Emergency Management Specialist ... (Military - Enlisted)  What They Do

Just the Facts


Whether it is a natural disaster or man-made as a result of a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear incident, emergency management specialists are trained for response and recovery operations anywhere in the world. They prepare emergency plans, coordinate emergency response teams, and train other people to meet mission needs and to minimize casualties and damage in the event of any disaster situation, including floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, or enemy attack.

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


A person in this career:

  • Advises command on how to integrate into the normal command organization the functions necessary to prepare for, defend against, and recover from major accidents and natural and man-made disasters
  • Assists in the coordination with local, civic authorities on disaster response operations
  • Conducts training for nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) warfare defense to include hazard awareness, individual protection, decontamination, and mission restoration
  • Coordinates actions to ensure prompt response during emergency management (EM) operations, including immediate mobilization of resources and participation of agencies and organizations
  • Receives, processes, and disseminates emergency action messages via voice and record copy systems
  • Coordinates and executes search and rescue activities
  • Prepares and submits operational, defense readiness, international treaty, and aerospace asset reports
  • Operates and monitors voice, data, and alerting systems
  • Develops, maintains, and initiates quick reaction checklists that support situations such as suspected or actual sabotage, nuclear incidents, natural disasters, aircraft accidents or incidents, evacuations, dispersal, and aerospace anomalies
  • Coordinates actions to ensure prompt response during disaster operations (pre, trans, and post), including immediate activation and recall of all resources and participating agencies and organizations

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Detecting sounds and hearing the differences between sounds of different pitch and loudness

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overtime work