The most fundamental level at which emergencies must be tackled is obviously the local level, for however large the disaster is, the local area is always the theater of operations. However, several thresholds of competence exist in relation to the possible magnitude of events. If the immediate needs generated by an emergency cannot be satisfied by local or even regional resources, then the national government must become involved. At the level of a country's sovereign state, planning for emergencies is a question of safeguarding the national interest—if the event is serious enough, it is a matter of safeguarding the integrity of the nation and guaranteeing its survival without descent into ungovernable anarchy. It is also a matter of ensuring equity and welfare for survivors and ...

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