People who seek careers that could help the community should learn how to get a job in emergency and disaster management. A few events in this world can have such an impact on human lives as catastrophic emergencies and disaster situations do. It makes one think if there is anything that can be done to prevent them or at least lessen their impact on humanity. There is also a need to find ways that would enable those affected to recover quickly and get on with their rudely interrupted lives. Emergency and disaster management is actually a very complex field because of the multi-faceted effects of catastrophes and disasters.
What is Emergency and Disaster Management?
Emergency and disaster management is a field consisting of various disciplines that deal with the strategic processes aimed at protecting an organization’s critical assets from hazard risks leading to catastrophes and disasters. It involves the four major phases of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The effectiveness of the desired strategic process lies mainly in being able to identify risks.
Mitigation efforts are intended to reduce the effects of existing hazards. Preparedness is about modifying behavior to limit disastrous impact on people. Response is about mobilizing those designated as initial responders to the disaster area. Finally, recovery is about restoration of an affected area to its prior condition before tragedy struck. To truly answer to people in need, emergency management programs must be professional, flexible, coordinated, collaborative, integrated, risk-driven, progressive, and comprehensive.
Degree programs in emergency and disaster management are provided by different colleges and universities. Some are offered online while others are offered in traditional classroom setting. Students are given a choice to opt for an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Certificate programs are likewise offered.
Areas of study and degree programs related to emergency and disaster management include BA and MA in Emergency and Disaster Management, Emergency Management Training Program, AS in Explosive Ordinance Disposal, National Hazards Program Specialist, and Technological Hazards and Program Specialist, among others. A typical emergency management degree coursework includes courses in organization of people, information, resources, crisis management, disaster communication, situation and risk analysis, leadership ability and development, and strategic planning. Formal education should be supported by hands-on experience.
Getting a Job in Emergency and Disaster Management
Employment opportunities for emergency and disaster management positions are found in federal government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Health, Department of Justice, office of emergency preparedness of state governments, political subdivisions, not-for-profit organizations such as the International Red Cross, hospitals, health agencies, and large corporations.
An emergency and disaster management professional is tasked to oversee emergency response efforts such as search and rescue operations, emergency shelter, food and water supply, relief services, social work, and many others. Possible job positions include working as emergency planner, emergency coordinator, emergency response driver, paramedic, and fire safety officer. There are still many areas where emergency and disaster management can help so it is best to know how to get a job in emergency and disaster management.