expenses of such forces during the time of the rendition of such aid or assistance outside the state, and may also pay fair and reasonable compensation for the use or utilization of the supplies, materials, equipment or facilities so utilized or consumed. Article 9. Plans for the orderly evacuation and reception of the civilian population as the result of an emergency or disaster shall be worked out from time to time between representatives of the party states and the various local disaster relief areas thereof. 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 evacuees to other areas or the bringing in of additional materials, supplies and all other relevant factors. Such plans shall provide that the party state receiving evacuees shall be reimbursed generally for the out-of-pocket expenses incurred in receiving and caring for such evacuees, for expenditures for transportation, food, clothing, medicines and medical care and like items. Such 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. After the termination of the emergency or disaster, the party state of which the evacuees are resident shall assume the responsibility for the ultimate support or repatriation of such evacuees. Article 10. This compact shall be available to any state, territory or possession of the United States and the District of Columbia. The term “state” may also include any neighboring foreign country or province or state thereof. Article 11. The committee established pursuant to article 1 of this compact may request the emergency management agency of the United States government to act as an informational and coordinating body under this compact, and representatives of such agency of the United States government may attend meetings of such committee. Article 12. This compact shall become operative immediately upon its ratification by any state as between it and any other state so ratifying, and shall be subject to approval by congress unless prior congressional approval has been given. Duly authenticated copies of this compact and of such supplementary agreements as may be entered into shall, at the time of their approval, be deposited with each of the party states and with the emergency management agency and other appropriate agencies of the United States government. Article 13. This compact shall continue in force and remain binding on each party state until the legislature or the governor of such party state takes action to withdraw therefrom. Such action shall not be effective until 30 days after notice thereof has been sent by the governor of the party state desiring to withdraw to the governors of all other party states. Article 14. This compact shall be construed to effectuate the purposes stated in article 1 hereof. If any provision of this compact is declared unconstitutional, or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the constitutionality of the remainder of this compact and the applicability thereof to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby. Article 15. (1) This article shall be in effect only as among those states which have enacted it into law or in which the governors have adopted it pursuant to constitutional or statutory authority sufficient to give it the force of law as part of this compact. Nothing contained in this article or in any supplementary agreement made in implementation thereof shall be construed to abridge, impair, or supersede any other provision of this compact or any obligation undertaken by a state pursuant thereto, except that if its terms so provide, a supplementary agreement in implementation of this article may modify, expand, or add to any such obligation as among the parties to the supplementary agreement. (2) In addition to the occurrences, circumstances, and subject matters to which preceding articles of this compact make it applicable, this compact and the authorizations, entitlements, and procedures thereof shall apply to: (a) Searches for and rescue of persons who are lost, marooned, or otherwise in danger. (b) Action useful in coping with disasters arising from any cause or designed to increase capability to cope with any such disasters. (c) Incidents, or the imminence thereof, which endanger the health or safety of the public and which require the use of special equipment, trained personnel, or personnel in larger numbers than are locally available in order to reduce, counteract, or remove the danger. (d) The giving and receiving of aid by subdivisions of party states. (e) Exercises, drills, or other training or practice activities designed to aid personnel to prepare for, cope with, or prevent any disaster or other emergency to which this compact applies. (3) Except as expressly limited by this compact or a supplementary agreement in force pursuant thereto, any aid authorized by this compact or such supplementary agreement may be furnished by any agency of a party state, a subdivision of such state, or by a joint agency of any 2 or more party states or of their subdivisions. Any joint agency providing such aid shall be entitled to reimbursement therefor to the same extent and in the same manner as a state. The personnel of such a joint agency, when rendering aid pursuant to this compact, shall have the same rights, authority, and immunity as personnel of party states. (4) Nothing in this article shall be construed to exclude from the coverage of articles 1 to 14 of this compact any matter which, in the absence of this article, could reasonably be construed to be covered thereby.