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Frequently Asked Questions for the Higher Education Program

General Questions and Answers

  1. Where can a listing of hazards management jobs be found?
  2. Do you have any advice for people interested in Emergency Management?


    The Federal Emergency Management Agency can provide you with information on colleges on the FEMA website and with ways to obtain employment, but cannot council individuals on education or career paths.

  3. How do I find a college, university or study course for Emergency Management?


    Colleges and universities with degree programs in emergency management related fields can be viewed on our College List Website.

  4. How are jobs obtained in Emergency Management?


    Some ways to find information for employment in the Emergency Management field would be to call FEMA's Job Information Hotline at 1-800-225-3304 for position vacancies and additional information. Also check out FEMA jobs on line at The emergency management field is multi-disciplinary, so there is a broad range of employment opportunities available.

  5. What other job opportunities are available in emergency management other than FEMA?


    A wide range of emergency management employment information can be obtained via the internet. Such sites include: The International Association of Emergency Management (IAEM) at; The Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA) at; also that includes public safety job openings across the country and a listing for a majority of local and state governments.

  6. How can I obtain experience in the Emergency Management field?


    To gain further experience in the Emergency Management field contact your:

    1. Local American Red Cross at,
    2. Local Emergency Management Agency through your local government, or
    3. The Federal Emergency Management Regional Disaster Reservist Program at the following:
  7. What suggestions do you have for getting a new emergency management program "off the ground"?


    Near the beginning of your investigation process, form a potential stakeholders advisory committee made up of senior level representatives of organizations that might provide students to an emergency management program. Examples of the types of organizations you might want to consider would be:

    Local Government:

    • Emergency Management
    • Fire Department
    • Police Department
    • Building Departments and Code Enforcement
    • Communications/911 Dispatch
    • Comprehensive Planning
    • Zoning Boards and/or Commissions
    • Economic Development Commissions
    • Environment, Natural Resources and/or Forestry
    • Public Health Department
    • Public Works Department
    • Risk Management
    • Social Services
    • Stormwater and/or Floodplain Management
    • Transportation Department

    State Government

    • Emergency Management
    • Economic Development
    • Natural Resources and Forestry

    Federal Government

    • FEMA Regional Office
    • Military Posts
    • Federal Law Enforcement

    Business and Industry

    • Large-scale industries
    • Any business that uses or produces hazardous materials
    • Utilities
    • Developers
    • B&I Contingency Planning Chapters or Associations
    • Professional Associations

    Voluntary Organizations

    • American Red Cross Chapter, Disaster Services Section
    • Community-Based Organizations

    All of these will give you experience in dealing with disasters.

Intern Questions and Answers

  1. What is the Purpose of the EM Higher Education Associates Program?


    The FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Higher Education Associates Program is designed to give students and faculty involved in emergency management college degree programs an opportunity to continue their education and/or research at EMI, located in Emmitsburg, Maryland about 75 miles northwest of Washington, DC.

  2. What is the Associates Program?


    The Associates Program is open to both students and faculty and entails an "intern-like" residence at the Emergency Management Institute, on the campus of the National Emergency Training Center to work on a pre-agreed upon project, projects, or research.

  3. Will the Associate earn a salary while in the program?


    Associates do not earn a salary nor will FEMA pay a per diem or other expenses. Associates will be responsible for meals and all other expenses while at EMI. FEMA will provide the associate with a private dormitory room for the stay and will reimburse the student associate for round-trip transportation expenses not to exceed the cost of a super-saver economy class airline ticket. EMI will not provide reimbursement for travel expenses for faculty associates

  4. How does the program work for students?


    As the student is transitioning from junior to senior, a faculty member (preferably the candidate's advisor) should contact the EMI Higher Education Project Manager. After investigating the student's course background and career goals a suitable project will be chosen. The student, faculty member and project manager will negotiate the length of the stay, normally 5-7 weeks. The student will be assigned a dorm room and a workstation with phone and computer. Projects will be submitted to the Higher Education Project Manager and an evaluation will be communicated to the student and the student's advisor. The student then will be granted credit hours by the student's school, as agreed upon in the negotiation phase.

  5. How will the Associate program work for faculty?


    A faculty member from a college or university with an active emergency management program, or one in the process of implementing or developing such a program, will contact the Higher Education Project Manager to explore the possibility of an Associates Program research assignment. The faculty member must have the support of his or her department and the duration of the assignment will be negotiated. EMI will not reimburse for travel or other expenses.

EMI Hi Ed Website Q & A on the Potential Emergency Management Market

  1. How large is the emergency management "market"?


    We do not have a definitive answer. We can note, though, that within the public sector, the National Emergency Management Association and the Council of State Governments in their 2001 report on State Emergency Management Funding and Structures, writes that as of the year 2000 there were 14, 995 state political subdivisions (cities, towns, counties, parishes, etc.) eligible for participation in FEMA's Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG), which provides personnel and administrative funding to localities through State Offices of Emergency Management. To be eligible to participate in the EMPG a community must have an emergency management program and at least one person responsible for that program. (National Emergency Management Association and the Council of State Governments. 2001. NEMA/CSG 2001 Report on State Emergency Management Funding and Structures. Lexington, KY: NEMA c/o CSG, p25)

    The NEMA/CSG report also notes that the average size of State Offices of Emergency Management (OEM) in 2000 was 57.22. Multiplied times 50 that would indicate approximately 2,861 State personnel.

    At the State and local level, as well, there are many people with a role to play in emergency management, not the least of whom are emergency services personnel who dwarf, in numbers, emergency management personnel.

    FEMA has a workforce of about 2,500 personnel with an additional standby disaster reserve force of about 4,228 individuals.

    In addition there are many hundreds of other-than-FEMA Federal personnel, over 1 million volunteer and paid fire personnel, who work within the hazard, disaster and emergency management arena (see, for example, the "Federal Players in Hazards, Disasters and Emergency Management" session in the draft Higher Education Project course Hazards, Disasters and U.S. Emergency Management, An Introduction, at

    The largest employer of "emergency managers" is the private sector (business and industry), but we are unaware of the numbers of such personnel as well as those who volunteer or are employed by non-governmental organizations such as the American Red Cross, and others engaged in domestic as well as international disaster relief organizations, and hazard-related consultant organizations

More Questions?

If you are a staff member of a college or university who is involved in the development or delivery of courses, you can e-mail comments or questions to: Responses to other inquiries will not be possible due to limited resources.

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