The purpose of the Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) (formerly titled Military Assistance to Civil Authorities, or MACA) process is to provide local and State civil authorities with access to federal military assets in response to major terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Local civilian emergency managers (EMs) play an important role in effective DSCA processes.This paper reports the results of an exploratory study of local EMs' views of the education they have received on the DSCA process and their suggestions on how the process can be improved. The survey and interviews indicate that a majority of EMs do not believe that they have received effective DSCA education and that interpersonal methods (course/training involving federal or civil authorities) were most positively related to having received effective DSCA education. It was recommended that future education on DSCA should be provided in a more clear and concise manner and focuses on topics such as the organizations and process involved in DSCA, types of assistance and time required by the military in their response, and how EMs can better articulate their needs in DSCA requests. A number of recommendations on future research directions on DSCA are also provided.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston