What’s an emergency management specialist’s job?

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An emergency management specialist prepares for and responds to natural and man-made disasters, trains others, and conducts research to determine effective approaches. They work with various agencies and must maintain composure in stressful situations. No specific education is required, but experience in healthcare, economics, or environmental planning is preferred.

An emergency management specialist ensures that natural and man-made disasters are adequately prepared for and that resulting damage is quickly assessed and remedied. It is customary for her to know the best disaster response options and have plans to efficiently implement effective crisis management plans. A significant part of her job is training people within her scope of responsibility to act reasonably and in the best interest of all involved. She may be employed by a business, a government, or as a community or regional emergency specialist.

How an emergency management specialist responds to a disaster depends largely on the source of the disaster and the level of damage it has caused. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or hurricanes require very different actions and solutions from those caused by war. Spills of toxic or hazardous materials or malfunctioning of nuclear power plants require even different approaches to minimize negative effects.

To be successful in this position requires good teamwork and great communication skills. An emergency management specialist typically works closely with police and fire departments, as well as local hospitals in developing plans that involve cross-agency focus and cooperation. Clearly defined objectives, followed without distraction by all parties involved, often improve the success of recovery efforts.

Before proposing or implementing sound emergency preparedness plans, an expert in this field typically conducts extensive research to determine which approaches have been most successful in real-life situations. The models she conventionally uses for reference have similarly sized populations, comparable shelters, and similar resources in medical facilities. She often organizes public speaking venues for disaster experts to advise communities on the best approaches to disasters and answer questions from residents.

Typically, a person in this position is required to prepare reports that reflect changes to local and regional emergency response plans. If key chains of command change or designated shelter locations change, she is normally required to ensure that key community leaders are informed immediately. It is also expected that it will receive affirmations from different support agencies, ensuring the availability and timely maintenance of its tools and resources.

Maintaining composure in the face of catastrophes and being able to calm people in various states of panic are key personality traits of an emergency management specialist. As she is often the first point of contact in disastrous situations, her calm demeanor is essential in leading others in rescue efforts. Organizational skills are also an important part of your job.

No specific educational requirements are needed for this position. Solid knowledge and experience in healthcare, economic or environmental planning are strongly preferred. Familiarity with triage procedures or emergency response plans is an asset to the candidate for this job.

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