Disaster Management - Courses, Colleges, Online Programs and Careers

Disaster Management

Every natural disaster creates havoc and brings huge losses to the economy. With global warming, disasters seem to be getting more common, necessitating the need for Disaster Management, which helps create a structured plan to cope with the event and bring about normalcy. Because of its increasing importance, today Disaster Management is being offered as an MBA degree as well.

Students who pursue an MBA degree in Disaster Management learn skills, both in research and technical fields, as well as get management expertise to handle such situations effectively. While Disaster Management helps cope with a disaster, it involves strategizing and implementing plans and strategies before any impending disaster, such that losses can be prevented or made minimal as well. So, this degree creates sharp-minded professionals who develop the eye to spot impending failures or calamities and they are thus well-trained to handle such situations with their organizational skills.

Disasters or emergencies may occur any time, any where irrespective of the environment. Flood, wildfire, tsunami, earthquakes, landslides and other natural disasters happens everywhere without any warning or pre symptoms and causes damage to property and life, sometimes less, other times more. Man made disasters are also not less common, in civilized world; nuclear, war, weapons, technological are some most common form of disasters, occurs sometime accidentally, other times created by man with evil eyes. The attack on WTO center United States and Indian Parliament are two much talked man made disasters in recent times. Considering the fear of unknown, i.e. disaster, proper planning is obvious to save human life and property, and hence professional expertise is necessary.
Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) are much sought after course among graduate students. Considering high demand of these courses universities and institutes offers MBA and PGD in Disaster Management. The course nurtures experts capable in handling and avoiding natural and man made disasters and minimizing causes if any such disaster occurs. A post graduate disaster management professional gets job opportunities with government and private agencies and non profit organizations. The life of a Disaster Management Professional is full with unknown challenges.

Course Details

Some of the topics that students cover in this MBA course are,

  1. Strategic Management

  2. Human Resource Management

  3. Disaster Management

  4. Risk Assessment

  5. Financial Statement Analysis

  6. Marketing Management

  7. Research Methods

  8. Business Continuity Management

  9. Management of Urban Disasters

Students of this course will generally learn about how Disaster Management is hugely dependent on factors such as the climate of a place, local economic conditions, and the population of a place or those being/likely to be affected by the disaster, as well as whether the disaster is man-made or natural.



Career opportunities for disaster management professionals mainly exist in government sector with emergency services, relief groups, law enforcement department, and local authorities. Opportunities also exist with private agencies and non profit organizations dealing with disaster management services. International agencies like United Nations also appoint disaster management professionals. These professionals are appointed in different capacities, viz, trainees, assistants, experts, researchers, analysts, engineers, medical health experts, environmental experts, rehabilitation workers etc. 

In the past, it was mostly been military personnel or first responders who had handled disasters and managed them. But today, professionals, especially those interested in areas such as social welfare or community development, pursue this field. These MBA students can find employment in various fields such as fire departments, law enforcement, drought management departments, and so on. They can also begin their own consultancies as a career. Sometimes, certain organizations may have their own disaster management units. Examples include insurance companies, petroleum industry, chemical industry, and mining industry. 

Top Colleges/Institutes for Disaster Management

To groom professionals to handle various kinds of emergencies different governments has started up Disaster Management Centers to conduct research and teaching programs. Various institutes and universities around the world offer courses in Disaster Management. Many of these offer professional degrees and diplomas to attract best brains capable in dealing with calamities.  
National Disaster Management Authority of India (NDMAI) is government body under Ministry of Home Affairs to deal with various kinds of disasters and regularize disaster management techniques and planning. Survey of India, government body under Ministry of Science and Technology also has plans in this through knowledge development and research.
Emergency Management and Research Institute (EMRI) is the public – private collaboration purposed at improving emergency response of communities in case a disaster occurs. At present, this agency operates in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Assam, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh using a single 3-digit toll-free number 1-0-8.
Disaster Management is the work of professionals capable in handling emergency situations. For training human resources colleges and universities in India offers courses in Disaster Management. These courses are offered at distinct levels, viz, certificate, diploma, PG Diploma, degree and postgraduate degree etc; Research programs leading to the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) and post doctoral research are also conducted in disaster management and allied fields.

1Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University - New Delhi
2Anna University - Chennai
3IASE University - Rajasthan
4Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) - New Delhi
5The Global Open University - Nagaland
6Tata Institute of Social Sciences - Mumbai
7MS University - Vadodara
8Devi Ahilya University - Indore
9Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment (IIEE) - New Delhi
10Sikkim Manipal University - Gangtok
11Nalanda Open University - Patna
12National Institute of Disaster Management - New Delhi
13Disaster Management Institute - Bhopal
14Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre - Dehradun
15Geological Survey of India - Kolkata
16National Civil Defence College - Nagpur
17National Information Centre of Earthquake Engineering IIT Kanpur
18Alagappa University - Chennai

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