By Dr. Jarrod Sadulski
Faculty Member, Criminal Justice
The emergency management field offers a lot of diverse opportunities to help others before, during and after emergencies. In emergency management, organized efforts are made to help communities respond to different emergencies through risk analysis, community and resource preparedness, coordinated responses, and recovery operations. These emergencies include natural disasters, man-made disasters and terrorist acts.
[eMagazine: Disaster Response Planning Guidebook]
Many local, state and federal government agencies offer the potential opportunities to qualified candidates. For instance, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a large emergency management organization with over 20,000 people around the country. This government agency utilizes a strategic approach to strengthen the United States’ capability to mitigate disasters, emergencies, and terrorism by developing programs with other government and civilian partners.
If you’re interested in learning more about federal or local emergency management, it’s important to be familiar with FEMA’s Incident Command System. The Incident Command System is part of the National Incident Management System that provides guidance to different government agencies, non-government organizations (NGOs) and private employers.
There are also many civilian organizations dedicated to emergency management. One organization is the Red Cross. The Red Cross provides disaster relief, CPR/first aid education and other useful services related to emergency management.
Emergency Management Requires Various Skills
Similar to any other industry, the field of emergency management requires people to have different skills suited to different positions, and research is needed to determine what skills are needed. According to Indeed, some careers in this industry field include:
- Environmental health and safety officers
- Safety directors and coordinators
- Disaster recovery managers
- Medical personnel
- Security personnel
Volunteering in Emergency Management
If you’re interested in learning more about emergency management, one option may be to volunteer with local organizations to receive the training for responding to disasters and emergencies. The Red Cross provides training in CPR and basic first aid to enable its volunteers to assist during mass care and sheltering operations.
Another organization called the Medical Reserve Corps provides volunteer opportunities for over 200,000 volunteers. These volunteers are medical, public health and other professionals prepared to respond to emergencies nationwide.
Related link: EMS Worker Shortages, COVID-19 and Community Resilience
Emergency Management Workers Need to Plan for Deployments
It is also useful to have a plan in place for unexpected deployments to a disaster area. For instance, first responders are often sent to areas impacted by a major hurricane, flood or other disaster.
For emergency management personnel, this plan ensures that their homes and families will be taken care of during their absence. Depending upon the nature of the disaster, that person’s absence could last for months during the disaster’s recovery phase.
Emergency Management Is a Satisfying Field for People Interested in Serving the Public
Overall, emergency management is a field that enables people with a public service mentality to feel satisfaction about helping communities to recover from disasters. Emergency management personnel provide much-needed aid and are a critical factor in community resilience.