Introduction to Emergency Management

By Brenda D. Phillips, David M. Neal, Gary Webb

© 2011 – CRC Press

517 pages | 82 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9781439830703
pub: 2011-10-19

Comp Exam Copy

About the Book

The ultimate goal of every emergency management professional is to help citizens and communities prepare for natural, technological, or terrorist threats in order to mitigate damage and save lives. Providing an insider’s glimpse into this rewarding career, Introduction to Emergency Management engages readers in real-life case studies, integrating scientific findings with practitioner viewpoints to reveal the challenge of a field in service of communities and people at risk from disasters.

An overview of the field

Beginning with a history of emergency management, the book defines core concepts to help readers understand the field, explore the relevance and types of disaster research, and examine trends behind disasters and new and emerging hazards. From there, it goes on to outline various career tracks within emergency management with a focus on core competencies, ethical practice standards, certification issues, and the responsibilities of the emergency manager. Boxed features written by graduates of emergency management programs and expert practitioners from around the world provide real world insights.

All stages of emergency management

The book discusses in detail the various phases of the disaster cycle—including preparedness and planning, the response phase, short- and long-term recovery, and structural and non-structural mitigation. Core chapters conclude with guidance on working and volunteering in each of these phases. Final chapters explore the role of public and private sector partnerships and non-governmental organizations in emergency management. A concluding chapter offers guidance to students seeking careers and further study in the field.

Case studies and learning tools

Throughout the book, contributors from around the world offer their insight and experience on a host of disasters. Each chapter begins with learning objectives and includes discussion questions, references, and additional resources at the end of each chapter.

Expert authors

The writing team combines its collective experience of teaching and research in the field to offer classroom-tested content. Brenda D. Phillips has conducted research on disasters, specializing in social vulnerability, since 1982. David M. Neal, who has organized classes on the subject since 1979, brings the most extensive teaching experience on the topic to any existing text. Gary R. Webb, a well known disaster sociologist specializing in organizational response, has been involved in the field since 1994. Their collective years of experience bring authoritative expertise to this volume.

Table of Contents

History and Current Status of Emergency Management

Evolution of Emergency Management in the United States

Native American Tribes

Other Public Sector Involvement in Emergency Management

Private Sector Activities

Voluntary Sector Activities

International Humanitarian Sector

Key Concepts, Definitions, and Perspectives

Defining Disaster

National Governors’ Association Report

Hazards, Disasters, and Risk

Broader Perspectives

Current Issues

Research Methods and the Practice of Emergency Management

Brief History of Disaster Research

Disaster Research as a Multidisciplinary Field

Types of Research

Research Methods and the Phases of Disaster

Ethics and Challenges of Disaster Research

New and Emerging Disasters and Hazards

Natural Hazards

Human-Made Hazards


New and Emerging Hazards

Becoming an Emergency Management Professional

Practice Standards and Ethics

Emergency Management Organizations and Agencies

Seasonal Life of the Emergency Manager

Working in Emergency Management

Practicing Emergency Management

Emergency Manager Certification


Defining Preparedness

Levels of Preparedness

Factors Influencing Levels of Preparedness

Preparedness Initiatives at State, National, and International Levels

Hazard Identification and Risk Analysis

Working and Volunteering in Preparedness


Planning as a Process

Types of Planning

Planning Guidance

Working and Volunteering in Planning


Getting Started: Definitions and Activities

Disaster Warnings

Disaster Response: Myths and Realities

Disaster Response in an International Context

Disaster Response and Principles of Effective Emergency


Working and Volunteering in Response


Recovery Challenges

Community-Based Recovery Planning

Basic Recovery Planning

Working and Volunteering in Recovery


Structural Mitigation

Non-Structural Mitigation

Mitigation Planning

Working or Volunteering in Mitigation

Public and Private Sector Partnerships

Public Sector

Private Sector

Enhancing Public and Private Sector Relationships

Working and Volunteering in Public and Private Sectors

Non-Governmental Organizations

Nongovernmental Organizations

Organizational Structures

International Humanitarian Relief

Working and Volunteering in a Non-Governmental Organization

The Next Generation of Emergency Managers

Professional Emergency Managers

Diversifying the Field of Emergency Management

Knowledge Transfer and Professional Development

Degrees, Education and Knowledge

Where Will the Jobs Be?



About the Authors

Brenda Phillips, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean and Full Professor of Sociology at Ohio University-Chillicothe. She is the author of Mennonite Disaster Service and an editor on Social Vulnerability to Disasters (CRC Press). In 2013, she was inducted into the International Network of Women in Emergency Management’s Hall of Fame. In 2012, she received the Blanchard Award for Excellence in Emergency Management Education. Professor Phillips has conducted research on disaster recovery since 1982, beginning as a student of E.L. Quarantelli at The Ohio State University’s Disaster Research Center. Her published research can be found in a variety of journals including the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Disaster Prevention, Disasters, Humanity and Society, the Journal of Emergency Management, Natural Hazards Review, and Environmental Hazards. She has been funded multiple times by the National Science Foundation to study disasters and vulnerable populations. Dr. Phillips has been invited to teach, consult or lecture in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, and the People’s Republic of China. She is a graduate of Bluffton University (Ohio) and The Ohio State University.

Dave Neal, Ph.D. has studied a wide range of tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes throughout the United States, and also in Sweden and India. His research has been supported by numerous organizations, including FEMA, NASA, the National Science Foundation, the American National Red Cross, and others. He has published articles on disasters and on developing degree programs in disaster management and has served as a consultant for universities starting degree programs in disaster management.

Gary Webb, Ph.D. has conducted extensive research on preparedness and response in the United States and abroad. His research has been supported by various agencies and it has appeared in a variety of professional journals, including the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, International Journal of Emergency Management, Environmental Hazards, Natural Hazards Review, Rural Sociology, and Sociological Focus. He has been invited to teach or present his research to international audiences in Denmark, France, South Korea, The Netherlands, and Turkey.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief