The role of an emergency manager has become increasingly important in recent years. There has been a threat of various disasters since 2020, including the George Floyd riots, the Capitol riot, and the Taliban returning to power. An emergency manager formulates effective strategies before, during, and after a local, state-wide, or national emergency. Essentially, an emergency manager is a consultant to the executive branch of jurisdiction and is responsible for ensuring the safety of citizens. Depending on the local laws, the emergency manager can act as the executive.

The Role of an Emergency Manager

Emergency managers are responsible for ensuring the safety of residents of their districts. Relationships with emergency response agencies, media relations, coordination of emergency response efforts, and raising awareness about emergency preparedness and response are all part of this process. 

Despite the lack of resources available, emergency managers often work under impossible circumstances. It takes a great deal of specialized knowledge and training to accomplish this task. In order to fulfill this role, many people obtain a masters in emergency management and homeland security so they can properly develop the competency and skills needed for the job.

Emergency Management Vs Homeland Security

The goal of emergency management is to prevent disasters from occurring, such as launching attacks on terrorist hideouts. In terms of skills, planning, preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery are most important. 

On the other hand, homeland security is concerned with both domestic and international issues, and this degree emphasizes operations and evaluation of intelligence and program management. 

In a nutshell, Emergency management focuses on broad scopes of data for attack prevention, whereas homeland security analyzes people and ideologies to design security policies.

The Difference in Degrees

While dealing with a disaster scenario involves many interrelated elements, there are some key differences as well. Knowing the difference between the two can help you decide on which path is best for you if you plan to get a degree in either. When you earn a homeland security degree, you may spend more time studying the psychology of terrorism, while emergency management programs focus on developing preventative training for response teams, such as the US Center for Disease Control’s “Zombie Preparedness” program. However, some institutes combine the two into a joint degree program.

What is The Purpose of an Emergency Management Degree?

The main objective of an emergency management program is to ensure that students can recognize and predict significant threats to the community by analyzing intelligence data and responding to those threats in a timely fashion. It also covers the administrative responsibilities and regulations of an emergency manager. 

A degree in emergency management can strengthen your decision-making and communication skills. Whether students specialize in counterterrorism or natural disasters, they will learn how to mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from these threats. 

Graduates often use their degree as a springboard to pursue further education or field experience.

Career Options with a master’s in Emergency Management

While some people stop at bachelor’s in emergency management, the career opportunities with a master’s degree are generally better paid and have better growth prospects. According to FEMA, emergency managers make an average salary of $70,500 per year. 

There are three main titles with the higher education degree. These are the emergency management coordinator, emergency management specialist, and emergency management planner. The coordinator is the highest designation for emergency management professionals. As he is responsible for overseeing all functions related to disasters. Specialists are usually less experienced than coordinators and act as the latter’s advisors. Planners write emergency operations plans but don’t advise executives. 

People with emergency management degrees may choose to work in the private security sector, but their success is usually determined by the connections and experience they gained over their public sector careers.

How do Emergency Managers Deal With Terrorism?

A manager’s abilities are determined by his or her experience and knowledge. It means understanding the motivations, causes, and effects of previous terrorist attacks. To discover and prevent further attacks, the emergency manager must also work with intelligence agencies. A part of the preventative process involves training law enforcement agencies and medical personnel to deal with threats that may emerge. 

Emergency managers are responsible for gathering and relaying information about an attack to the appropriate departments during an attack. After an attack, they maintain media relations to ensure that timely and accurate information is released to the public to prevent mass hysteria.

Final Thoughts

An emergency manager’s role might seem daunting at first. It is quite challenging to imagine how you could build a prepared organization with a knowledgeable staff, keep all planning documents up-to-date, coordinate with partners, and develop training plans that include staff, partners, and elected officials. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the right degree can greatly ease this challenge. If you have a passion for protecting the public and the motivation to learn all the necessary skills, then looking into a degree program is the next logical step.