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Book Review: Emergency Management

​Charles C. Thomas Publishers; 
204 pages; $34.95.

In an era of increasing natural and man-made disasters—six of the top 10 na​tural disasters in the last 100 years have occurred since 2001—there is renewed interest in the role of emergency managers. 

Emergency Management and Sustainability: Defining a Profession is not a primer on modern emergency management; rather it is a tight argument for the transition of emergency management from a trade to a profession. Robert Schneider, a professor at the University of North Carolina, crafts this argument in six chapters. The status change to a profession will hinge on the emergency managers’ abilities to persuade others that hazard mitigation, an emergency management function, positions emergency managers as central to sustainable community development.

The author expects climate change to seriously impact emergency management, yet the inevitability of climate change in the near term is not a given. Linking the future of the emergency profession to global climate change is at best a gamble. An all-hazards approach is more reasonable.

Frankly, the sustainability argument is a bit arcane. It is interesting, but the transition of emergency management from a trade to a profession is far from complete.

Reviewer: Thomas E. Engells, CPP, CPM (Certified Public Manager), is chief of police at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a member of ASIS.