Emergency management is determined to take particular measures concerning the situations that involve exposure to danger and possible ways of avoiding it. The system of emergency management includes various types of menacing situations that a government has to deal with. This service is very significant since it provides everyday security of a country’s citizen, and not only in case of hazardous events, accidents, and natural catastrophes that cause loss of human life. This paper discusses duties and responsibilities of emergency management directors in the United States.
Emergency management is a foreground matter of the state. The major document of the United States is the Constitution. It assigns the states to have a responsibility of nation protection and health. The federal government takes a second-place role. Therefore, the main responsibility of the federal government is to assist in cases when regional, individual or public organizations are overloaded. Due to these circumstances, the state needs emergency management directors.
The process of formation of the emergency management department was long and difficult. In the early 1800s, the federal government for the first time helped in the local accident in New Hampshire. For a long time, the government was not involved into regional events. Only in the 1930s, the Bureau of Public Roads was powered to give credits for fixing and renovation of objects that got ruined after events causing great and sudden damage (Haddow, Bullock, & Coppola, 2006). At the same time, in order to decrease the frequency of submergence in the Tennessee region, the government built the Tennessee Valley Authority. Later, the Flood Control Act was enacted. As a result, it gave the opportunity to plan and construct the objects that would control the high level of water.
After the end of the 1950s, the emergency management came to the new level (Haddow et al., 2006). In conditions of the Cold War, the United States and the whole world faced the danger of intercontinental nuclear conflict and the following pollution of the environment. It caused the spread of programs oriented on the protection of citizens. As a result, most associations and American states had the directors of the civil defense department. These positions got material and financial assistance from regional or state administration. This post meant for a person to have exposure, experience, and determination. For that reason, usually, military people took this position.
In 1950, the US President arranged the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) (Nicholson, 2012). It was established to assist in technical problems. Later, the Department of Defense set up the Office of Defense Mobilization. It was working together with the FCDA. The main purpose of the Office is a capacity to prepare people, materials, and equipment in a short time and provide the storage for different goods in case of the war. Therefore, the goal of FCDA was to get ready for urgent situations that require immediate actions from the government. At the end of the 1950s, the Office and the FCDA united into the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization.
In the 1960s, the United States went through some natural cataclysms. They caused a number of people’s death and financial loss. In 1962, the storm brought damage to $300 million; then in 1964, the earthquake claimed the lives of 123 people (Haddow et al., 2006). Later in 1965 and 1969, the destroying hurricanes caused the death and harmed hundreds of people and ruined public objects, causing expenditure of the millions of dollars. The major financial damage made the government decree the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
After ten years of reformations, creation of different programs and organizations, in 1978, the President established the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the position of its director (Burns, 2007). It underwent several serious changes after the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. The President formed the Office of Homeland Security. It was aimed to keep the United States safe from possible future terrorist attacks, minimize the vulnerability of national security, and lower the harm from terrorism and natural accidents (Fagel, 2012).
Emergency management directors are in charge of supplying public needs such as transport, communications, and utilities in case of natural or technological disasters. Directors have many duties. They are responsible for arrangement of respond to natural catastrophes and emergencies in order to reduce exposure of danger for people and public ownership. Directors are official representatives of the emergency management. They meet with public, private organizations, and law authorities to sign agreements, establish social connections, and get proposals for the best course of action. Emergency management directors settle the course of lectures and training projects for employees, volunteers, emergency agencies. They have to bring the usage and appropriately divide supply of money, materials, staff, other assets and facilities into a relationship that will ensure efficiency within the group to help in emergency reply. Directors get the country ready for coming disasters. In addition, they are responsible for suitable reaction and help during the accident and the consequent actions that the government should provide for national composure. Emergency management directors control the competence of emergency plans of police, medical and fire emergency structures, as well as military forces. If there is a necessity, they are supposed to make changes in the plans. They make a formal application for governmental funding of the department. Furthermore, they have to form official documents that give the detailed information about the usage of funds. Directors have to reconsider the regional emergency operations plans.
In 2012, about 9,900 emergency management directors worked in different positions in the emergency department throughout the country (“Emergency Management Director,” n.d.). Most of them serve in the regional government sector. On the second place of employment are hospitals and community aid. On the third place is the state government. The least number of emergency management directors work in the technical, professional offices, in schools, colleges, universities, research institutions, and private organizations.
The biggest part of time, emergency management directors conduct in their place of work. They are to generate successful and beneficial strategies in conditions of dangerous events. In fact, their job requires the necessity to be in the epicenter of events in order to react and make quick decisions to settle down the situation. Directors have to meet up with journalists, media representatives, companies, and social groups. The job of emergency management directors is pretty intensive as it is connected with constant stress and the responsibility for people’s life. Sometimes, they need to work 24 hours a day to respond to extreme situations (“What Does an Emergency Management Director do?” n.d.).
People who want to deal with emergency cases need to be good at making quick actions and not be afraid of responsibilities and tension; in this case, the job of emergency management director would be perfect for them. Although, this occupation demands a number of professional skills. Directors have to be well-educated and have at least a bachelor’s degree. The work experience in this field related to the intensive environment is welcomed. It gets all applicants possibilities to work in this type of management.
Emergency management directors must be good speakers. They have to report the information to government, media, and general public. Their speech must be calm in cases of danger and ensure public in the stabilization of the current situation. Directors should make the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment and the solution of the problem. Also, they have to foresee the future challenges and prevent them. The ability to make opportune decisions in the conditions of mental stress and the lack of time is extremely important. Sometimes, making the decision can be hard as each of them concerns people’s life and can have its pros and cons. Emergency management directors must cooperate with other government departments and law enforcement officials. Last but not least is the capacity to lead people and organizations. As a matter of fact, people have to trust, be sure in his/her competence, and see directors’ ability to deal with emergency situations correctly and successfully.
The need for emergency management directors is growing. The government forecasted the increase of this profession employment. The employment in private companies rises up every year. The weather on Earth becomes different. It causes natural cataclysms, prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, and severe storms. This may lead to enlargement of areas with the high level of danger and the formation of new unsafe regions. The skills and experience of emergency directors in such areas can be helpful. As they need to save people and public property from destruction. Emergency management directors will be necessary to maintain the ordinary and safe lifestyle of citizens during and after accidents, so that they would not feel the deficiency of food, water, electricity, gas, and water supply.
In conclusion, nowadays, the job of emergency management directors is very responsible and important. In conditions of natural and technological catastrophes, terrorism, pandemic diseases and other accidents, there is a necessity to have a person that would be able to deal with damages, which dangerous situations can cause. This job requires advanced communication and logical skills, the ability to react in difficult cases, make quick decisions that will help to cope with current and future problems. The necessity in emergency management directors grows as fast as the natural conditions and the threat of the terrorism. Indeed, the United States needs this profession in order to keep safe and peaceful life of its citizens.