Natural disasters can cause a lot of mayhem, but with careful planning, emergency management directors can make them a little less, well… disastrous. Along with their partners in public safety and other agencies, they respond quickly to emergencies, from hurricanes and floods to hazardous spills or hostage situations, working to restore safety and order. Emergency management directors minimize risk throughout the year by assessing hazards and making necessary preparations. They know that after a natural disaster, resources may be scarce, so they develop plans in advance to share resources, expertise, and equipment with the broader community to ensure that everyone has the tools to survive and recover. These directors design programs to help staff, first responders, and volunteers get ready to face whatever challenges may crop up in an emergency, and to minimize risk to people and property. After a disaster, they coordinate damage assessments. They also obtain funding to maintain and upgrade shelter spaces and pay for preparations. The work is full time, with considerable overtime during emergencies. Entry level requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree in public administration or a related field, but the most important thing is extensive experience. Certifications are also available.
What they do:
Plan and direct disaster response or crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes), wartime, or technological (e.g., nuclear power plant emergencies or hazardous materials spills) disasters or hostage situations.
On the job, you would:
Keep informed of activities or changes that could affect the likelihood of an emergency, as well as those that could affect response efforts and details of plan implementation.
Prepare emergency situation status reports that describe response and recovery efforts, needs, and preliminary damage assessments.
Prepare plans that outline operating procedures to be used in response to disasters or emergencies, such as hurricanes, nuclear accidents, and terrorist attacks, and in recovery from these events.
Safety and Government
public safety and security
law and government
Arts and Humanities
talking to others
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
looking for ways to help people
changing what is done based on other people's actions
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
pay attention to something without being distracted
do two or more things at the same time
quickly know what you are looking at
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
Relational database software
SoftRisk Technologies SoftRisk SQL
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Geographic information system GIS software
Project management software
National Center for Crisis and Continuity Coordination NC4 E Team
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed