How to Manage an Emergency Management Program

There is a leadership component to managing the emergency life cycle process. Commitment – Managers need to be required to show commitment to the emergency management process by communicating with employees on a regular basis regarding mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery issues. Internal coordination is a key element and without it managers can’t manage.  For example, how can response teams ensure their actions are effective if after previous incidents there was no feedback provided to review strengths and weaknesses of the team. Those responsible for continuous improvement (risk management, safety, planning) in the organization may not be on the response team but they have a responsibility to ensure program goals are met.

External Coordination – Each governmental jurisdiction has experts that are paid to assist organizations with planning and response activities.  Managers need to work with jurisdictional partners to achieve program goals because there are outside factors that can have an effect on the organization that may not be clear to those inside the organization.

Resource Planning (Multi-year Maintenance Plan) – Structural components (fire barriers, fire protection features, alert and warning devices) can wear out or malfunction. An assessment of all structural components and their probable life span needs to be done to ensure maintenance and replacement costs can be factored into the capital and regular budgeting process.

Appoint a Program Coordinator authorized to help the Chief Operating Officer to administer and keep current the program. Emergency preparedness and management is as important as risk management and safety. The Program Coordinator can establish an advisory committee to provide input or assist in the preparation, implementation, evaluation, and revision of the program.

An emergency management program is a logical process that can yield high benefits if it is organized and lead by a competent professional.

If you need preparedness training or would like to have a preparedness discussion for your employees checkout my website and contact me via email at


About managingemergencies

I am a professional consultant with 30 years of experience in managing emergencies. My background and skills gave me the foundation to start Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants. If you need preparedness training or would like to have a preparedness discussion for your employees contact me via email at I held various positions in the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department until I retired in 2007. As a emergency planner and trainer in the Prince George's County Office of Homeland Security I planned exercises and training for government agencies and citizens groups. I was appointed Fire Chief of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in 2009. I started Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants in June of that year. I had the opportunity to become the Assistant Fire Chief - Operations of the District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department and served for a year as the Interim Fire Chief. I am a trained mediator, mediator team leader and trainer. I also served as the Fire/EMS Department Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
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2 Responses to How to Manage an Emergency Management Program

  1. rebecca2000 says:

    I am so glad they plan too. I think people take all of this for granted.

    • You are right unfortunately. We think disasters and emergencies are acts of God. People forget that they can avoid or lessen the effects of most events. I love planning. Few things match the thrill of a plan coming together.

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