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Co-leads: Sandy Smith, Shirley Feldman-Jensen

Brief Description

Values-based decision making is an indispensable element within any set of disaster risk management and resilience building considerations. While a central focus in the field of EM is the reduction of human loss and suffering, the dynamic context of concentrated risks, diminishing resources and changing nature of hazards, exposures, and vulnerabilities require EM professionals to make difficult and unclear value-based choices.

The moral basis for action within the EM field has not yet been well established and articulated. Ethical matters are seldom clear in discourse, and as a result, are not thoroughly analyzed. This SIG answers the call to begin the dialogue. The collective discourse will not only move toward the formation of an EM ethical framework but will also consider how to best incorporate ethics instruction into EM education programs.

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Next Steps: Objectives, Projects, or Activities

  1. Begin an in-depth dialogue about the ethical values for emergency management in the domains of action, research, and policy.
  2. Reason together to discern the essential components of an ethical framework for 21st century emergency management.
  3. Move collectively toward a recognized emergency management ethical framework.
  4. Collect in a centralized repository materials pertinent to emergency management ethics.
  5. Explore how to best teach ethics in emergency management.
  6. Elevate the discourse of ethics.

Ethics SIG Publications

  1. NEW. Code of Ethics and Appendices 2022
  2. Published. Paper 1 – Call to ethics dialogue for EM
  3. Published. Paper 2 – Overview of ethical constructs to consider in dialogue
  4. Paper 3 – EM as the ethical disaster risk management facilitator in the larger stakeholder system (ethics of collective action beyond the individual actions)
  5. Paper 4 – Ethical Framework collectively produced
  6. Paper 5 – Educating to the ethical framework – explore how best to teach
  7. In Process. Collect Emergency Management Ethics Materials in a Centralized Repository
  8. Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Emergency Management Professionals 2023

SIG Co-Leads

Sandy Maxwell Smith, Ph.D., RN
Arkansas Tech University

Shirley Feldmann-Jensen, Ph.D.
California State University Long Beach

Sub-Committee Leads

Ethics Framework Development: Carol Cwiak, Ph.D.
North Dakota State University

Curriculum and Resources: Alyssa Provencio, Ph.D.
University of Central Oklahoma

Global Ethics Day: Andrea Adams, Ph.D.
University of the District of Columbia


Jude Colle
California State University Long Beach

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