The Gwinnett County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) oversees programs designed to optimize public safety in the event of environmental and manmade disasters. The OEM has developed a variety of mitigation programs for risks related to severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms, flooding, hurricanes, fires and extreme heat.
One of the major programs offered by the OEM is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) which provides education to county residents about search and rescue, fire safety, team organization and disaster medical operations. CERT training prepares members to effectively organize community resources and response strategies in the wake of a disaster, even if there is no assistance from public agencies.
How to Become an Emergency Management Professional in Gwinnett County, Georgia
Gwinnett County offers emergency management jobs in a variety of professional fields like public administration, business preparedness and recovery, public health, emergency planning, and meteorology. Most of these jobs have requirements similar to the following:
- Possession of a bachelor’s degree in
- Homeland security
- Business administration
- Public policy
- At least three years of full time experience in emergency management operations; many prefer at least one year in a supervisory position
- Knowledge of NSF, NIMS, HSEEP or ICS
- Accreditation as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
Emergency management professionals may find training from a variety of agencies at the state and federal levels. The Georgia Emergency Management Institute offers emergency management courses in Gwinnett County, Georgia, including:
- Resource management
- Mass fatalities incident response
- Hazardous weather and flooding preparedness
The Emergency Management Institute is a federal agency that sponsors certification programs that require completion of training courses.
- Professional Development Series
- Fundamentals of emergency management
- Decision making and problem solving
- Effective communication
- National Incident Management System
- Introduction to Incident Command System
- NIMS, an introduction
Major Environmental Disasters in Gwinnett County
In 2009, Gwinnett County experienced heavy rainfall that produced up to eight inches of rain and flooded many areas of the region. The U.S. Geological Society recorded the highest levels of the Chattahoochee River in 81 years. Although no lives were lost during the spring floods, almost $60 million in damage occurred. Later in September, however, flooding occurred again, this time killing one county resident and four others across the state. There was almost 22 inches of rain in some parts of the state during this later episode.
A variety of other weather events have plagued Gwinnett County in the past half century. Since 2002, Gwinnett County has experience three hurricanes, eight tropical storms and a tropical depression. Since 1950, there have been a number of tornado events that have caused the deaths of two residents and injured 18 others. The most destructive of these occurred in 1998, when a category two tornado killed one person and injured ten others; this tornado caused almost $75 million in damages.