Columbus’s scenic 22-mile RiverWalk, usually a place for bicycling, jogging or romantic strolls, can become a flood zone when the river overflows as it did in September 2009.
In recent decades, Columbus had 103 floods; however, tornadoes are a greater danger. In the same time period, there were 66 F2 or better tornadoes in or near Columbus. According to “homefacts.com,” the largest one was an F4 tornado that occurred in 2011, resulting in seven deaths and 30 injuries. Columbus is also likely to have severe thunderstorms, hail and ice storms. Columbus is the county seat of Muscogee County which was officially declared a disaster area in January 2013, because of severe drought.
How to Become an Emergency Management Specialist in Columbus, Georgia
A career in emergency management generally requires a bachelor’s degree in emergency management or a related field. There are four colleges/universities in Georgia with programs in emergency management (one in the city of Columbus). Georgians can also earn a degree in emergency management from several accredited online universities.
Information about job opportunities with the Emergency Management Division of Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services can be obtained by calling them at 706/225-4072.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, emergency management directors in Georgia earn an annual mean salary of $60,700
Emergency Management in Action in Columbus, GA
Preparedness for a disaster or serious emergency in Columbus is the responsibility of the Emergency Management Division of Columbus Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Specific functions of the special division include:
- Developing citywide plans for responding to and recovering from a disaster or serious emergency
- Implementing the plan if and when needed
- Maintaining and operating a secure emergency operations center (EOC) where public safety agencies, city leaders and other involved groups meet to conduct response and recovery operations in the event of a disaster
- Maintaining state-of-the-arts communications equipment in the EOC
- Directing and monitoring response and recovery efforts
- Working with federal, state and county emergency management departments
- Disseminating individual and family preparedness information on website
A new warning system comprised of 47 strategically placed sirens has been installed. Sirens have six different warning tones and voice announcement capabilities.
Emergency Preparedness Plans
In addition to the overall citywide plan for handling a disaster or serious emergency, the Columbus emergency management division has also developed separate emergency plans for:
- Mass Casualties
- Water Distribution
- Waste Disposal
- Emergency Alert System
- Hazard Mitigation