The Emergency Management Major has become a specialized major in high demand. Emergencies, Disasters, and Catastrophes are commonplace, and require leadership and technical “know how” at the highest levels. With an Emergency Management Degree, students can matriculate to hold high offices in Civil and Municipal “First Response” organizations. Police, Fire, FEMA, The United Nations, The Red Cross and any other organization that deals with crisis management, all seek graduates with this background
Emergencies, Disasters, and Catastrophes are not gradients, they are separate, distinct problems that require distinct strategies of response. Disasters are events distinguished from everyday emergencies by four factors: Organizations are forced into more and different kinds of interactions than normal; Organizations lose some of their normal autonomy; Performance standards change, and; More coordinated public sector/private sector relationships are required.
Catastrophes are distinct from disasters in that: Most or all of the community built structure is heavily impacted; Local officials are unable to undertake their usual work roles; Most, if not all, of the everyday community functions are sharply and simultaneously interrupted, and; Help from nearby communities cannot be provided.
Assets are categorized as either living things, non-living things, cultural or economic. Hazards are categorized by their cause, either natural or human-made. The entire strategic management process is divided into four fields to aid in identification of the processes. The four fields normally deal with risk reduction, preparing resources to respond to the hazard, responding to the actual damage caused by the hazard and limiting further damage (e.g., emergency evacuation, quarantine, mass decontamination, etc.), and returning as close as possible to the state before the hazard incident. The field occurs in both the public and private sector, sharing the same processes, but with different focuses.
There may be various types of threats to organizations in their day to day operations. These threats may not be visible in their initial stages but may hamper the whole growth strategies and put organizations into losses in a very short span of time. In the case of serious area-wide events, first responders will prioritize public institutions (Broder, 2006). Therefore, in order to respond to sudden, unwanted events, organizations need a holistic and integrated planning, aiming not only at minimizing and avoiding escalation, but also at providing the capability to adapt and to strengthen (Talbot & Jakeman, 2009).
An emergency is an unplanned event with the capability to endanger life, disrupt operations, cause environmental damage and affect reputation, and which requires a significant and comprehensive response. Although emergency plans may be integrated in wider crisis or business continuity plans, their main focus is placed in dealing with localized events and immediate response to incidents/emergencies, natural, or man-made, having in mind the need to preserve life and safety of employees, assets and the public.