Emergency Management, from an Illinois Tech Professor Who’s Been There

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By Scott Lewis

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From natural disasters to active shooters to accidents involving toxic materials, emergencies present complex challenges to governments at every level and to the communities they serve. That’s why careful planning and preparation for emergencies of all kinds is such a vital and ongoing process, according to Michael J. Fagel, adjunct faculty member at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business and a co-editor of a widely used textbook, Principles of Emergency Management and Emergency Operations Centers (EOC).

The second edition of the book, written for professionals in all areas of emergency management, planning, and response, as well as for students in public safety, law enforcement, and emergency planning programs, is due out in mid-September in both print and digital formats.

“This book is designed to be a primer, a tool for [practitioners and students] to understand that they have to keep learning, that they can’t ever stop learning,” says Fagel. “The book may be a stand-alone, but it is best delivered with an engaged instructor who can help [the readers] really see the context of the material.”

During a career spanning more than four decades of experience in emergency management, emergency medical services, fire rescue, law enforcement, and public safety at the local, state, and national levels, Fagel has served in management roles in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, and many other crisis situations. He has also consulted in the United States and abroad, lectured widely, written several books, and taught emergency planning for a variety of universities, organizations, and governmental agencies.

Fagel teaches courses on emergency preparedness, cybersecurity, and biological threats and safety in Stuart’s Master of Public Policy and Administration (M.P.P.A.) program. “This textbook is comprehensive and is used across the country in university classrooms and for emergency management training for government officials, law enforcement, facility management, and fire, police, and EMS departments,” says Roland Calia, M.P.P.A. program director and associate dean at Stuart.

The textbook’s other co-editors, Rick C. Mathews and J. Howard Murphy, also bring extensive backgrounds and expertise in emergency management to the book and have frequently collaborated with Fagel on instruction and training, consulting for governmental entities, and other projects. “We bring different perspectives to the table,” Fagel says. In all, more than 20 experts contributed chapters to the book.

This edition provides a thorough update of the textbook, with new and expanded coverage of topics such as media relations and the use of social media,  preparedness and response to active shooters, community health planning, risk management, interagency collaboration and communications, mental health considerations for emergency responders, and other areas.

“Things are changing on a moment-by-moment basis in emergency management, so this book is a very fluid product,” says Fagel. “We’re already thinking about what we’ll do next, and we’re hoping that the digital version of the textbook will give us the ability to continually make updates and add topics.”