Home Resources Education Changing Emergency Management Education to Prepare Communities for Disasters

Changing Emergency Management Education to Prepare Communities for Disasters

0
Start an Emergency & Disaster Management Degree at American Military University.

By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest

Preparedness is a fundamental component of emergency management. When emergency managers prepare well, they're able to plan for the resources they need, train their personnel appropriately and tighten their overall plans to strengthen how they manage future incidents.

Emergency managers also share lessons learned from previous incidents, highlighting what could have been better about the response to an incident. These lessons work their way into emergency management plans, helping emergency managers and communities to better handle disasters in the future.

Major incidents like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma change the way citizens think about emergencies. Citizens see the horror of these storms and think about what they would do if they were faced with the same circumstances.

In the midst of these discussions, there has been the notion that climate change has affected the development of hurricanes in a profound way. As hurricanes continue to develop with such intensity and citizens are more and more interested in climate change, an opportunity exists for emergency managers to get citizens interested in preparedness.

Motivating and Educating the Public about Emergency Preparation before Disasters

Education has always been a major component of emergency management. Emergency managers work hard to educate the public about emergency preparation prior to disasters.

Educational initiatives are important, as it can be difficult for many Americans to find the desire to effectively prepare, especially when emergencies don't affect them on a regular basis. But the lack of citizen preparedness creates a dangerous situation for emergency managers in the midst of a major incident.

Major hurricanes, however, create a certain sense of panic among citizens. After witnessing massive property damages and hazardous conditions, a violent storm such as a hurricane makes citizens reconsider how they prepare for disasters.

Understanding the general concern about climate change and its association with hurricane development feeds on the panic the general public has about storms. It also presents an opportunity to educate citizens on the realities of disaster relief and recovery.

Emergency managers should change how they approach their public education opportunities and take climate change into account. By explaining that weather conditions may only worsen in the future, emergency managers may be able to get citizens to be ready for disasters. Altering how emergency managers educate the public will be helpful in creating citizen preparedness.

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, 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.