The lead agency for disaster preparedness and response in Miami-Dade County is the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Due to Miami’s susceptibility to disasters, especially hurricanes, the OEM operates a robust system for warnings, evacuations, and reconstruction.
The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) is the blueprint for county agencies to respond to an imminent natural crisis and any recovery efforts following the event. The CEMP was formulated in accordance with principles from the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS).
In order to provide county wide evacuation services to all resident, the OEM is partnered with the Dade County Public Schools as well as the American Red Cross. All three organizations manage the Hurrican Evacuation Centers throughout Miami-Dade and other counties. OEM also operates a system for transporting residents without access to personal transportation. Residents may call 311 to learn where the nearest pickup points are and wait there for buses to convey them to a refuge.
Qualifications to Become an Emergency Management Professional in Miami-Dade County, Florida
Due to the prevalence of hurricanes and other extreme weather disasters, there are a wide variety of emergency management careers in the public and private sector. EM professionals may be found in numerous fields in Miami-Dade County, including urban planning, architecture, engineering, meteorology, and public health. Many of the most common qualifications for these jobs include:
- A bachelor’s or master’s degree in
- Emergency management
- Homeland security
- Terrorism studies
- Public policy
- Business administration
- Several years of professional experience in homeland security or emergency management
- Experience designing training programs modeled from NIMS, NSF, or HSEEP
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
The Florida Division of Emergency Management offers a wide selection of training programs including simulations of manmade and environmental disasters. These courses include:
- Basic Community Emergency Response Team
- Resources Unit Leader
- Supply Unit leader
- Preliminary Damage Assessment
- Multi-hazard Emergency Planning for Higher Education Institutions
- Principles of Planning and Implementing Recovery
An internationally recognized private accreditation organization is the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). This group offers EM professionals the option to acquire the coveted Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) or Associate Energy Manager (AEM) certifications.
Disasters in Miami-Dade County
In 1926, a Category Four hurricane stuck Miami with 145 mph winds and 15-foot storm surges. Once the eye of the storm had settled on the city, many people mistakenly believed the storm had passed and exited the safety of their homes. When the southern half of the storm reached the city, the majority of fatalities resulted from people swept off bridges. According to reports almost 373 people were killed by this storm and between 25,000 and 50,000 people were left homeless. The damage was estimated at $100 million, but if a similar storm struck Miami-Dade today, the resulting damage could be as high as $140 to $157 billion.