For major emergencies and disasters, many people work together to minimize the disaster's impact through prevention, immediate response, and handing its aftermath; professionals involved include paramedics, firefighters, police officers, engineers, and others. Emergency management specialists are responsible for planning emergency response programs and coordinating the people on the ground. They work to predict the effects of various disasters and determine the optimal course of action when responding to them. They also take a more proactive approach to disaster management; for example, emergency management specialists plan evacuation routes in hurricane-prone areas and ensure that citizens are informed of these routes.
Being an emergency management specialist requires several vital skills. Excellent and clear communication abilities are necessary to conduct operations and coordinate the response teams, and miscommunication can have very dangerous results in disaster situations. Emergency management specialists must be constantly aware of current situations and able to adapt to sudden developments, as well as be able to work well under pressure.
Emergency management specialist positions may take on many different forms and occur on several different levels, such as the state, local, and federal levels. In addition, certain areas have specific emergencies to which they are prone. As such, the requirements of emergency management specialist positions may vary significantly. A bachelor's degree in emergency management, public safety, or a related field is the typical minimum educational requirement, and between two and five years of experience in emergency management situations is also typically necessary.
Emergency Management Specialist Tasks
Coordinate disaster response or crisis management activities such as ordering evacuations, opening public shelters, and implementing special needs plans and programs.
Design and administer emergency preparedness training courses that teach people how to effectively respond to major emergencies and disasters.
Prepare emergency situation status reports that describe response and recovery efforts, needs, and preliminary damage assessments.
Keep informed of federal, state and local regulations affecting emergency plans, and ensure that plans adhere to these regulations.