To understand emergency management, you need to be aware that a disaster can take place at any given moment, no matter where you live on the globe. Just think about it; a misplaced match can lead to a terrible house fire or an earthquake can leave your community devastated. Even though we can’t avoid them at all times, emergencies can and should be prepared for. This is where emergency management kicks in. You’ll find an emergency management department, county authority or some sort of division in most states, all for a very good reason. Without proper planning, an emergency can result in irreparable damage, with no possible forms of recovery. What you can do to avoid this is learn about emergency management and how it works.
Our guide will walk you through everything you need to know about being prepared for any emergency. You’ll understand why your emergency management plan is crucial, what institute you need to contact for help and even how you can undergo training, programs and online courses to become an emergency manager or get a masters degree in this field. Without further ado, learn what the deal with emergency management is and start rethinking your safety priorities.
When speaking of emergency management, we have to include emergency preparedness in the equation. It focuses specifically on getting ready for disaster and, frankly, being prepared for the worst. The Homeland Security Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) define the idea of preparedness as a permanent cycle to ensure a fast and safe response in cases of emergencies, with the following key points:
To put it simply, you have to be ready at all times, from all points of view, for a tragic emergency that might take place. When planning for an emergency, you must consider the fact that disasters can be manmade or natural. In the former situation, prevention measures tend to guarantee safety more than the latter, where man is not in control. For example, you can avoid the disastrous results of an accidental fire by having an extinguisher and an evacuation plan all set up beforehand.
Emergency Management Cycle
The description of emergency management also goes hand in hand with a specific cycle. Known as the ‘phases’ of emergency management, these four stages can narrow down damages to a minimum. Even more importantly, they can effectively save lives.
Phase 1 – Mitigation
The first step in emergency management is mitigation. To put it in a nutshell, mitigation involves the identification of risks and doing what you can to minimize them from the beginning. This could mean building dams to avoid floods, rebuilding certain structures that are made of weak materials or identifying all the weak points in a building.
Phase 2 – Preparedness
The second phase focuses upon getting prepared for a disaster. What makes it different from mitigation is that it stresses on getting ready for the third phase, response. This phase involves outlining a plan, getting supplies together and running through drills to see if preparedness is adequate.
Phase 3 – Response
Response, the third phase of emergency management, refers to the instant actions that need to be performed when an emergency takes place. The response should unfold according to the preparedness plan, with evacuation and essential operations.
Phase 4 – Recovery
The final phase of emergency management is recovering from the disaster or emergency that took place. It usually involves reconstruction and caring for those affected by the incident. This is the phase where state authorities, international organizations and other certified sources can play a vital role in speeding up recovery.
Emergency Management Director
In addition to learning the basics about emergency management, you can also look into job opportunities or forms of certification in the field. There are various degrees or new certificate programs that can help you reach this goal and become an emergency management director or specialist. The salary for a professional in this area can range anywhere from $33,370 to $116,900, as the BLS informs us.
If you decide to pursue a career in emergency management, you’ll most likely be working for local or state governments, hospitals, universities / schools or in the electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry. The states with the highest employment level are Texas, California, New York (NYC), Virginia and New Jersey (NJ). Even though states like Colorado, Florina, North Carolina, Washington or Indiana don’t have such a high level, you can still find emergency management jobs in these areas.
Emergency Management Organization, Office and Association Examples
Thankfully, there are an abundance of organizations that can help out with emergency management in times of need. These organizations can be national or international and are willing to provide disaster victims with supplies, support and shelter.
One of the most significant organizations for emergency management is FEMA, but also NIMS. All Red Cross branches can be consulted in times of emergency, as well the United Nations for large scales. A few other organizations are the International Association for Disaster Preparedness and Response (DERA), the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (COE) or the Citizen Corps.
It is best to search for emergency management organizations in the city or state that you live in for immediate help.
How to Prepare for Emergencies at Home or Work
Now that we know the fundamental aspects of emergency management, it’s time to conclude with a few ways in which you can prepare from emergencies at home or at the office.
- Kits & Supplies – make sure you have plenty of nonperishable food and water stored, as well as basic supplies like batteries and flashlights.
- Plan – create a plan that is clear and easy to follow. Make sure that you take all aspects of any emergency into consideration. As an alternative, you can create several plans with specific instructions for different emergencies.
- Training – go through the plan several times to see if any aspects need to be upgraded.
Stay safe and always prepare.