The Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) develops and implements county programs for disaster preparedness and response. DEMHS also works with municipal governments to provide training and equipment. One of the primary municipalities in the county is the town of New Haven which operates its own Office of Emergency Management.
Training and Requirements to Become an Emergency Management Specialist in New Haven County, Connecticut
Emergency management professionals can be found in a wide array of specialized fields including seismology, meteorology, urban planning, public health and engineering. Some of the professions may have more relaxed or rigorous requirements than the most common qualifications for emergency management careers:
- Possession of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in
- Information science
- Public health
- Terrorism studies
- Five to ten years of experience in emergency management or homeland security
- Some experience in supervising others
- Demonstrated proficiency in developing and implementing emergency training simulations
- Ability to work effectively with state and federal emergency management officials
- Ability to train or instruct new EM personnel and volunteers
- Thorough understanding of the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, National Incident Management System and National Response Framework
- Proficiency with common computer applications
- Superior written and verbal communication skills
Fire, police and emergency medical professionals are required to complete academy training or training from a state licensed school. Periodic training is also required to maintain a practicing license.
The most important training organization for most emergency management personnel is the federal Emergency Management Institute which offers a vast selection of emergency management classes in New Haven County, Connecticut. These include:
- Geospatial Information Systems Specialist
- Workplace Violence Awareness Training
- Community Hurricane Preparedness
- Community Tsunami Preparedness
- Hazardous Material Prevention
- Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents
Another important training organization is the International Association for Emergency Managers which offers two internationally recognized certification programs:
- Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)
- Associate Emergency Manager (AEM)
Both programs require successful completion of a certifying exam and periodic recertification.
Major Disasters in New Haven County
Since records of national disasters haven kept, New Haven County has experienced 499 floods, 1,508 thunderstorms or windstorms and 595 hail storms. There have also been 29 tornadoes of class two magnitude or higher. The most powerful tornado event occurred in 1989 and injured more than 40 residents. This category four tornado produced almost $250 million in damage.
In August of 2011, Hurricane Irene struck the County of New Haven with 60 mph winds that knocked down almost 1,200 trees and created storm surges as high six feet. These surges from the ocean in combination with torrential rains created widespread flooding throughout the county. More than 170 roads were partially or totally blocked. At one point almost 19,000 households or a third of the county was without power. Almost 150 people were displaced from their homes and bedded in emergency shelters.