3 Key Competencies of Emergency and Asset Management Programs

We’ve seen a meteoric rise in the number of disaster and emergency management degree programs. These programs range in focus from cyber-security and database management to disaster response workshops and high-level policy analyses. Despite the design of the individual course, an emergency management curriculum must include the following three competencies. Any prospective student of such a program should be basing their decision on this structure and any graduate of such a program should be able to:


  1. Adopt aComprehensive Emergency Managementframework – comprehensive emergency management can best be summarized as: “all hazards, all phases and all actors.” This means emergency managers who are proficient in using new technologies such as fixed and mobile asset management platforms to coordinate with other agencies and jurisdictions to best deploy resources and personnel. The focus is a balanced approach to emergency management capabilities and readiness.
  2. Integrate with other Emergency Managers and Agencies – The property management and emergency management industries are trending towards a culture of inter-agency cooperation and collaboration. Cooperation has resulted in increased productivity, a repealing of inflexible and inefficient bureaucratic stalling, and most importantly, an economical use of shared resources. Emergency managers must use fixed and mobile asset management software to gain total asset visibility into a range of fixed and mobile asset inventories. This requires that emergency management organizations work to get other governmental organizations within their jurisdiction to “integrate” fixed and mobile asset resources and broader emergency management concerns (such as risk assessment, planning, training, exercise participation) into their thinking, systems and operations.
  3. Master the New Technologies, Technical Systems and Property Management Standards – students need to learn the tools of the trade. Social media is factoring heavily into communicating disaster response efforts and educating the public of potential and on-going disasters. As such, emergency management students must learn to embrace social media strategies in an effort to harness and embrace the medium. Moreover, as FEMA and the DHS impose stricter and more targeted grant stipulations, emergency managers must become proficient with software that manage not only the deployment and maintenance of fixed and mobile asset inventories but their highly-valuable financial data as well such as depreciation. Among the technological topics today’s emergency management students must embrace are:
  • National Incident Management System (NIMS)
  • National Response Plan (NRP)
  • NFPA 1600 (National Fire Protection Association “Standard for Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs”)
  • Certified Emergency Manager credential administered by the International Association of Emergency Managers
  • Geospatial and geographical information systems (GPS and GIS)
  • Communications systems
  • Warning systems
  • Computers and hazard and emergency management related software packages

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