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International association gives emergency management students the opportunity to gather experience


The International Association of Emergency Managers is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the “Principles of Emergency Management” and representing those professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters. This organization has over 5,000 members worldwide.

Dr. Stacy Mann is the Adviser for the International Association of Emergency Management chapter at JSU.

The student chapter was founded when Mann joined the Department of Emergency Management at JSU in August 2011 as a faculty member.

Former department head, Dr. Barry Cox asked Dr. Mann to try to get the chapter active.

“Our programs are entirely online so trying to get students interested in working on a student organization virtually is difficult.

However, a small group of students really have worked hard in creating a solid foundation.” said Dr. Mann.

The student chapter introduces students to the organization and tries to increase awareness of emergency management and provide networking opportunities for students.

Emergency Management affects all disciplines. Programs for teaching emergency preparedness are often headed up by teachers in K-12 so education majors have a huge impact on emergency management. Businesses are often affected by disasters, so business continuity is important.

Business majors would really benefit from becoming involved, as the majority of small businesses do not recover from disasters.

Public administrators and political scientists also are affected by disasters as all levels of government must mitigate, prepare, respond, and recover from disasters.

“The majority of our executive board will be graduating in May so we really need students who are interested in further advancing the mission of the chapter and to assist in its growth. We would really like to see students from all disciplines become involved in the organization," stated Dr. Mann.

The mission of IAEM is to advance the profession by promoting the principles of emergency management; to serve our members by providing information, networking and professional development opportunities; and to advance the emergency management profession.

"We have amazing guest speakers every month, who speak to us virtually through videoconferencing and teleconferencing. A couple of months ago, we had one of our graduate students who worked on the emergency plan for the London Olympics speak, and it was one of the most interesting talks I've heard in a very long time," said Dr. Mann.

"Last month, we had a speaker talk about the effect of disasters on public utilities and power companies. It might not sound like the most interesting topic, but you would be AMAZED at how the speaker made the topic relevant to every single person."

"Since 9/11, businesses have increased their awareness and understanding of having business continuity plans," stated Jody Hodge, President of the Student Chapter. "Many business students are learning about that and will see the importance of it when they step into the corporate world. Manufacturing students will need to understand their supply chain so that their factories can continue to function."

The membership drive will be in February, and there will be more information posted about this event.

"Social work is an important part of emergency management, as social workers help survivors in finding shelter, supplies, and other needed items to recover," said Hodge.

"Nursing and health students will find that public health departments are an integral part of an area's emergency management plan. Nursing and health students will find that even if they work at a hospital, they will be informed of an emergency and the type of injuries they can expect to see."

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