As part of the nation’s military, it’s important to prepare for emergencies and worst-case scenarios. Whether stationed overseas or in the United States, being prepared for disaster will provide a sense of security and peace of mind.

Having a plan to respond to an emergency is the best way to deal with difficult circumstances. Military families need to consider the requirements and procedures of living on a military installation and recognize that the enlisted family member may be required to assist during a crisis. However, preparing a military family for emergencies may pose some unique challenges and considerations.

Graduates from a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management (BSEM) program benefit from classes in public administration, management, health sciences, criminal justice, and more. This degree provides knowledge to become a leader in disaster preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery.

How to Prepare for an Emergency

Preparing for an emergency involves the whole family. Creating a plan or a checklist of what to do during a crisis is critical during a time of confusion and chaos. Military families should:

  • Be aware of the types of emergencies that might occur in the area. Follow warnings about severe weather and download the Federal Emergency Management Agency app.
  • Be prepared for circumstances that may prevent access to an installation.
  • Establish a rendezvous point or contact number to check in with family members if they become separated.
  • Create an emergency kit. Practical items may include food, water, clothing, a battery-operated radio and flashlights, a first aid kit, medications, maps, and extra cash.
  • Know the emergency procedures for an installation or the local community and sign up for alerts.
  • If stationed abroad, prepare to cooperate with local government, follow instructions, and have passports, birth certificates, and local currency on hand.
  • Be aware of websites that assist military families to prepare in times of crisis. The American Red Cross provides helpful tips for military families living on and off military installations. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force have preparedness resources and safety information.

How to Help

You may not be able to prevent disasters from happening, but you can be prepared for them. If you’re interested in helping during times of crisis and difficulty, a degree in emergency management may be right for you.

Emergency management is the gathering and coordination of public safety resources to protect people, property, and nature from disasters. Emergency management involves analyzing risk, identifying threats, helping minimize the negative impact after a disaster, providing direct support, mobilizing emergency services, and coordinating efforts to get everything back to normal. Emergency management efforts require many trained professionals to facilitate response and recovery operations.

Careers in Emergency Management

Those with a degree in emergency management can pursue a wide range of rewarding career options such as emergency management director, management analyst, operations manager, sustainability specialist, community health workers, and more.

Emergency management positions are available at the state and local level to ensure that the government is utilizing resources responsibly during a crisis in healthcare, education, science, technology, law, and administrative support and management. Branches of the military need emergency management specialists who are active-duty members.

As a trained specialist, you can help military families prepare for disasters by preparing emergency plans, checklists, and warning systems that assist military personnel. You would be working to organize disaster and contingency plans and enforce procedures. This is a viable career option for those with military training and specialized preparation in survival skills.

Use previous knowledge in emergency management, work experience, and community service to earn and transfer credits to the degree program. This FEMA-recognized program can give you the ability to work in homeland security or international disaster management.

Learn more about Barry University’s online Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management program.


Military One Source: Creating a Family Emergency Plan

FEMA: Mobile App and Text Messages

American Red Cross: Pre-Deployment Preparedness Tool

U.S. Army: Ready Army

Department of the Navy: Ready Navy

The United States Marine Corps: Ready Marine Corps

United States Air Force: Air Force Be Ready