Book Review: A Futurist’s Guide to Emergency Management

A Futurist’s Guide to Emergency Management, by Adam S. Crowe. CRC Press, 2015. Reviewed by William Flagler, Jr., Deputy Director of the Arlington County VA Office of Emergency Management.

This book provides a realistic vision for the emergency management field. This book is an excellent resource to students who want to enter the emergency management field and also a resource for those that are currently practicing as it helps to show how change can be embraced and not shunned.

Professionals in the field of emergency management routinely look to past disasters to help plan responses to future ones. Many times the look into the future is not very far and narrowly focused on issues of the day. This book goes further by allowing the reader to think about social, political, and economical challenges among others that will face emergency managers in the future.

Emergency management as a discipline is shaped by hazards specific to local communities and now in 2016, terrorism. The tools and methods used to respond or prepare people to respond may not be adequate. Who knew ten years ago that crowd sourcing data from social media could one day be effectively applied in damage assessments after a disaster?

This book will help a practitioner start to think about how to operate an emergency operations center differently or better ways to prepare the population. This book was an excellent read and does not go into a land of “make believe.” It is grounded in facts and a down-to-earth, common sense look into the future.

I recommend this book without reservation and look forward to the next book from Adam Crowe.

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