The emergency management services in Broward County, Florida are under the jurisdiction of the county’s Emergency Management Division (EMD). This organization has a number of departments which include Training & Public Outreach, Regulatory Compliance, Planning, Recovery Mitigation and Administrative. EMD currently operates ten general population shelters and one pet friendly shelter in Broward County, to be used when a natural or manmade disaster is imminent.
The greatest concern to Broward County residents and emergency management personnel are hurricanes. These tropical storms typically develop between June and November. Broward County is particularly susceptible because it is located on the coast and can be hit from the Atlantic Ocean, where most hurricanes form, and from the Gulf of Mexico where a minor number of hurricanes originate. If a Category Three or higher hurricane can strike Broward County, Evacuation Plan B is implemented. Plan B involves pickup of residents at designated points including federal highways. Residents may then be bused to shelters operated by the American Red Cross.
Training and Requirements for Emergency Management Professionals in Broward County
The majority of emergency management professionals who work within public agencies in Broward County must obtain some type of credentialing from the EMD. EM personnel must complete certain courses offered by state or local agencies. This may include some of the following positions:
- Broward Emergency Operations Center non-supervisory staff—
- Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS)
- National Incident Management System
- Public information
- Resource Management
- Communications and Information
- Section Chiefs and Command Staff—
- Intermediate ICS or equivalent
- Advanced ICS
- National Response Plan, an Introduction
The emergency management professionals working in Broward County may hail from a wide variety of professions including public health, engineering, urban planning, homeland security or disaster research. Although the exact requirements for each job are dependent upon the employing organization, the majority of these jobs require qualifications similar to these:
- A bachelor’s degree in
- Homeland security
- Terrorism studies
- Emergency preparedness
- Business administration
- Public health
- At least five years of full time experience in emergency management
- At least one year of full time experience supervising emergency management programs and personnel
- Familiarity with the NIMS, ICS and NSF
- Accreditation as a Certified Emergency Manager
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
Many emergency management professionals obtain certification through the Emergency Management Institute or the International Association of Emergency Managers.
Disasters in Broward County, Florida
In August of 1992, Hurricane Andrew decimated large portions of Florida including parts of Broward County. The hurricane spawned winds in excess of 90 mph and almost eight inches in rain. At the storm’s peak more than 1.4 million people lost electrical power and 150,000 were without telephone service. Hurricane Andrew caused three facilities and almost $100 million in damage in Broward County. Following the storm, almost 175,000 people across the state were homeless.