Overview: Emergency management director develops the procedures for responding to natural disasters and other emergencies in order to minimize risk to people and property. The responsibilities include: collaborating with public safety officials, elected officials, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and general public; assessing hazards; organizing emergency response training programs and exercises; applying for federal funding; damage assessments following disasters or emergencies. Emergency management director is also responsible for maintaining the facilities used during emergency operations and coordinating the resources distribution within the affected community.
Geographers at Work: Physical geography knowledge is needed to estimate biophysical vulnerability of the population. It includes hazard types (natural hazards, such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and droughts, global warming), frequency and location of the hazards.
Human geography provides emergency management director with the knowledge of socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the neighborhoods to estimate social vulnerability to hazards and to facilitate all the stages of hazard management: prevention, protection, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery. The use of geographic technologies is needed to better evaluate the geographic area and prepare for both natural and manmade disasters. Other important geographical knowledge for this job includes zoning, for example flood zones assessment.
Skills: Hazards, weather and climate, landscape analysis, location analysis, working with census data, remote sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and other online mapping applications such as Google Earth.