According to a 2006 report by, Risk and Insurance, Phoenix is one of the safest cities in the U.S. when it comes to catastrophic natural disasters. Nonetheless, Arizona’s capital city is not totally immune from natural disasters and emergencies. The Phoenix Office of Emergency Management’s mitigation plan lists the following potential hazards for the city:
- Dam inundation (dam failure or emergency spillway)
- Extreme heat
- Flooding/flash floods
- Levee failure
- Severe winds
Between 1950 and 2010, Phoenix experienced six historical tornadoes, 710 severe thunderstorms, 124 hail storms and 85 floods.
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Requirements for an Emergency Management Career in Phoenix
An entry-level position in emergency management requires a bachelor’s degree in emergency management or a degree in a related field and an emergency management certificate. Paid or volunteer experience in emergency management/services is a plus. Several colleges/universities in Arizona offer emergency management degrees.
Potential employers of emergency management specialists in Phoenix include:
- City of Phoenix
- Hospitals/medical centers
- Oil companies
- Utilities companies
- Large corporations
Careers with the Phoenix Office of Emergency Management
The Emergency Management Coordinator is the head official of the Phoenix OEM. He/she manages the emergency operations center, coordinates training programs/emergency drills, supervises volunteer programs and serves as the office’s liaison with first responders, city/state officials and all other agencies. Qualifications for the position include:
- Master’s degree in emergency management, public administration, etc.
- At least five years experience, two in a supervisory position
- Valid driver’s license/good driving record
- Willing to work weekends/ holidays without extra compensation
- Able to supervise others
- Able to develop good relationships with city, state and federal officials
- Able to identify and analyze hazards and their impact
- Excellent communication skills
- Knowledge of emergency management principles/practices; research methods; grant writing; principles of municipal budgeting.
The individual hired will be required to complete the National Coordinating Council on Emergency Management’s certification program within one year. Annual salary is $68,474 to $109,532. Call the Phoenix OEM (602-534-0642) for additional information.
Open jobs and applications are found on the City of Phoenix website.
Phoenix Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in Action
The Phoenix OEM focuses on preparing for, protecting against and recovering from any threatened or actual natural or manmade disasters. Activities include:
- Creation and implementation of a Hazard Mitigation Plan intended to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to Phoenix life and property due to natural causes. Preventive measures include things like updated building codes, storm water policies, drainage master plan and subsistence goal.
- Management of Emergency Operations Center where all services and resources are coordinated during a response to an emergency/disaster.
- Provide training programs and emergency simulation exercises.
- Assist city departments with their emergency preparedness plans.
- Oversee federal and state reimbursements/manage grant funding.
- Increase public awareness of hazards and emergency preparedness.