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A Day in the Life: Emergency Manager

Learn More About our ESM DegreesWhether it is a natural disaster – earthquake, flood or tornado – or a man-made disaster – a collapsed building, fire or terrorist attack – emergencies happen unexpectedly. Although disasters can strike at any moment, many tragedies can be avoided with proper preparedness. For emergency managers, being prepared is their job. Emergency managers are taught leadership skills, how to deal with different types of disasters, disaster plan development and ways to prevent excessive damages.

One of the most common disasters that emergency managers face is fire. The effects of a serious fire could be anything from smoke damage or inhalation or even death. Some of the most common causes of fire are cooking hazards, electrical short circuiting or even smoking where there are petroleum products. Here are a few steps that emergency managers take during a fire disaster.

Although disasters can strike at any moment, many tragedies can be avoided with proper preparedness.
  1. Sound the Alarm: Sound the fire alarm as soon as possible notify everyone in the building. Alerts are the easiest way to communicate a fire so people can react quickly.
  2. Call for Help: Ask for assistance from firefighters and ambulances. The ambulance is essential to take care of anyone who might have injuries.
  3. Stay Calm: Unfortunately, most injuries are instigated by individuals who are in panic mode and are not making rational decisions. Avoid situations where there is a lot of panic. As an emergency manager, direct everyone to the emergency exits, assuring them that the all will be okay.
  4. Address the Situation: In some situations, you may be able to be proactive in diminishing more losses.  For example, use the fire extinguishers before the firefighters arrive.
  5. After the Disaster: The emergency manager should also help organizations develop a proper plan to prevent and deal with disasters in the future. This includes educating employees about hazards and also assisting them to understand what they should do when faced with danger. As the manager, supervise and coordinate a team into educating every employee on the potential threats of disasters. Additionally, ensure that all necessary equipment is available. For example, fire extinguishers should be placed in strategic positions and first aid kits should also be fully equipped.
  6. Planning: Developing a strategy to mitigate such disasters is also very important for emergency managers. Disaster plans should be well-communicated to every employee, as well as making blueprints widely available to ensure everyone understands what to do. Plan and execute several drills to test the preparedness of the employees and to ensure they are familiar with the plan beforehand.

Disasters are not limited to any part of the world or any organization. No matter what the disaster is, emergency managers will always have a role in society. Click for more information about Columbia Southern University’s emergency services management degrees.