Written by Alyssa Walker

In less than a minute, your world can change on a dime. Sometimes it’s for good. Sometimes for ill; major traffic accidents, severe weather patterns (increasingly common due to climate change), explosions, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, mass contagion…you name it.

If you ever stopped to think about all that could go wrong in a day, you might feel a little overwhelmed. But somebody has to think about it; somebody has to figure out how to put the pieces back together after a disaster.

This is where emergency management specialists come in. They are trained professionals who spend their days planning how to minimize deaths and injuries when disaster strikes.

Here’s what you need to know about the field of emergency management.

1. Save the world!

Step 1: don a cape.

New York City’s Emergency Management Department created Ready Girl, an award-winning program that teaches kids and their families how to prepare for emergencies. She’s a superhero, ready for any crisis, including hurricanes, floods, and winter storms.

It is the department’s job to coordinate city-wide emergency planning and response for all types of emergencies. And its message of empowerment resonates – the public education and awareness campaign, including Ready Girl, has reached millions of families in New York City. Emergency Managers empower people to save lives, including their own.

In real life, of course, superheroes don’t wear capes. They are cool, calm and collected, and they have a plan. If that plan fails, they have another. And another. You get the idea.

2. It’s a fascinating, varied field of study with many career paths

Emergency managers have myriad opportunities in the field. Students in emergency management studies can focus on health crises, terrorism, transportation emergencies, hazardous materials, natural disasters, and everything in-between.

With a degree in emergency management, graduates can find work in government, business, academia, law enforcement, and business.

Career choices are as varied as the specialized fields, and they all focus on prevention, preparedness, and communication.

If you like working behind the scenes coordinating emergency personnel and communication among disaster relief groups, consider becoming an Emergency Management Specialist.

Homeland Security Officers coordinate similar efforts on a national level, intercepting disasters.

If working on a local or national scale does not suit you, the healthcare industry also needs emergency managers. A Hospital Emergency Preparedness Administrator creates plans and protocols for hospital emergencies, like power outages, natural disasters, toxic spills, and hostage situations.

At more micro levels, careers such as Emergency Dispatchers and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) work at the front lines of emergency management, dealing with people in emergency situations.

Ready to get started?

3. Head To Adelphi

Adelphi University’s online programs offer the opportunity to earn a B.S. in Emergency Services Administration, which puts any graduate on a fast track to a rewarding career in emergency management.

In the program, you will interact with experts in the field, and researchers and practitioners who have managed emergency situations for presidential visits, global meetings, terrorist attacks, disease outbreaks, transport disasters, and natural disasters.

With the degree, you will not only learn first-hand from experts, you will be ready to meet a critical need in today’s world.

If you are already working in the field and want to earn a four-year degree, Adelphi can help with that, too. Students who have earned credits or degrees for police academy work, EMT or paramedic certification, fire academy training, military training, and Federal DHS courses can apply Life Experience credits to their online B.S. in Emergency Services Administration.

The university also offers other online and blended programs in emergency management, all of which Life Experience credit can also be used on. At graduate level, the M.S. in Emergency Management is 100 percent online and offers hands-on training with a healthy dose of theory. Designed for higher level emergency professionals, the M.S. prepares graduates for exciting, frontline careers. 

There’s also a graduate certificate in Emergency Management, which may help those already actively working in the field demonstrate career commitment and further their knowledge. Professionals looking to make a career move or shift from frontline work to senior administration may find the graduate certificate gives them just the boost they need.

At associate’s level, there is an online A.S. in Emergency Services Administration. For those looking at the potential of a bachelor’s degree, or a career shift from public safety, the A.S. gives graduates a fundamental understanding of emergency services administration.

Interested in learning more? Check out Adelphi’s online emergency management programs and start making the world a better, safer place! 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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