Emergency Management Specialist

The emergency management specialist works as a behind the scenes organizer and liaison between various Federal, State, Local and Municipal agencies to coordinate disaster training and relief. Working within their local community the emergency management specialist’s primary duty, when not actively responding to a disaster, is to educate and train members of the community and emergency response agencies in disaster preparedness. This community education is achieved through research of the specific needs of a region and any agencies the specialist is working with to determine what kinds of training and planning is required. Some specialists may be involved in inspections of buildings and organizations to check structural integrity and ascertain whether the agency in question is adequately prepared for a disaster. In the event of an actual disaster the specialist works to coordinate the response of local officials and agencies to minimize damage, save lives, coordinate necessary evacuations and inform the media of messages to be relayed to the general public over official emergency communication lines.

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  • The emergency management specialist will be expected to perform a variety of different tasks depending on their specific position, such as:
  • Researching and planning region and agency specific disaster preparedness needs
  • Working with agencies to plan specific emergency responses
  • Training members of the public, public agencies and private organizations in disaster response protocols
  • In the event of an emergency coordinating disaster relief efforts
  • Acting as a liaison between diverse federal, state, local and municipal agencies to maximize coordination in disaster preparedness and relief efforts.
  • Promoting community education through the planning and implementation of media outreach efforts

How this Job Services Human Beings
The emergency management specialist works behind the scenes to help in minimizing the impact of disasters through preparedness training and – in the event of a disaster- works as a liaison to coordinate disaster relief efforts of various agencies. This is a profoundly important service that helps people at the level of society, families and the individual.

Impact on Society
The emergency management specialist can impact their community in a variety of ways such as:

  • Helps to increase public awareness of Disaster preparedness
  • Helps to reduce damage to buildings and lives lost through training of agencies and individuals in disaster preparedness
  • Helps coordinate government agencies to maximize the effectiveness of disaster response among emergency response agencies.

Impact on the Individual
The emergency management specialist works to help individuals by offering public training and disaster preparedness programs. The specialist also indirectly helps individuals by coordinating various agencies to make sure their ability to respond to the needs of individuals who are harmed by disasters is met quickly and efficiently. The individual may never know the disaster specialist is operating behind the scenes but the potential benefits to the individual are nothing short of life saving.

Impact on the Family
By helping to train members of the public who wish to be involved in disaster preparedness efforts, the emergency management specialist can have a profound impact on families. The family may also benefit like the individual through seeing a highly coordinated and efficient effort on the part of local emergency response agencies in the event of a disaster. Families can be reunited after a disaster in part through the efforts of emergency management specialists who are coordinating various agencies and providing information through public emergency broadcast systems. The impact on the family can be incredible with lives saved and families brought back together after disaster has separated them.

Education to Join the Work Force

While some positions only require a high school diploma and on the job training it is highly recommended that you earn your Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD. in Emergency Management. A number of universities offer this degree. You can also supplement your formal education with a certification through the National Association of Safety Professionals.

Range of Salaries for the Job
The nationwide salary range for a director position in emergency management is between $74,590 to $141,230.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2019. National 50th – 90th percentile range for Emergency Management DirectorsSalaries based on national data not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed March 2021.

What’s Next to Pursue this Career?
To insure that you are able to find a job in this field it is recommended that you earn your Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD. in Emergency Management. If you wish to become a director of Emergency Management you will want to earn your Master’s degree in Emergency Management as a minimum requirement. In addition, it is wise to take classes to attain fluency in at least one additional language based on the region you will be working in as there are often incentives or requirements to be bi-lingual. You can find a list of schools in your area offering these degrees here.