The greatest natural hazards that Idaho faces are earthquakes, flooding, and wildfires. In general, Idaho faces only a minor chance of major devastation from these natural threats because of the sparse population, which is widely distributed throughout the state. Idaho is ranked fifth in the U.S. for number of earthquakes, and major rivers like the Boise do present a high risk of flooding at times.
Since 1953, 18 federal disasters have been declared due to flooding, but only one death in the past ten years. The federal government estimates that flooding costs the state about $27 to $65 million in property damage each year.
A much more deadly threat is wildfires, which are prevalent due to the large stretches of untamed lands. The federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees almost 11 million acres in the state, provides the main firefighting force when fires are prevalent. Within the state, the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security coordinates responses to fire and other natural disasters.
Training and Qualifications for Emergency Management Jobs in Idaho
Education, skills and knowledge – The minimum requirements for most emergency management jobs in Idaho are similar to those found on a job posting for an emergency management specialist position with the US Department of Energy in Idaho Falls:
- Possession of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four year college or university
- Be a U.S. citizen
- At least one year of specialized experience in initiating, prioritizing and completing tasks related to emergency management
- Knowledge of federal laws, agency policies and governing emergency response programs
- Knowledge of principles, concepts, and practices of federal, local and state emergency management techniques
- Skill using command, communication and control principles for the design and implementation of emergency response programs
- Superior written and verbal communication skills
The majority of the skills necessary to qualify for emergency management careers in Idaho can be obtained through significant professional experience or through course work at the graduate school level. Many masters and doctorate programs in emergency management provide the intellectual breadth of knowledge to perform the required responsibilities.
Certification – Professional certification programs may also provide the knowledge and credentials essential to acquiring and succeeding in emergency management careers in Idaho. One of the most prestigious accreditation programs is offered by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), a federal agency. The EMI offers a wide selection of emergency management classes in Idaho including
- Introduction to Exercises
- Emergency Planning
- Effective Communication
- Leadership and Influence
- Develop and Managing Volunteers
- Fundamentals of Emergency Management
- Decision Making and Problem Solving