What is an Emergency Management Consulting Firm?

I am often asked what I do.  When I answer that I am an Emergency Management Consultant, I typically get an odd look (unless I am talking to an Emergency Manager).  

I typically explain that we help governments, businesses, communities, and people prepare for disasters.  But emergency management is complex and should involve the whole community. 
All Hands is an Emergency Management Consulting Firm
All Hands, an Emergency Management Consulting Firm

Today’s blog is an attempt to answer the question:

What is Emergency Management Consulting?

Emergency management consulting firms, and emergency management consultants, help clients with their emergency management programs.  Emergency management is defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as “The managerial function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to threats/hazards and cope with disasters.”

We describe emergency management as a comprehensive program to prevent and mitigate hazards and to prepare for, respond to, and recover from incidents, emergencies and disasters.  

Broad definitions:

Incident: (An unpleasant and unintended happening that routine emergency response agencies can handle. Or, describes an event, expected or unexpected, involving shortages of time; that place life or property in danger; for which normal police, fire, emergency medical services, or utility response is adequate; that does not require more extensive government or community response effort.
The goal of Emergency Management is: “To save lives and protect property by developing programs and emergency operational capabilities that mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from, any emergency or disaster--whether in peacetime or a situation of national security.”Emergency: An unexpected event involving shortages of time and/or resources which places life and/or property in danger, and which requires immediate response; requires response beyond normal incident response resources. Normally a single incident site.
Disaster: When the resources available are exceeded; or an Event in which a community undergoes severe danger and incurs losses so that the social structure is disrupted; and the fulfillment of all or some of its essential functions is prevented. A disaster situation is comprised of multiple incident sites.

Preparing for emergencies and disasters is a government and business responsibility (and also and individual/family responsibility).  As emergencymanagement consultants, we help government and business mitigate hazards and prepare to respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters when they occur. At the local level, municipal officials have a legal and moral mandate to ensure that their community is prepared to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies and disasters, especially in the initial phase of a disaster before the county, state or federal governments provide supplemental assistance.  Local government must be able to execute emergency and recovery plans and functions effectively.


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