Objective 3.1 - Strengthen the Emergency Management Workforce

As disasters become more frequent, severe, and complex, the demands placed upon the emergency management community have increased dramatically. To enable shared responsibility for effective disaster management across the nation, FEMA must do more to enhance emergency management community capacity.

Readiness & Preparedness in Action

Through the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Anywhere initiative and the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) Virtual Instructor Lead Training (VILT), FEMA is working to make training available to emergency managers anywhere they are, any time in their careers. EMI and CDP are modernizing their operational design to become the nation’s emergency management college.

This initiative will ensure the nation’s federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, NGO, and private sector emergency managers can meet the risks posed by the increasing hazard, and obtain the training required to become certified within the National Qualification System (NQS).

Through revised training initiatives, the agency will support the development of a whole community comprehensive emergency management workforce, postured to respond to any incident at any level.

This includes expanding training to individuals and community groups that help their communities respond to and recover from disasters, but who may not identify as emergency managers. Investing in readiness at all levels enables emergency managers to leverage state, local, tribal, territorial, and national resources as they coordinate within their community to create a more efficient, effective, and unified response.

The growth of the emergency management community necessitates a clear definition of the competencies required to become a qualified emergency manager. Like other professions, emergency management must standardize its career paths.

FEMA’s educational institutions will lead the effort to advance the emergency management profession by supporting curricula for federal comprehensive emergency management training, education, and professional development, accessible to whole community partners. This means bringing training to students wherever they are in the nation.

To effectively staff the increasing number of emergencies that require federal support, FEMA must both adjust its force structure and adapt to the changing needs of its workforce. This means building a resilient and diverse workforce that prioritizes career growth and development opportunities with pathways that support recruitment, promotion, and retention. Through these efforts FEMA can become the agency of choice for individuals seeking to serve positions that help people and communities.

“The role and responsibility of emergency managers is evolving and changing and must strive to meet the needs of all disaster survivors.”

– Mark Sloan, Coordinator, Harris County (Texas) Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Chair, Big City Emergency Managers

Last updated December 9, 2021