Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Emergency Management?

A. Emergency management is the managerial function charged with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to hazards and cope with disasters.

Q. Why do we need Emergency Management?

A. Emergency management is needed to promote safer, less vulnerable communities with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters. Emergency management protects communities by coordinating and integrating all activities necessary to build, sustain, and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from threatened or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other man-made disasters.

Q. Do other communities have Emergency Management?

A. Yes. In Pennsylvania, Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes requires all municipalities to adopt an emergency operations plan, designate an emergency operations center, and recommend the appointment of an emergency management coordinator. Emergency management coordinators are appointed by the Governor, and can designate deputies and other staff to assist with local emergency management.

Q. What training or education is required for local Emergency Managers?

A. In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) prescribes the training requirements for local emergency management coordinators. Local coordinators must attend a number of training courses and programs to work toward achieving Basic, Advanced, and Professional level certifications. In addition, local coordinators are required to attend regular in-service training at their County Emergency Management Agency.

The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) also administers the Associate Emergency Manager (AEM) and Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) programs. The AEM and CEM designations are nationally and internationally recognized professional certifications for emergency managers.

It is also common, though not required, for local emergency managers to be certified in other areas of public safety such as emergency medical services, fire/rescue, and law enforcement.