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Emergency Management is a Growth Industry

Slowly, but surely, we are seeing growth in organizations investing in disaster resilience

If I reflect on the number of emergency management positions in the public and private sectors since 1991 the increase is significant in the places that I know of. There are more cities with full-time emergency managers and the private sector have also expanded their organizations. I don't recall universities in the Pacific Northwest having emergency managers and now all the big ones have full-time directors. Hospitals have a focus on risk management and this has extended into emergency management.

This article gives some specific Labor Department statistics about emergency management as an industry, Emergency management sector drives growth in resilience, business continuity planning.  I was pleasantly surprised to not find glaring mistakes in an article like this. The author/reporter got it pretty right in my opinion.

Several of the people quoted in the article are those who I know and their comments about how the profession has evolved from purely disaster response to now an emphasis on disaster resilience are right on the mark. The one problem I see is that how the rest of the world (including elected officials) see us is as "first responders" who come to the fore when there is something to respond to. It is the sexy part of the job, but the real money is made on disaster mitigation and if we are going to get ahead of the climate change curve, climate adaptation.

Claire Rubin, Recovery Diva, shared the link above. 



Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.