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Although GIS has proven to be a valuable tool to local governments during major emergencies, it is often not fully leveraged. This paper will examine the reasons and explore steps to accomplish the goal of fully utilizing GIS during emergencies. Experience at the City of Seattle and the TopOff 2 anti-terrorism exercise will provide the basis for this discussion. Topics covered will include organizational culture, business process analysis, inter-jurisdictional coordination, the growth of the GIS user-base, metadata, applications with embedded GIS and the place of GIS in the Emergency Management organizations. The paper will offer GIS practitioners ideas on improving collaboration with emergency management.