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Emergency Management Directors Career

Career Description

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.

What Job Titles Emergency Management Directors Might Have

  • Emergency Management Coordinator
  • Emergency Management System Director (EMS Director)
  • Emergency Planner
  • Emergency Preparedness Program Specialist

What Emergency Management Directors Do

  • Coordinate disaster response or crisis management activities, such as ordering evacuations, opening public shelters, and implementing special needs plans and programs.
  • 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.
  • Develop and maintain liaisons with municipalities, county departments, and similar entities to facilitate plan development, response effort coordination, and exchanges of personnel and equipment.
  • Design and administer emergency or disaster preparedness training courses that teach people how to effectively respond to major emergencies and disasters.
  • 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.
  • Develop and perform tests and evaluations of emergency management plans in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  • Maintain and update all resource materials associated with emergency preparedness plans.
  • Collaborate with other officials to prepare and analyze damage assessments following disasters or emergencies.
  • Prepare emergency situation status reports that describe response and recovery efforts, needs, and preliminary damage assessments.
  • Propose alteration of emergency response procedures based on regulatory changes, technological changes, or knowledge gained from outcomes of previous emergency situations.
  • Inspect facilities and equipment, such as emergency management centers and communications equipment, to determine their operational and functional capabilities in emergency situations.
  • Consult with officials of local and area governments, schools, hospitals, and other institutions to determine their needs and capabilities in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.
  • Review emergency plans of individual organizations, such as medical facilities, to ensure their adequacy.
  • Attend meetings, conferences, and workshops related to emergency management to learn new information and to develop working relationships with other emergency management specialists.
  • Develop instructional materials for the public and make presentations to citizens' groups to provide information on emergency plans and their implementation processes.
  • Keep informed of federal, state, and local regulations affecting emergency plans and ensure that plans adhere to these regulations.
  • Apply for federal funding for emergency-management-related needs and administer and report on the progress of such grants.
  • Train local groups in the preparation of long-term plans that are compatible with federal and state plans.
  • Study emergency plans used elsewhere to gather information for plan development.
  • Conduct surveys to determine the types of emergency-related needs to be addressed in disaster planning or provide technical support to others conducting such surveys.
  • Provide communities with assistance in applying for federal funding for emergency management facilities, radiological instrumentation, and other related items.

What Emergency Management Directors Should Be Good At

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Emergency Management Directors Should Be Interested In

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

What Emergency Management Directors Need to Learn

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Transportation - Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
  • Personnel and Human Resources - Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Median Salary: $70,500

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.