Emergency management is the creation of contingency plans for communities to follow in the event of a disaster. These events include terrorism, sabotage, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or alien attack. Actually, there probably are not emergency management plans for alien attack outside of a science fiction film. The point is that emergency management has become an entire career field dedicated to assisting businesses and communities in mitigating the effects of unforeseen circumstances.
In the United States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees much of the nation's emergency management, leading coordination efforts in the event of a major disaster. Some may recall that FEMA came under intense scrutiny when it failed to adequately and effectively respond to Hurricane Katrina as it devastated New Orleans. However, FEMA does recommend that every household have its own emergency preparedness kit at the ready, with a three-days supply of nonperishable food, water, extra batteries, and a first aid kit.
Emergency management can be broken down into a five step process: prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. While not all disasters can be prevented, assessing potential risks and taking steps to lessen the impact of some disasters falls under mitigation. FEMA believes that every citizen should take part in preparedness, so that, in the event of an alien attack (or earthquake), people and communities are adequately ready to meet such a disaster. Response and recovery are the after effects of a disaster, when people recover and rebuild their lives.