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Sustainability and the local emergency manager

Jessica Jensen, PhD, Regine Laurence Chauvet, MS


Objective: The objective of this study was to explore how local county emergency managers conceptualize sustainability and apply the concept within their jobs.

Design: Qualitative, semistructured telephone and face-to-face interviews were used to collect data from a purposive and convenience sample of local county emergency managers.

Setting: Interviews were conducted with Florida and North Dakota emergency managers.

Subjects, Participants: Twenty-five local county emergency managers participated in this study.

Results: The study demonstrated that there is a lack of definitional clarity in emergency manager conceptualizations of sustainability. Nevertheless, emergency managers apply the concept to their jobs in important ways.

Conclusions: Emergency management has the opportunity to further define its role vis-à-vis sustainability and how it does so will have implications for the communities it serves, the professionals who will be tasked with it, and the educators who will support the development of future generations of emergency management professionals.


sustainability, recovery, mitigation, emergency management higher education, emergency management practice, planning

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