STRATEGIC FORESIGHT INITIATIVE
“Getting Urgent About the Future”
Long-term Trends and Drivers and Their Implications for Emergency Management
Government budgets are currently experiencing significant constraints. Although there is a
significant amount of uncertainty associated with long-term budgetary projections, a number of
key trends and drivers will contribute to government budgets constraints for the foreseeable
future. The national and global economy, projected deficits at all levels of government,
increasing health care costs, and the costs of retirement benefits will likely impact emergency
management directly and indirectly at all levels of government for years to come. This paper
attempts to explore some of these key trends and their potential implications on the future
emergency management environment.
This document contains preliminary research conducted on behalf of the Strategic Foresight
Initiative (SFI) on the Government Budgets driver. This research is intended to serve as a
discussion point for further discussions, and does not represent a forecast by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This paper is a starting point for conversations
around a highly complex topic, and SFI encourages feedback about this paper from the
emergency management community.
SFI is a collaborative effort of the emergency management community that is being facilitated by
FEMA. SFI was launched so the emergency management community can seek to understand
how the world is changing, and how those changes may affect the future of emergency
management. It will do so by encouraging members of the community to think about how the
world may look over the next 15 years, and what steps the community should begin taking to
thrive in that world. Participants in SFI include emergency managers at the Federal, state, and
local level, subject matter experts on relevant topics, and other stakeholders.