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I feel your pain: How and why the academic and professional communities must work more closely together

David A. McEntire, PhD


Objective: To illustrate the common challenges that confront educators and practitioners involved in emergency management. To explore what the two groups can do to overcome these mutual problems.
Design: This article explores the similar situation educators and practitioners are faced with through the comparative method.
Results: Disaster scholars and emergency management practitioners are often seen as isolated individuals with distinct and perhaps even conflicting priorities. However, additional reflection about professors and professionals reveals that each community deals with virtually the same challenges.
Conclusions: This article argues our joint situation should encourage educators and practitioners to come together to resolve the difficulties we are currently facing. In particular, the article recommends that 1) scholars and practitioners must accept and support each other through awareness, marketing, and advocacy activities; 2) professors and practitioners can increase our reach and impact in the areas of education and training; 3) both groups should further the development of professional knowledge, skills, and abilities and 4) each group can exert efforts to improve the leadership and management over respective programs.


emergency management educators, emergency management practitioners, common challenges

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Drabek TE, Hoetmer GJ: Emergency Management: Principles and Practices for Local Government.Washington, DC: ICMA, 1991.



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