Emergency Management Director

It is the Emergency Management Director’s job to coordinate the plans for responding to emergencies, like natural disasters. They take the lead during emergencies and work with the fire department, law enforcement, the government and non-profit organizations to make the emergency response run as smoothly as possible.

Other duties of the Emergency Management Director include: organizing training sessions for volunteers, staff and emergency personnel; planning for emergencies so there is minimal damage and loss of life; analyzing and assessing the damage after an emergency or disaster; and making sure all agencies that are involved with emergency response are updated and knowledgeable on processes and procedures.

As part of their planning, Emergency Management Directors must research past natural disasters and best practices from all over the country to develop the best emergency plan. The must know the equipment, staff, agencies and resources they have available to them so they can develop a plan including and involving all available resources. It is their responsibility to keep all agencies involved in emergency response knowledgeable of the current plan and how to execute it. This is why it’s important that they do emergency training and preparedness drills. They might visit hospitals, schools, etc. to make sure everyone is updated on emergency plans.

After an emergency or disaster, it is the Emergency Management Director’s job to assess the damage and work with non-profit organizations and the government to get the help and supplies needed to clean up the community and take care of the residents. They might need to apply for federal or state assistance in some cases.

Private businesses might also employ Emergency Management Directors. They would be called Business Continuity Managers. Their role would be similar to that of an Emergency Management Director, but on a much smaller scale. They would coordinate the emergency response efforts, and maintain the policies and procedures for emergency preparedness on the business level.

Work Environment
Many Emergency Management Directors work for local and state governments, while others work for private businesses, universities or hospitals. Most Emergency Management Directors work in an office environment but many of them have to travel to meet with companies, agencies and the community to prepare for disasters. Working in emergency situations can be very stressful.

Emergency Management Directors work full time but are also on-call all the time in case of an emergency. Some might work with community groups on evenings or weekends in order to properly prepare them for a disaster.

How to Become an Emergency Management Director
Most Emergency Management Directors need to have a Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management, Business, as well as years of experience working with disaster planning or emergency response. Work experience in fire safety, law enforcement or similar fields also offer great work experience opportunities. Experience in these fields provides experience making difficult decisions in stressful situations and gives the candidate knowledge that they would not otherwise have.

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Some local governments might hire someone with a high school degree; however they would need extensive experience in an emergency response field.

Most Emergency Management Directors are offered the opportunity to earn specialized certificates. Theses voluntary programs offer additional training and skills that can help a candidate in their job duties.

Important Skills include: Many people look to an Emergency Management Director for guidance in a stressful situation. They must have excellent leadership skills; they must also have great decision-making and critical-thinking skills. They will be required to anticipate problems and be able to make difficult decisions in an instant. In addition, Emergency Management Directors must be able to work well with others and have excellent communication skills in order to get the job done correctly.

According to research done in 2012, Emergency Management Directors can make anywhere between $31,000 and $108,000 per year. According to this same research, the median pay is around $60,000 per year.

Job Outlook
The need for Emergency Management Directors is expected to grow at an average pace over the next ten years. Due to budget limitations in local and state governments, it is expected that the largest growth for this job will be in private companies, universities and hospitals.

The need for Emergency Management Directors is always there. With the changes in the weather and environment due to global warming, more weather-related disasters are happening. In addition, expansion into high-risk areas is increasing. This means Emergency Management Directors will be required to plan protection for more people, and more property to keep the damage to the community to a minimum.

Because Emergency Management Director is a fairly small job sector, competition for jobs will remain to be strong.

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