Natural Disasters - What Skills Should Someone Have to Organize a Response?



Disaster response presents challenges unlike any other emergency situation.  Whereas in a typical emergency, casualties and property damage is limited manageable proportions, disasters create chaos and pandemonium on an epic scale.  Entire cities may be destroyed in a single instant. Those seeking a public safety management degree, must fully understand the challenges they will face and seek to hone the unique skills necessary to successfully navigate a natural disaster.

Resource Management
Natural disasters destroy the entire infrastructure of a regional area. As a result, every resources becomes significantly more important. Everything from water, food, clothing, medical services, and even debris removal must be utilized to maximum efficiency.

Public Speaking
Uncertainty and fear often take hold of the populous hostage during any type of disaster.  That's why it's essential for organizers to maintain open communication with the general public and volunteers at all times.  Additionally, anyone in disaster management should be comfortable speaking with the media and holding press conferences.  Such events assist with the recovery efforts be easing the concerns of surrounding areas and discouraging onlookers who would hinder emergency crews.

Rapid Decision Making Abilities
No two natural disasters are the same and therefore, no amount of training can totally prepare someone for all the challenges which may present themselves. Organizers must have the ability to think on their feet and make decisions on the spot.  These decisions can range from major, life or death quandaries to routine logistical concerns.  Everyone must be met and dealt with swiftly and efficiently.

Complex Problem Solving
One of the most important skills anyone can attain through a public safety management degree is the ability to identify, understand, evaluate, and solve complex problems.  This skill goes far beyond standard reasoning and problem solving skills in that traditional methods of approach will be completely unavailable.  Bridges and roads may be destroyed.  Buildings may be washed away or flooded.  In the very worst of conditions, you will have to be able to solve the problems of evacuation, medical treatment, and rescue efforts without causing additional harm to property or persons.

Leadership
It may seem like the most obvious skill on the list but disaster response organizers must understand and practice excellent leadership skills.  This is far more than instructing others in what to do.  Effective leaders understand how to motivate others into action.  They can instill trust and calm the chaos around them.  They can take charge of a stressful situation.

A public safety management degree equips individuals with the skills, knowledge, and abilities to address natural disasters calmly and effectively.  Furthermore, many municipalities are now actively seeking individuals with an educational background in the field.
 

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