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Leveraging Community Resources for Emergency Management Training

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By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

When major disasters happen, there are often lessons to learn that emerge -- lessons that could have made overall disaster management stronger and much more effective. Safety training is often a part of this dialogue for emergency management employees and community citizens.

Traditionally, it has been difficult for emergency managers to connect with the general public and train them about emergency-related issues, particularly when that public isn't interested in preparedness and taking appropriate safety measures. Social media applications have certainly helped in this regard, but there are still individuals who do not effectively prepare for emergencies.

Businesses Can Gather Individuals for Safety Training

Emergency managers need to leverage what they can, in order to work with a community and educate the public. Local businesses, for example, are a vital resource for emergency managers and should be used for training purposes.

It is difficult to get people together for a training seminar, let alone for a training seminar about emergency management when it isn't in an area of their interest. But businesses can quickly bring groups into a meeting room.

Emergency managers can then work to educate business people while also providing safety training to their employees. It is a win/win situation.

Preparedness Training for Businesses

Educating an organization's employees about safety preparedness procedures can be leveraged in two ways:

  1. Emergency managers can explain appropriate ways that individuals should prepare for a disaster, both for their homes and for their businesses. Often, this training fills in the education gap that sometimes exists.
  2. Creating the dialogue about preparedness gets program participants thinking about what they would need to do when they are faced with a serious emergency. They may also contemplate the resources they need now to make it through a major emergency.

Educating an organization's employees not only helps the business to prepare ahead of time, but it also helps employees to rethink what they may need to do in emergency situations.

Emergency Managers Can Network with Other Organizations to Educate the Public

Businesses are not the only organizations that emergency managers should reach out to when they promote emergency management education. Churches, non-profits and other organizations also serve as excellent resources for emergency management training. The more types of businesses and organizations that emergency managers can reach, the more they can educate members of the public.

Emergency management concepts need to be brought to the forefront of citizens' understanding. Emergency managers will need creativity in figuring out new, innovative ways to reach the general public.

Start an Emergency & Disaster Management Degree at American Military University.

Allison G. S. Knox Passionate about the issues affecting ambulances and disaster management, Allison focuses on Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services policy. Allison has taught at the undergraduate level since 2010. Prior to teaching, she worked in a level-one trauma center emergency department and for a member of congress in Washington, D.C. She holds four Master’s degrees in Emergency Management, National Security Studies, International Relations, History, a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She is also trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue, is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard and a Lifeguard Instructor. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians and also serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia for the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians.