Emergency and Disaster Planner
Government and Defence

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Emergency Management Specialist
Bushfire Manager

Related Jobs or Working with these Jobs

 

Helping or advisingClerical or OrganisingSkill Level 5


As an emergency disaster planner, you'll play a key role in protecting and maintaining public safety. Working as part of a team, you'll anticipate and plan for major incidents and respond to threats to public safety. You can work in local or central government, or in a public body or agency tasked with responding to emergencies or disasters. Future Growth Strong

Contingency planning is at the heart of the role of an emergency & disaster planner, an integrated role necessary to handle a range of emergency situations.

Emergency & Disaster Planner respond to incidents such as:

Bushfires
Epidemics and pandemics, such as swine flu and Covid-19
Flooding
Acts of terrorism
Major industrial accidents
Other natural disasters eg. cyclones

Types of emergency planner

You'll specialise in either:

emergency planning and management
business continuity management - where you'll support businesses operating in adverse conditions.

A related but distinct area is international relief and development.

Alternative names: Bushfire Risk Planning Coordinator; Emergency Preparedness Project Manager; Civil Resilience or Civil Contingencies Officer;

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become an emergency disaster planner, you would need: Family Plan

  • strong people skills and communication skills - the ability to communicate with people at all levels
  • good observational skills - attention to detail and a thorough approach
  • the capability to work to deadlines and prioritise tasks
  • the ability to maintain accurate records
  • analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • knowledge of relevant legislation, local services and resources.

 

Duties and Tasks

  • Propose alteration of emergency response procedures based on regulatory changes, technological changes, or knowledge gained from outcomes of previous emergency situations.
  • Analyse and plan for potential risks, such as outbreaks of infections or disease, technical failure of electricity networks, major gas leaks and severe weather conditions
  • Write and implement safety development plans and reports
  • Communicate with emergency services and other bodies in the event of an emergency
  • Keep 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.
  • Conduct surveys to determine the types of emergency-related needs to be addressed in disaster planning or provide technical support to others conducting such surveys.
  • Prepare and conduct safety exercises
  • Develop and perform tests and evaluations of emergency management plans in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  • Prepare emergency situation status reports that describe response and recovery efforts, needs, and preliminary damage assessments.
  • Study emergency plans used elsewhere to gather information for plan development.
  • Review emergency plans of individual organizations, such as medical facilities, to ensure their adequacy.
  • Train local groups in the preparation of long-term plans that are compatible with federal and state plans.
  • Help to coordinate the response of all non-emergency service organisations
  • Inventory and distribute nuclear, biological, and chemical detection and contamination equipment, providing instruction in its maintenance and use.
  • Develop and implement training procedures and strategies for radiological protection, detection, and decontamination.
  • Provide communities with assistance in applying for federal funding for emergency management facilities, radiological instrumentation, and other related items.
  • Provide advice and consultancy to businesses to ensure that they can carry on functioning in the event of an emergency
  • Complete risk assessments for a diverse range of sites, such as chemical factories, nuclear factories, city centres and major sporting venues
  • Act as duty officer as part of a 24-hour duty system, responding to emergency situations as they arise
  • Work with a range of agencies to ensure that normal support for local communities continues in the event of an emergency
  • Support the recovery of local communities to their pre-incident state
  • Liaise with the police, fire services and the army

Threats
Threats to business that need to be planned for...
(Source: Nextiva)

Working conditions

Most emergency disaster planners would work general office hours, Monday to Friday. In the case of emergency situations, you may be required to work, or to be on call for, long periods of time, including nights, weekends and public holidays.

When visiting outside locations and industrial settings you may be required to wear protective clothing, such as a high visibility jacket and a hard hat.
This is often a high-profile role so you need to dress smartly for meetings, presentations and some site visits.

The job is pressured, with elements of risk and a high degree of responsibility, not only when responding to emergency situations such as floods or terrorism threats but also when managing a varied workload and meeting strict deadlines.

Emergency disaster planners work in a broad range of organisations including government departments, emergency services, utility companies, large corporations such as mining and construction companies and international aid organisations. You would usually work in an office, but may need to visit sites to perform assessments, evaluations, and respond to emergencies. In the case of natural disasters, you may be required to work outdoors, in hazardous conditions and in all weathers. You may be required to travel, and be away from home for periods of time during emergency situations. Travel is a regular part of the role, with occasional overnight stays.

You would normally work with an Emergency Management Specialist.

Education and training/entrance requirements

A relevant first degree is required for emergency planning/management officer roles and suitable subjects include:

business continuity and security management
disaster management
environmental hazards and disaster management
international security and disaster management.

There are a number of specialised courses for professionals working in the voluntary, health, public and other sectors. While these do not necessarily qualify you to move into emergency planning roles, they do support a move into work relating to emergency planning and continued professional development.

Work Experience: Employers value relevant work experience and so a part-time job or a placement in an emergency planning role will be an advantage.

Employment Opportunities

There are opportunities to work overseas for humanitarian organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). Charities are also key recruiters of emergency planners and provide opportunities throughout Australia and overseas.

Increasingly, private companies are taking on business continuity specialists to protect their operations in the event of an emergency, particularly within the financial services. As with consultancy work, these roles usually require a good level of experience in the field, as well as a business continuity qualification.

Health-related emergency planning courses are available from the relevant public health bodies.

With a relevant qualification, it's possible to move into:

international relief and development work
relief and development work
risk assessment and health and safety consultancy.

