As a landlocked state in the upper Midwest, Minnesota is subject to disasters common to this area including wildfires, flooding and severe snowstorms that require the attention of skilled emergency management professionals:
- In 2012, Minnesota experienced a severe drought that damaged many of the state’s agricultural businesses and contributed to a spate of wildfires that scorched more than 2,000 acres in the northwest part of the state.
- In the spring of 2013, five Minnesota counties were declared federal disaster areas. The late winter storm caused almost two inches of accumulation on power lines and knocked out electricity for more than 100,000 residents.
- In 2013, parts of Minnesota experienced torrential rains that downed transmission lines to some isolated towns, causing a loss of power to more than 5,000 homes.
- In 2010, a blizzard struck the upper Midwest leaving more than two feet of snow and breaking century old records. In the Twin Cities, almost 20 inches covered the area. Over a two day period in December, almost 17.1 inches of snow fell. The enormous amount of precipitation was captured on video, when the snow caused the collapse in the roof of the Metrodome.
Training and Requirements for Emergency Management Jobs in Minnesota
One of the most critical systems for emergency management is that of the health care system, and professionals who serve in this industry are expected to possess strong academic and professional credentials. A job posting by Essentia Health required that applicants to an Emergency Preparedness Specialist job possess the following qualifications:
- Possession of a baccalaureate degree in an emergency management related field
- Experience in emergency planning, with preference for hospital preparedness planning
- Experience in project or program management, with ability to work with a diverse set of stakeholders
While each industry has its own specialized training requirements, there are several general programs available to first responders and the general public. HSEM offers a variety of courses including:
- Emergency Management Certification Program—has career tracks in
- HSEM Emergency Management Professional
- HSEM State Agency Emergency Response and Support Personnel
- HSEM Elected Officials, Local and Tribal Government Personnel
- Radiological Emergency Preparedness Training—offers training for personnel responding to a nuclear or radiological material release emergency
Instruction for these and other emergency management classes in Minnesota can be obtained at the Emergency Management Training Center in Camp Ripley.
Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division
The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEM) is the state agency responsible for planning and responding to public health, natural and manmade emergencies. Within HSEM is the Emergency Response Branch, which provides warnings to the general public through the Emergency Alert System. The Emergency Response Branch operates four bomb disposal units within the state that investigate explosions, handle suspicious packages and reconstruct explosive devices. The 55th Civil Support Team is a unit within the Minnesota National Guard that helps respond to Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the release of nuclear, radiological, biological or chemical agents.