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The Importance of Versatility in Emergency Management


Knowing just a little bit about a lot of different issues

On September 17, 2016, Dr. Randall Cuthbert published the The Importance of Ocean Health. The article discussed a variety of issues regarding the world’s oceans and what climate change means for the ocean and its overall health. Dr. Cuthbert discussed issues associated with climate change, identifying issues such as ocean acidification and the overall increased temperature of oceans throughout the world. 

Climate change is drastically impacting the ocean and it will of course, impact how weather systems develop. This could potentially create numerous issues for emergency managers as emergencies arise from these weather systems. 

One thing that Dr. Cuthbert does not discuss that is implied in this article, is the idea that emergency managers need to be well versed in a variety of different areas where emergencies may arise. Weather systems is another area that emergency managers need to dabble their knowledge in.

The All-Hazards Approach

The All-Hazards Approach is a system of emergency management that requires emergency managers to be ready for a wide variety of emergencies. The concept allows for emergency managers to think “bigger” about how to manage major catastrophes.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a booklet that helps emergency managers plan for the All-Hazards Approach.

Planning for the unexpected

While the federal government requires that emergency managers take a gerneral all-hazards approach, Lucien Canton wrote in his article that emergency managers need to think and plan for the most common types of emergencies.

Further, emergencies are always going to be different, so one cannot plan for every type of scenario exactly as it will play out. Ultimately, emergency managers and emergency personnel need to be versatile in how they approach all types of emergencies to effectively manage any one situation.


Emergency managers cannot plan for every single type of emergency scenarios because emergency scenarios are always unique. But it should be noted that emergency managers should still have a general idea of how to plan for a wide variety of emergency scenarios.

In order to effectively plan for these scenarios, it is important for emergency managers to understand a little bit about the weather, hazardous material situations, active shooters and many other areas throughout numerous disciplines.

To understand these scenarios means that emergency managers have a good idea of what needs to go into their emergency management plans. Dr. Cuthbert’s article illustrates the importance for emergency managers to know a little bit about all sorts of things that will impact emergency management.

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, and History; a Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Allison is an Emergency Medical Technician, Lifeguard, and Lifeguard Instructor, and is trained in Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society as Chancellor of the Southeast Region, Vice Chair of the Tactical Emergency Medical Support Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and serves as the Advocacy Coordinator of Virginia with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She is also a member of several committees including the Editorial Committee with APCO, the Rescue Task Force Committee with the International Public Safety Association, and the Advocacy Committee with the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. She also serves as Chair of the Leadership Development Program for the 2020 Pi Gamma Mu Triennial Convention. Allison has published several book reviews and continues to write about issues affecting ambulances, emergency management, and homeland security.