One of the more established career pathways exists within local authorities across the country, where you may progress from an assistant emergency planning officer to emergency planning officer, and then into a senior management role. In these roles, you may specialise in a specific area, such as human or animal health and severe weather planning. Senior officers in local authorities tend to take on more staff management and development responsibilities, moving away from the direct planning and response aspects of the job.

Emergency Management Specialist
  Government and Defence

Helping or advisingClerical or OrganisingNature or RecreationAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5

Emergency management specialists plan and coordinate emergency responses to natural or man-made disasters or emergency situations. Plan and direct disaster response or crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare 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. Future Growth Strong

Knowledge, skills and attributes

To become an emergency management specialist, you would need:

  • high energy levels
  • project management skills
  • adaptability, resilience and problem solving skills
  • decisiveness in decision making
  • a flexible attitude, with the ability to manage a range of tasks at once
  • attention to detail
  • to be able to manage multiple tasks
  • the ability to react calmly and operate effectively under pressure
  • strong verbal and written communication skills
  • to keep up-to-date with new technologies and procedures.

In Field
(Source: Charles Sturt University)

Duties and Tasks

As an emergency management professional, you might:

  • Keep 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.
  • Consult 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.
  • Design and administer emergency or disaster preparedness training courses that teach people how to effectively respond to major emergencies and disasters.
  • Keep informed of federal, state, and local regulations affecting emergency plans and ensure that plans adhere to these regulations.
  • Maintain and update all resource materials associated with emergency preparedness plans.
  • Prepare 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.
  • Study emergency plans used elsewhere to gather information for plan development.
  • Coordinate disaster response or crisis management activities, such as ordering evacuations, opening public shelters, and implementing special needs plans and programs.
  • Develop and maintain liaisons with municipalities, county departments, and similar entities to facilitate plan development, response effort coordination, and exchanges of personnel and equipment.
  • Collaborate with other officials to prepare and analyze damage assessments following disasters or emergencies.
  • Develop instructional materials for the public and make presentations to citizens' groups to provide information on emergency plans and their implementation processes
  • Inspect facilities and equipment, such as emergency management centers and communications equipment, to determine their operational and functional capabilities in emergency situations.
  • Propose alteration of emergency response procedures based on regulatory changes, technological changes, or knowledge gained from outcomes of previous emergency situations.
  • Prepare emergency situation status reports that describe response and recovery efforts, needs, and preliminary damage assessments.
  • Apply for federal funding for emergency-management-related needs and administer and report on the progress of such grants.
  • Analyse potential risks
  • Develop plans, processes and policies for responses to emergencies
  • Coordinate emergency response or crisis management activities
  • Develop and deliver emergency management training
  • Continually review and update existing emergency management plans
  • Oversee performance tests and evaluations of emergency management plans
  • Keep informed of activities or changes that could affect the likelihood of an emergency
  • Liaise with local, state and federal government departments and other emergency management organisations and professionals
  • Maintain the emergency action room
  • Oversee the procurement and maintenance of emergency equipment
  • Rrecruit, manage and train other emergency management staff, including wardens or volunteers
  • Produce appropriate reports on emergencies as required by regulations and legislation
  • Attend meetings, conferences and workshops related to emergency management to learn new information and to develop working relationships with other emergency management specialists

Road closed
(Source: RACGP)

Working conditions

Most emergency management specialists would work general office hours, Monday to Friday. In the case of emergency situations, you may be required to work, or to be on call for, long periods of time, including nights, weekends and public holidays.

Emergency management specialists work in a broad range of organisations including government departments, emergency services, utility companies, large corporations such as mining and construction companies and international aid organisations. You would usually work in an office, but may need to visit sites to perform assessments, evaluations, and respond to emergencies. In the case of natural disasters, you may be required to work outdoors, in hazardous conditions and in all weathers. You may be required to travel, and be away from home for periods of time during emergency situations.


Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an emergency management specialist you usually have to complete a degree that covers subjects such as business continuity, security management or disaster management. English and mathematics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Alternatively, you might complete a bachelor's degree in any discipline, followed by relevant post-graduate courses in emergency management or emergency planning.

Employment Opportunities

Employment of emergency management professionals is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities will continue to grow due both to the increase in natural disasters, and increased public recognition of the need to prepare for disasters and major incidents.


Bushfire Manager
Government and Defence

Clerical or OrganisingNature or Recreation

Develop and coordinate government and volunteer response measures to bushfires to manage risk to forests, the environment and the public. Future Growth StrongAs Climate Change progresses, Australia will endure more bushfires each year.

Bushfire management can be separated into two categories:

Firefighting – emergency actions taken to prevent bushfires damaging life or property.
Fire prevention – preventative actions taken to prevent or reduce the risk of severity of fires before a fire occurs.


Bushfires  
(Source: ABC News 2020)

 

Duties and Tasks

  • Liaises between government services and volunteer brigades and associations to prevent or respond to emergency situations
  • Develop and implement strategies to mitigate the effects of bush fires
  • Ensure compliance with Government policies, strategies and statutory obligations
  • Provide leadership and at incidents, either at the incident scene or in coordination centres
  • Implement strategies to improve bush fire management
  • Provide organisational, management and policy support to volunteer groups as required.


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Material sourced from
CareerHQ [
Emergency Management Specialist; ]
Career Harvest [Bushfire Manager; ]
My Majors [Emergency Management Director; ]
Prospects UK [Emergency Planning Management Officer; ]
Department of Agriculture, Water & Environment [Bushfire Management; ]

JobOutlook [Emergency Service Workers; ]




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