Career Spotlight: Emergency Management Specialist

MSL student in crisis management office

Master Of Science In Leadership with an Emphasis in Homeland Security and Emergency Management equips you with leadership and crisis management skills. Graduates of this master’s in disaster preparedness program can go on to pursue leadership positions in schools, cybersecurity organizations, fire departments, police departments, emergency services and community-serving organizations. Keep reading to learn about one potential career outcome for graduates of this program: emergency management specialist.

What Is an Emergency Management Specialist?

To help minimize the impact of major disasters and emergencies, individuals such as firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics and engineers work together in the aftermath. It is the responsibility of an emergency management specialist to help plan emergency response programs and coordinate the response teams.

Emergency response specialists are always working to ensure the overall safety of those around them. They work as a liaison between various agencies to coordinate disaster training and relief. This is a profoundly important service that helps people at the level of society, families and the individual.

What Skills Do Emergency Management Specialists Need?

An emergency management specialist benefits from having excellent communication skills. They must effectively organize disaster response crews and conduct emergency management operations. When dealing with a crisis, an emergency management specialist needs to maintain a calm disposition, so as not to provoke further worry in others. They should possess good problem-solving skills to make quick decisions and find ways to resolve problems as they arise.

Another component of this position is tracking information in databases and online, which can require developing strong technical skills in this area. Also, being able to adapt to rapid developments, work effectively under pressure and remain aware of evolving situations are essential competencies for these professionals to possess.

What Tasks Do Emergency Management Specialists Perform?

As an emergency management specialist, you can expect to coordinate crisis management and disaster response activities. For example you may implement special programs or oversee evacuations. Professionals in this role may also be responsible for developing and overseeing emergency preparedness programs and creating emergency situation reports. Some of the tasks that are performed by emergency specialists include:

Educating and training members of the community and emergency response agencies about how to effectively respond to an emergency or disaster.

  • Ensuring the delivery of food, water and medical supplies to areas hit hard by a natural disaster.
  • Working with agencies to plan specific emergency responses.
  • Conducting surveys to determine the types of emergency-related needs that should be addressed in disaster planning.

What Is the Career Path for an Emergency Management Specialist?

To advance their career, emergency management specialists frequently transition into an emergency manager or director position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for emergency management directors is expected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations between 2019 and 2029.1

The sole responsibility of an emergency response specialist is to make sure that the community is ready when disaster strikes. If you love helping people in times of need, you may want to consider becoming an emergency management specialist.

Grand Canyon University’s, Colangelo College of Business offers a Master of Science in Leadership with an Emphasis in Disaster Preparedness and Executive Fire Leadership degree which can prepare you to have a positive impact as an emergency management specialist. To learn more about our business degrees, click the Request More Information button on this page.

1Retrieved from Emergency Management Directors, in September 2020.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

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