Federal disaster policy is an important but overlooked aspect of federal action that has provided a rich arena for pursuing our more general research interests concerning federal program implementation and management. May brought to the research task both a familiarity with the broad issues of federal disaster policy-having recently completed a book (May, 1985) about disaster relief policy and politics-and an understanding of the day-to-day workings of emergency management at the federal level. Williams provided the "imple#65533; mentation perspective" that undergirds the book, having previously devel#65533; oped and applied the perspective in two books (Williams, 1980a, b) about social programs. The study focuses upon the intergovernmental implementation of selected emergency management programs, primarily as played out at the federal and state levels. Our fieldwork and resultant description of disaster policy implementation allow us: (I) to analyze the implementation of selected aspects of disaster policy and to discuss federal management choices in this area; (2) to gain a greater understanding of federal program implementation under "shared governance"-a term we develop more fully in the book in referring to programs under which the federal and subnational governments share responsibility for program funding and management; and (3) to con#65533; sider the relevance of the lessons of earlier social program implementation research to a very different policy setting. Many individuals assisted us with this research. Our greatest debt is to those federal and state officials who took time from their busy schedules to offer their implementation perspectives about emergency management.