What is an Emergency and Disaster Management Degree?

An Emergency and Disaster Management Degree equips graduates to help communities reduce risk, prepare resources, respond to events and limit further damage according to Emergency Preparedness – Response and Crisis Management (ERCM). The World Health Organization presents a six year plan that can serve a a guideline for the study of emergency and disaster management.

Reducing Risk

Courses leading to an Emergency and Disaster Management Degree include an introduction to the history of emergency management practices. Students examine principles of risk and vulnerability that are related to natural and health related disasters. Learning from successful community risk programs helps students assess needs in other communities that are less well prepared. Development of intervention strategies is a central focus of courses that address disaster risk reduction.

Preparing Resources

Gaining the ability to think critically is a key component of courses in resource preparedness. The emerging field of emergency management requires students to understand the complexities of planning for natural and man made disasters. Learning how to anticipate needs and assess resources provides a basis for proper response. Critical decision making skills are taught in courses that examine disaster and emergency readiness. Underlying the planning process is the study of ethics and regulations that establish boundaries for superior performance in the field. Courses are designed to meet the needs of students who are working as first responders, policy makers and members of the armed forces as well as those who are new to the field of disaster management.

Responding to Events

Coursework introduces students to public safety forces that respond to emergencies and disasters. Coordination among police, fire and emergency medical units requires an understanding of the role that each plays in order to sequence them properly. Managing disaster support is a skill that students acquire in academic training, and it offers opportunities to examine the need for integrating local government and businesses into responses to emergencies. Finding how to get agencies and businesses to work together is a key to managing catastrophic events.

Limiting Further Damage

An Emergency and Disaster Management Degree teaches students how to lessen the impact that disasters impose on people and property. Courses present mitigation strategies that counteract damages, along with early warning methods that can minimize risks. A holistic approach that includes the implementation of plans for recuperating from earthquakes, wildfire, landslides, hurricanes and floods helps students gain a perspective of the massiveness of such events. Recovering from disasters and limiting damage through planning and the implementation of effective procedures are central components of courses that address damage reduction.

Related Resource: Is Emergency Management a Good Degree for Former Military?

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) describes jobs with the U.S. government that offer careers for graduates who know how to plan, prepare and mitigate. FEMA is often in the news whenever a disaster strikes, and local agencies are prepared to devote all available resources in case of emergency. Earning an Emergency and Disaster Management Degree equips graduates with the skills to make a difference when it counts the most.