Emergency Management Community

Emerging Challenges

From acts of nature to acts of terror, to catastrophic incidents or unforeseen emergencies at planned major-events, emergency managers address and control many variables as they provide centralized coordination of critical emergency response activity.

During severe weather events, fires, natural disasters, or acts of terror, the human element presents one of the most challenging aspects of emergency management. As urban areas continue to grow, aging and diverse populations, become more concentrated, specialized response strategies must follow. Technological advances in communications, evacuations, and related emergency management services will challenge our technology industries.

To meet these substantial challenges to prevent devastating outcomes, first responders and institutional partnerships must address operations protocols, to ensure efficient use of resources, and promote the development and deployment of advanced technologies. Such partnerships will accelerate technological advances in key applications such as communications, response coordination, and scene evacuations.

The challenge of maintaining and refining emergency-responder skills and response strategies through shared approaches to training and education will remain an ever present challenge for emergency managers.

Emergency management services address the preservation of life and property against unplanned catastrophic events. As with other public safety responders, Emergency Management is dedicated to a multi-tiered services program, including:

  • Public education and preventive management
  • Definition of standards and emergency response management policy
  • Continuing education and training
  • Coordinated management of multi-level response to catastrophic events.

At the federal level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency identifies its mission as:

“Reduce the loss of life and property and protect the Nation from all hazards, including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters, by leading and supporting the Nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation.”

The operative action-phrase: “leading and supporting…in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation”, is the essence of emergency management.

At local and regional levels, emergency management services similarly address the coordination of communications and emergency response through multi-agency collaborative command centers, through which the leadership of key emergency management disciplines coordinate response priorities and strategies.

In a transportation operations environment, like federal emergency management agencies, state, regional and local emergency management engaged in multi-agency, multi-discipline, and multi-mode management services all directed to saving lives, managing response priorities, and maintaining public order.


Interstate Accident Scene

Emerging Opportunities

Within a transportation operations environment, emergency management services will typically provide centralized coordination of critical emergency response activity. In major emergencies, first responders including police, transportation managers, fire and rescue, and medical services, will defer to a first-line emergency management team. Through centralized communications and resource management, emergency managers are able to view “the big-picture scene” and then develop and activate sound emergency management strategies.

As new technologies emerge, transportation-based emergency management systems add strong competencies in remote electronic monitoring systems, integrated communications systems, and coordinated quick-response systems.

At the focal point of broad-scaled multi-agency coordination, emergency managers prioritize key strategies, including:

  • Interoperable communications systems
  • Uniform public policy in the application of emergency management technologies
  • Integrated information management systems
  • Strategically located emergency management infrastructures
  • Multi-discipline, multi-agency, and multi-mode transportation management centers