October 19, 2017

Opportunities available to Professionals in Disaster Management

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Disaster Management specialists reduce the economic impact and the environmental and human material effects that are created when tragedy strikes.

At any given time, disasters can occur and cause disruption in communities or organisations. For example, burst pipes can create chaos, interrupt people’s access to water and other resources can be affected by disasters. Measures to deal with disasters are in place to reduce damage in emergency situations. 

The increase of disasters in South Africa has increased the need for risk avoidance strategies and there is a high-demand for professionals in this field. There is an imperative need to overcome natural disasters and promote danger alleviation.   

According to the National Disaster Management Centre, the hazards include bad weather conditions, drought, cyclones and severe storms that have the potential to cause devastation. The country’s coastline and proximity to shipping routes also pose a threat to humanity and resources. People that live in impoverished areas are more vulnerable to threats that range from water shortage, floods and other damaging weather conditions.    

With this comes the demand for risk management professionals who are placed within relevant environments to manage risk. The government department and various disaster management agencies are looking for professionals with skills to work in this field. Graduates in this field can pursue careers in the disaster management sector nationally or abroad.  

What is the role of Disaster Management professionals in times of Disaster?

A career in disaster management is for a person who can provide assistance to people when faced with calamities. This is for someone with the ability to bring calm in situations of panic and to help restore peace. They must be able to predict the outcomes of situations and be proactive in protecting people at all costs.   

This is why there are Operation Risk Officers who prepare for tragedies and have plans of action to effectively bring about solutions. This is also how professionals in sectors such as climate and humanitarian organisations can predict disasters and play a role in reducing the impact. They have a plan of action in place to respond immediately to disasters and reduce the damage and impact.

Trending National Disaster stories

The Western Cape has officially been declared as a disaster area due to the drought issue that they are facing. This is costing the country millions of rands which impacts on the economy. Western Cape premier Helen Zille reported to the news that government has also placed a R295m emergency plan programme towards the issue.

Helen Zille who spoke at the water summit in Worcester earlier this year said this is the worst drought to have hit the country in over a decade. The National Disaster Management Centre has also injected R20.8 million in the City of Cape Town to alleviate the disaster.  The drought has resulted in reduced agricultural activity and lessened the demand for workers in this sector. For the programmes placed by the government to be effective, there is a significant need for professionals to implement these relief plans.  

How does a Qualification enhance my Opportunities in this Industry?


Training in this industry is advantageous in that it affords you better career offers in the industry. The qualification you gain, also allows you to have diverse opportunities and a chance to work with any agency. In the workplace, you can be part of the team that comes up with the strategies and plans for disaster relief, you can provide relief services and plans for companies or you could manage teams that are at the scene at disasters.

A Bachelor of Arts in Disaster and Safety Management qualification affords you a great salary for the skills and expertise that you bring to an organisation.   

How much will you Earn? 

According to PayScale, a risk manager earns an average salary of R476, 044 per year. If you’re a chief risk officer the average salary can be as high as R1, 235, 235 per year. 

Which sectors can Disaster and Safety Management graduates work in? 

Disaster Management Specialist/Practitioner
Operations Risk Officer
Local Government Disaster Management
Construction and Mine Safety
NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations)
Insurance and Risk industry
Occupational Health and Safety Officer
Law Enforcement
Humanitarian and Climate organisations

What does the Disaster and Safety management degree cover? 

A Bachelor of Arts in Disaster and Safety Management covers content such as Fundamental Disaster Management, Fundamental Information and Communication and Disaster Risk Reduction and Development. This will equip you with top skills that are desperately needed in this industry and allow you to gain access to influential positions.

The course will also equip you with primary skills in areas such as disaster prevention, environmental planning, disaster relief and recovery. You will learn the guidelines and principles of providing safety to vulnerable communities in times of crisis.

Lyceum Alumni Testimonial 

“Lyceum is an awesome college. Their study materials are accurate and understandable. The lecturers are always available to help you out when you’re experiencing difficulty, which is great”.

- Teatji Bruce Mabokela, Lyceum graduate- Currently employed in the Department of Defence.

A career in disaster management offers diverse opportunities for those passionate about being in this field. Professionals in this industry can help save lives and prevent disasters.  


About the Author: Khanyie Dlamini 
Content Creator at Educor Holdings

As a writer in the education sector I am passionate about nurturing people in their careers, wellness and personal growth. I focus on a variety of illuminating topics that are helpful to people’s growth and success. I hope to inspire people to feel motivated to live up to their full potential and know they can have an optimistic and prosperous life. My intention is to contribute to an empowered nation that makes great choices and positive change.

Personally I enjoy the world of fashion and keeping up with the trends. I have great interest in digital trends and the impact of social media in today’s world. I enjoy learning from other creative people. I value having purposeful relationships with people who have great visions that align with my own.

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