Emergency Management Director  What They Do

Just the Facts


Emergency Management Directors Career Video



Plans and directs disaster response or crisis management activities, provides disaster preparedness training, and prepares emergency plans and procedures for natural (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes), wartime, or technological (e.g., nuclear power plant emergencies or hazardous materials spills) disasters or hostage situations.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster Public Management and Administration pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Keeps informed of activities or changes that could affect the likelihood of an emergency, as well as those that could affect response efforts and details of plan implementation.
  • Prepares emergency situation status reports that describe response and recovery efforts, needs, and preliminary damage assessments.
  • Prepares plans that outline operating procedures to be used in response to disasters or emergencies, such as hurricanes, nuclear accidents, and terrorist attacks, and in recovery from these events.
  • Coordinates disaster response or crisis management activities, such as ordering evacuations, opening public shelters, and implementing special needs plans and programs.
  • Develops and maintains liaisons with municipalities, county departments, and similar entities to facilitate plan development, response effort coordination, and exchanges of personnel and equipment.
  • Applies for federal funding for emergency-management-related needs and administers and reports on the progress of such grants.
  • Designs and administers emergency or disaster preparedness training courses that teach people how to effectively respond to major emergencies and disasters.
  • Inspects facilities and equipment, such as emergency management centers and communications equipment, to determine their operational and functional capabilities in emergency situations.
  • Collaborates with other officials to prepare and analyze damage assessments following disasters or emergencies.
  • Consults with officials of local and area governments, schools, hospitals, and other institutions to determine their needs and capabilities in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Emergency Management Consultant --
  • Emergency Management Coordinator --
  • Emergency Management System Director (EMS Director) --
  • Emergency Planner --
  • Emergency Preparedness Coordinator -- Responsible for program and resource development designed to enhance the capacity of people to be alerted about, respond to and recover from disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and chemical spills.
  • Emergency Preparedness Program Specialist --
  • Emergency Services Director --
  • Hazard Mitigation Officer --
  • Public Safety Director --