Delaware Emergency Management Careers

As a coastal state, the greatest natural threats to Delaware’s citizens come from the ocean. In 2010, the federal government declared Delaware a major disaster area in the wake of severe winter storms that blanketed much of the northeastern and mid-Atlantic seaboard.  Other events, like Hurricane Sandy, produced enormous damage to the state and compelled the federal government to distribute $2.2 million in aid.  Much of this aid went to the reconstruction of roads, utilities and bridges that were damaged.

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Qualifications for Becoming an Emergency Management Specialist in Delaware

Degrees – The majority of emergency management jobs in Delaware require a bachelor’s degree with at least some coursework in

  • Communications
  • Geology
  • Climatology
  • Public administration

The most qualified applicants to these programs will possess advanced degrees in an emergency management field.  Applicants should also possess skills in

  • Supervision and oversight of volunteers and professionals
  • Coordinating a diverse set of partners and stakeholders in a time sensitive environment
  • Establishing and monitoring metrics for completion and success
  • Design and implementation of emergency planning programs

Delaware’s Professional Development Series (PDS) – Delaware offers the Professional Development Series (PDS) to prospective or current emergency management professionals.  This program includes seven courses based on federally established emergency management classes:

  • An Introduction to Exercise
  • Leadership and influence
  • Emergency Planning
  • Fundamentals of Emergency Management
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Developing and Managing Volunteers
  • Effective Communication

Each of these modules is flexibly scheduled and involves eight to 15 hours of study.   Upon completion of all courses, a comprehensive final exam is administered.  Students must achieve a score of 75 or higher to obtain certification.

Delaware’s Emergency Management Agency

In Delaware, the supervision of emergency planning and management falls under the jurisdiction of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA). DEMA has units devoted to natural, nuclear, hazardous material and biological incidents.  Delaware also has a network of emergency systems that include resources from neighboring states Virginia and Maryland.  The DelMarVa Emergency Task Force has a regional response plan to disasters, standardizes emergency procedures, raises public awareness and facilitates cross-agency communication.  DEMA has also spearheaded state involvement in Project Impact, which seeks to limit property losses due to storms through more effective design of disaster-resistant communities.

DEMA includes a number of community involvement programs like the Delaware Citizen Corps.  These groups ask members of the general community to provide assistance to state agencies through intelligence gathering, disaster preparation, and incident response.  These groups offer a number of resources to the general public including informational videos and preparedness tips.

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