The four pillars of the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management are preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Working in conjunction with federal as well as state and local agencies, this office is responsible for preparing for the worst, and getting their partner agencies and citizens on the same page when disaster does strike. The most prevalent natural disasters experienced in Kootenai County are extreme weather events, fires, and floods.
Preparing for Careers in Kootenai County Emergency Management
The Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management offers a wide variety of jobs requiring just as wide a variety of skills. There are also other private, non-profit, and governmental agencies in the county that employ emergency management professionals.
Candidates for virtually all emergency management jobs will need to have a bachelor’s degree in emergency management, or a degree in another area of study along with either professional certification or an academic certificate in emergency management.
Degrees frequently held by emergency management specialists include:
- Social Sciences
- Emergency Management and Public Health
- Information Technology
- Mental Health
- Fire Science
- Disaster Preparedness
From Spring Floods to Summer Fires, No Rest for Kootenai Emergency Management
Kootenai County residents know that every few years their homes and other property will be threatened by wildfires. This is one disaster the Office of Emergency Management has had extensive experience with, and for which it is well prepared. Fire experts are on hand to conduct field research, take measurements, and determine the overall health of the county’s forests and prairies, while emergency communication and notification professionals are stationed at strategic points to report on any flare ups, lightning storms, or other unwelcome events.
When fires do strike, emergency management coordinators work with teams of law enforcement and emergency management officials from a variety of agencies to implement tried and tested methods of quickly containing blazes to minimize property damage. In 1910 Kootenai County was one of the regions involved in the Great Fire of that year, which burned an area the size of Connecticut and was responsible for the most firefighters lost until the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Residents of Kootenai County also know that if they do not need to worry about wildfires the season is probably such that they should be concerned about flooding. This also happens every few years, and is another disaster for which the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management is more than prepared. One of the strategies used to combat the dangers posed by flooding is public awareness. Emergency management training in Kootenai County’s rural and urban areas is provided free of charge to instruct the public on how best to be prepared, and what they can do in the event of a flood. Others involved with emergency management jobs in Kootenai County will take care of public health issues, providing emergency shelter while information technology specialists take care of the wireless and computer networking to ensure there is no lag time with vital information.