1st Edition

Riding the Wave Applying Project Management Science in the Field of Emergency Management

By Andrew Boyarsky Copyright 2024
    318 Pages 72 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    318 Pages 72 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Emergency managers and public safety professionals are more frequently being called on to address increasingly challenging and complex critical incidents, with a wider variety and intensity of hazards, threats, and community vulnerabilities. Much of the work that falls into the scope of emergency managers – prevention, preparedness, mitigation – is “blue sky planning” and can be contained and effectively managed within projects. This book provides a foundational project management methodology relevant to emergency management practice, and explains and demonstrates how project management can be applied in the context of emergency and public safety organizations.

    Special features include:

    • an initial focus on risk assessment and identification of mitigation and response planning measures;
    • a clear set of better practices, using a diverse set of examples relevant to today’s emergency environment, from projects to develop emergency response exercises to application development to hazard mitigation;
    • a framework for managing projects at a strategic level and how to incorporate this into an organization’s program, and presents how to develop and manage an emergency program and project portfolio; and
    • suitability as both a hands-on training guide for emergency management programs and a textbook for academic emergency management programs.

    This book is intended for emergency managers and public safety professionals who are responsible for developing emergency programs and plans, including training courses, job aids, computer applications and new technology, developing exercises, and for implementing these plans and components in response to an emergency event. This audience includes managers in emergency and first response functions such as fire protection, law enforcement and public safety, emergency medical services, public health and healthcare, sanitation, public works, business continuity managers, crisis managers, and all managers in emergency support functions as described by FEMA. This would include those who have responsibility for emergency management functions, even without the related title.

    PART 1. Setting Up the Basecamp for Projects
    1. The Accidental Project Manager
    2. Why Project Management Is a Good Fit for Emergency Management
    3. Risk Management for Emergency Management and Public Safety
    4. Developing Strategies and Capabilities to Manage Major Risk Events
    PART 2. Project Management Foundations and Planning for a Course of Action
    5. Developing the Project Scope
    6. Developing the Project Schedule
    7. Developing the Project Budget
    8. Developing the Human Resources Plan
    9. Developing the Quality Plan
    10. Developing the Risk Plan
    11. Developing the Stakeholder and Communications Plan
    12. Procurement, Contract Management, and Reporting
    13. Monitoring and Control: Tracking Project Progress
    PART 3. Strategic Project Management
    14. Program Management and Project Portfolio Management
    15. Emergency Response as a Project
    16. Quality Management in Emergency Management Programs and Continuous Improvement for Responses, Projects, and Programs
    17. Project Leadership
    18. Next Steps


    Andrew Boyarsky, MSM, PMP, CBCP, cABCF, is President of Pinnacle Performance Management, and an emergency management and disaster recovery specialist with 30 years of experience in project management and 23 years in emergency management, business continuity, and disaster recovery. He is a Clinical Associate Professor and teaches at NYU, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and at Yeshiva University. In the early 1990s, he developed and managed large-scale emergency medical and mass care response projects overseas in former Yugoslavia and in the Caucasus with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Catholic Relief Services/Caritas Internationalis. From 2007-2016 Prof. Boyarsky was Project Manager for Coastal Storm Plan Training working on behalf of the NYC Office of Emergency Management, responsible for training over 30,000 City staff for emergency sheltering operations, and managed additional training programs in logistics, recovery, special medical needs, and disability, access, functional needs, and pandemic response.

    His clients have included FEMA, the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team of NY-NJ-CT-PA, New York City Office of Emergency Management, New York City Health Department, Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, Baltimore City Health Department, Westchester County (NY) Office of Emergency Management, and NYC Human Resources Administration. He has developed emergency management programs and training curricula for mass care functions (evacuation and sheltering), logistics, post disaster recovery assistance, mass fatality incidents, pandemic response, and the use of social media for emergency management organizations. In addition, Prof. Boyarsky was involved in the deployment and management of large-scale emergency sheltering in New York City during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy and planning during the pandemic response.

    He has been a speaker on E-learning and virtual world course development at the NOAA Games and Simulations Conference, Federal Consortium on Virtual Worlds Conference, the Defense GameTech Conference, Learning and Entertainment Evolution Forum, and at the North American Simulations and Gaming Association Conference. As a Clinical Associate Professor, he has developed and helped launch several certification programs in project, emergency, and risk management. He has a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, Masters in the Science of Management from the Hult International School of Business (formerly the Arthur D. Little School of Management), and earned his PMP certification in 2003, CBCP in 2019, cABCF in 2020. He also hosts a podcast series Riding the Wave: Project Management for Emergency Managers, and volunteers with the Community Emergency Response Team in South Orange, NJ, where is resides with his family.

    “In today's ever-evolving landscape of crises and emergencies, Andrew Boyarsky's book, Riding the Wave: Applying Project Management Science in the Field of Emergency Management, offers a refreshing and timely exploration of how the strategic principles of project management can be applied to emergency response. Drawing from three decades of experience and a rich tapestry of real-life scenarios, Boyarsky makes a compelling case for a more structured, project-centric approach to emergencies.


    In essence, this book is more than just a guidebook; it's a clarion call for a paradigm shift in approaching crises. While the book is academically rigorous, Boyarsky's engaging style ensures it's never dry. The real-world examples, stemming from his vast experience, bring the concepts to life, making them relatable and actionable. Whether you're an emergency management veteran, a project manager looking to diversify your skill set, or just a curious reader eager to understand the evolving nature of crisis response in our complex world, this book is essential.”

    -Todd T. DeVoe, MPA, CEM®, Host of The Emergency Management Network Podcast; Adjunct Professor of Emergency Management at the University of California, Irvine; Contributing author of the book Campus Crisis Management, a Comprehensive Guide for Practitioners


    This book is a monumental achievement and an important contribution to the profession of emergency management. At it’s core, emergency management is project management (I call it “extreme” project management), and this book guides the practitioner to mastery of those critical skills that create order out of an increasingly chaotic world. It is an essential tool in every emergency management and public safety toolbox.

    -Kelly McKinney, AVP, Emergency Management + Enterprise Resilience, NYU Langone Medical Center; Author of Moment of Truth: The Nature of Catastrophes and How to Prepare for Them


    “The topic of project management is in many ways the critical skill for emergency managers. Its tenets cut across all phases of emergency management, and its benefits can save dollars, speed results, and avoid costly failures. As the emergency management profession transitions to a footing of managing overlapping and compounding events, the project management competencies are quickly moving from “nice to have” to “essential.” Riding the Wave is a valuable addition to the literature and should find a home among students, consultants, and emergency managers.

    -Charles R. Jennings, PhD, Director of the Christian Regenhard Center for Emergency Response Studies (RaCERS) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York