Emergency Management Specialist

Equip a community with the resources to deal with a disaster.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$29,000 – $96,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Emergency Management Specialists do?

Communities may have many resources to use when an emergency occurs. For example, some buildings may have deep basements that can hold displaced people. Some hospitals may have extensive burn units. And some residents may have specialized information that can help the community recover.

These resources are worthless, however, unless someone knows about them. That’s where you come in. As an Emergency Management Specialist, you determine the community’s available resources in case of emergency.

As an Emergency Management Specialist, you develop surveys to give to local hospitals, schools, and businesses. In those surveys, you ask how big the buildings are, how much water they can store, how many people work in each of them, and how they’re accessed. Your surveys as an Emergency Management Specialist won’t seem nosy because you explain what exactly they are for. You also ask the people you interview how they might need help in case of emergency.

You also study your community’s weather reports, geologic surveys, maps, and financial information to determine which emergencies are likely to occur. This information helps you prioritize your work. If your community sits right on top of a volcano, for example, you may focus most of your work on evacuation and air quality.

Additionally, you give speeches to local businesses and community groups about the importance of being prepared in an emergency. You won’t alarm people, of course, but you reassure them that all will go well if they follow the plans your department puts together.

You either develop emergency plans—in accordance with state and federal guidelines, of course—or assist someone else in creating those plans. If an emergency does occur, you may also assist with crowd control.

Should I be an Emergency Management Specialist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: 911 Communications Manager, Disaster Planner, Disaster Recovery Manager, Disaster Response Director See More

    How to Become an
    Emergency Management Specialist

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