From Firefighters to Cyber-Warriors: The Surprising Evolution of Emergency Management

From hard hats to keyboards, FEMA’s pushing a new frontier: Cyber Incident Preparation. Swapping firetrucks for firewalls, our local heroes are becoming cyber warriors, learning to distinguish malware from ransomware. So next time there’s a cyber catastrophe, expect a (digital) knock on your firewall from these tech-savvy saviours!

Hot Take:

Emergency managers are swapping their hard hats for keyboards as they’re being trained to tackle cyber threats. You wouldn’t expect your firefighter to be a computer whiz, but the times, they are a-changin’. Now, even your local disaster response team needs to know their malware from their ransomware. FEMA, in collaboration with CISA, is leading the charge in turning emergency managers into cyber warriors. Who would’ve thought?

Key Points:

  • Emergency managers are expected to understand and prepare for the potential impacts of a cyber incident, not just natural disasters.
  • FEMA and CISA have developed a guide to prepare state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management personnel for cyber incidents.
  • This guide supports the development of a cyber incident response plan.
  • Emergency managers in academia, nonprofits, or the private sector may also find the guide helpful.
  • The role of emergency managers is evolving with the changing threat landscape.

Need to know more?

From Smoke Signals to Cyber Signals

Emergency management personnel, traditionally known for tackling natural disasters and the like, are now being trained to handle cyber threats. Why? Because cyber incidents can have just as devastating impacts on communities as a flood or an earthquake. So, next time you see your local emergency manager, don't be surprised if they're more interested in discussing firewalls than actual fires.

A Guide for the Digital Age

FEMA, in collaboration with CISA, has developed a guide for state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management personnel to prepare them for cyber incidents. It's like a scout handbook, but for the digital age. The guide supports the development of a cyber incident response plan, because let's face it, dealing with a cyber threat is a tad bit more complex than putting out a fire.

Not Just for Government Folks

While the guide is focused on government emergency managers, those in academia, nonprofits, or the private sector might also find it handy. After all, cyber threats don't discriminate between sectors. If you've got a digital presence, you're fair game.

The Changing Face of Emergency Management

The role of emergency managers is evolving. The threat landscape has changed. It's no longer just about dealing with physical catastrophes, but also the invisible, digital ones. So, it's time for our emergency managers to upgrade their toolkits, swapping out their rescue ropes for digital lifelines. If this isn't a sign of the digital age, I don't know what is.
Tags: cisa, Cyber Incident Preparation, Cyber Incident Response Plan, Emergency Management, FEMA, infrastructure security, State and Local Government