What Is Emergency Management?
Emergency management is the managerial function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters. Emergency management protects communities by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters.
In March 2007 a working group of emergency management academics and practitioners was convened by FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute to consider the principles of emergency management. The working group identified eight principles that emergency management must be:
- Comprehensive – emergency managers consider and take into account all hazards, all phases, all stakeholders and all impacts relevant to disasters.
- Progressive – emergency managers anticipate future disasters and take preventive and preparatory measures to build disaster-resistant and disaster-resilient communities.
- Risk-driven – emergency managers use sound risk management principles (hazard identification, risk analysis, and impact analysis) in assigning priorities and resources.
- Integrated – emergency managers ensure unity of effort among all levels of government and all elements of a community.
- Collaborative – emergency managers create and sustain broad and sincere relationships among individuals and organizations to encourage trust, advocate a team atmosphere, build consensus, and facilitate communication.
- Coordinated – emergency managers synchronize the activities of all relevant stakeholders to achieve a common purpose.
- Flexible – emergency managers use creative and innovative approaches in solving disaster challenges.
- Professional – emergency managers value a science and knowledge-based approach based on education, training, experience, ethical practice, public stewardship and continuous improvement.