As identified by the head of Canyon County’s Office of Emergency Management, the most likely disaster the county faces is a severe windstorm, while the biggest hazard communities face is the flood hazard posed by the Boise River.
Whatever the disaster, be it natural or man-made, emergency management training in Canyon County has been ongoing among fellow law enforcement and emergency agencies from the federal to local level.
Preparing for Emergency Management Careers in Canyon County
Virtually all emergency management jobs require some form of emergency management degree as well as the appropriate certification. These programs are offered by public, private, and non-profit institutions across the county and online, and include everything from two-week certificates to four-year degrees in areas such as:
- Disaster Preparedness
- Emergency Management and Public Health
- Fire Science
- Emergency and Disaster Management
- Public Health
- Business Management
- Urban Planning
Canyon County’s Threats from West Nile Virus to Earthquakes
Among its contingency plans, the Canyon County Office of Emergency Management has a detailed accounting of what to do in case of the outbreak of West Nile Virus. This is one of the newest risks to the county, as nine mosquitoes recently tested positive for the virus. To combat this threat, the Office of Emergency Management begins by studying the West Nile Virus phenomenon in depth with its biologists and Emergency Management Planners. These officials develop an informative brochure to distribute at public facilities such as libraries and post offices, and announce on local news sources via Public Information Officers. Next an Emergency Management Coordinator works with the Canyon County Mosquito Abatement District to target infected regions for spraying in the area. Canyon County officials must be able to work effectively with their neighboring equivalents because infected mosquitoes do not recognize county boundaries.
The Canyon County Office of Emergency Management is also prepared to respond when it comes to earthquakes. It is a commonly overlooked fact that Idaho is the fifth most earthquake-prone state in the county, and that is why the Office of Emergency Management conducts public education campaigns and encourages private and public facilities alike to practice earthquake drills and develop their own evacuation plans in the event of a tremor. Recently hospitals in Caldwell and Nampa conducted a two-hour earthquake drill to hone their responses and emergency management procedures in case such a disaster struck. The hospitals prepared for the exercises, and later debriefed, with representatives from the Office of Emergency Management.