Emergency mental health services were a required component of the federally funded Community Mental Health Centers Act of 1963 (Price, Ketterer, Bader, & Monahan, 1980) . Subsequent federal legislation, the Disaster Relief Act of 1974, included crisis counseling and training as mandated services and thereby established a collaboration between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The act provided for the funding of these services when a federally declared disaster has occurred in a community. The community-wide planning process mandated by this legislation requires local mental health authorities to participate in coordination with the agencies primarily responsible for emergency response, such as police and firefighters . Local mental health authorities are charged with responsibility for counseling individuals who are in distress and for training crisis counselors.