When different agencies work together to manage a disaster, someone has to coordinate their activities to ensure things run smoothly. This is where emergency management specialists are vital. Below is a look at emergency management as a career.
An overview of disaster management
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines emergency management as the managerial function responsible for creating a framework that communities can use to manage hazards and cope with disasters. Based on this definition, emergency management is necessary for a society's survival because it not only reduces vulnerability to hazards, but also helps the community manage disasters effectively.
FEMA and its role in emergency response
The U.S. federal government established the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 1978 to manage major disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods across the country. Working with other stakeholders including state, local and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, private sector and citizens, FEMA employs various strategies to help communities avoid hazards and mitigate risk.
A career in emergency management
Since the creation of FEMA, the emergency management profession has diversified and grown across the U.S. Today, emergency management professionals are found in nearly every state. Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that jobs in this field will grow 6% from 2014 to 2024. According to the BLS, the growing need for professionals to develop response plans to protect both people and property, as well as limit the damage from disasters, will fuel this increase.
Major employers include state or local government, hospitals and learning institutions, including professional schools, colleges and universities. Other professionals may pursue specialties in the military, non-profits or law enforcement.
Get ahead in the field
If you want to protect communities from hazard and help them manage major disasters, you could consider a career in emergency management. Learn more about gaining your graduate degree as well as how to become a professional in areas related to emergency and disaster management, hazards management, public safety and homeland security with ASU’s online degree in emergency management and homeland security.