Emergency Management Specialist  What They Do

Just the Facts

Emergency Management Directors Career Video

Plans and directs disaster response or crisis management activities, provides disaster preparedness training, and prepares 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.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster Public Management and Administration pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Coordinates disaster response or crisis management activities, such as ordering evacuations, opening public shelters, and implementing special needs plans and programs.
  • Prepares 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.
  • Develops and maintains liaisons with municipalities, county departments, and similar entities to facilitate plan development, response effort coordination, and exchanges of personnel and equipment.
  • Designs and administers emergency or disaster preparedness training courses that teach people how to effectively respond to major emergencies and disasters.
  • Keeps 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.
  • Develops and performs tests and evaluations of emergency management plans in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  • Maintains and updates all resource materials associated with emergency preparedness plans.
  • Collaborates with other officials to prepare and analyze damage assessments following disasters or emergencies.
  • Prepares emergency situation status reports that describe response and recovery efforts, needs, and preliminary damage assessments.
  • Proposes alteration of emergency response procedures based on regulatory changes, technological changes, or knowledge gained from outcomes of previous emergency situations.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Civil Preparedness Officer -- Coordinates activities of workers engaged in preparing for or combating disaster situations and negotiates with civic and professional leaders to develop and implement survival plans in accord with local needs and state and federal policies.
  • Emergency Preparedness Coordinator -- Responsible for program and resource development designed to enhance the capacity of people to be alerted about, respond to and recover from disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and chemical spills.
  • 911 Communications Manager --
  • Disaster Recovery Manager --
  • Emergency Responder --
  • Emergency Services Program Coordinator --
  • Hazard Mitigation Officer --
  • Hurricane Program Manager --