Emergency Management Careers in Honolulu County, Hawaii

Officials working in Honolulu County’s emergency management jobs from the federal to local level know that the key to successful disaster response is preparedness. This comes in the form of training, education, use of technology, and agency collaboration.

The Honolulu Department of Emergency Management is one of the leading agencies when it comes to emergency relief, managing groups such as search and rescue, social service organizations, emergency communication operators, and more. There is a certain type of person that feels compelled to act when disaster strikes, and these are the future leaders of disaster management.

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Preparing for Emergency Management Careers in Honolulu County

Emergency management careers in Honolulu County exist in a wide range of positions from emergency radio communication hobbyists to trained professionals with an emergency management degree. Citizens who are interested in finding out more about the field can begin by reviewing some basic certification programs, such as:

  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Emergency and Disaster Management
  • Disaster Health
  • Interdisciplinary Studies in Emergency Management

Candidates who know they want to make a bigger commitment and pursue employment with an agency such as the Honolulu Department of Emergency Management can prepare themselves by pursuing a degree in a related academic program. These are available through a variety of public and private institutions and organizations throughout Honolulu County, and include programs such as:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant or Registered Nursing
  • Communications – Emergency Dispatch Operator
  • Disaster Health
  • Psychology – Crisis Management and Response
  • Earth Sciences
  • Climatology and Meteorology

Recent Violent Acts of Nature in Honolulu County

March 11, 2011 may not be so memorable to those in the United States, but Japanese citizens will never forget that day, as the Great East Japan Earthquake triggered a massive tsunami killing more than 15,883 people and sparking the largest nuclear meltdown disaster since Chernobyl. Less well known among Americans but clearly remembered by those in Honolulu County were the tsunami waves from the same earthquake that caused over $30 million in damage to the island.

Working with federal authorities, Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Management coordinated disaster relief efforts with its trained Community Response Teams, who had previously conducted public awareness campaigns and emergency management training in Honolulu County regarding the risk of tsunamis, and set up staging areas and emergency shelters for those immediately affected after the event. However that is not the only situation recently involving Community Response Teams.

As a result of the damage caused by the severe storms and flooding during the second and third weeks of December 2008, 480 business and home owners received federal assistance to aid in reparations. The storms even sparked a rare Hawaiian tornado, however responding to the emergency proved to be well within the capabilities of Honolulu’s Department of Emergency Management, who organized effective search and rescue operations, damage assessments, and provided emergency medical aid. Working with volunteer amateur radio operators holding emergency management certification, faith communities, and neighborhood organizations, emergency management officials in Honolulu County pulled the community through this trying time.

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