What does an Emergency Management Director do?
An emergency management director designs emergency response plans and procedures to respond to emergencies such as natural disasters. They often work in coordination with government agencies, public safety officials, nonprofit organizations, and elected officials and help lead the response during and after emergencies.
Most emergency management directors work for local or state governments and others for hospitals, nonprofit organizations, or private companies.
How to Become an Emergency Management Director
Emergency management directors typically require a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, emergency management, public administration, or public health. If one works in the private sector in the area of business continuity management the employer may desire the degree in computer science, information systems administration, or other (IT) information technology field.
It is possible for a high school graduate with extensive work experience in emergency management to be hired by a smaller municipality. Work experience with years spent in emergency management, fire safety, or law enforcement is normally a requirement for any applicant for an emergency management director. In addition, some states require directors to have a certification within a certain time frame after employment.
Job Description of an Emergency Management Director
The duties of an emergency management director is to develop procedures and plans to respond to natural disasters or other emergencies in order to minimize risk to people and property. They meet with elected officials, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, public safety officials, and the general public to get recommendations for emergency response plans and organize training programs and exercises for volunteers, staff, and other respondents.
He or she must analyze resources, equipment, and staff available to respond to emergencies and may need to revise plans or gather resources from other communities or states as well as coordinate with police departments, fire, emergency medical service, and/or public works agencies.
A director would have the job of applying for federal funding for emergency managements planning, responses and recovery, and report on the use of funds allocated.
In the event of an emergency, directors maintain a command center to monitor and manage the emergency operations. After an emergency they must assess damage to their community and coordinate receiving assistance and supplies if necessary.