The DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is ready to coordinate the response to emergency situations at a moment’s notice. The office conducts emergency management training in cooperation with businesses, residents, and other government agencies in DuPage County to ensure all are prepared for potential disasters that may strike the community. This includes the DuPage County Citizen’s Corps, which works with citizens to develop community action plans for natural and man-made disasters, such as:
- Community Emergency Response Team
- Volunteers in Police Service
- DuPage County Medical Reserves Corps
- USAonWatch – Based on the block-watch model for maintaining safe communities
- Weather Seminar – Instructs citizens on what to do in severe weather events
Recently citizens with emergency management certification in DuPage County, along with officials from the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, coordinated the response to a tornado spawned by a severe storm.
Planning for Future Emergency Management Jobs in DuPage County
Public and private sector experts working in emergency management jobs in DuPage County helped to save the lives of many innocent people in incidents that range from the swine flu outbreak of 2009 to recent tornados.
Individuals who are interested in following in the footsteps of these emergency management officials with the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and other agencies should consider a bachelor’s degree the minimum requirement.
Emergency management specialists and others involved in emergency management often hold degrees in areas such as:
- Information Technology
- Emergency Planning
- Public Health
- Emergency and Disaster Management
- Bioterrorism Preparedness
- Disaster Health
DuPage County Faces Tornadoes and Epidemics
Tornadoes are one natural disaster not uncommon to DuPage County. These storms have a history of tearing up trees, damaging homes, and in general wreaking havoc in the county. At least a few times a year the national weather service issues tornado warnings for the surrounding area. That is why the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management have developed a detailed preparation guide and contingency plan. DuPage County environmental sciences specialists work with meteorologists to determine the likely threat posed by these whirling storms, and communicate this to county residents through a public information officer.
While this process is ongoing, a separate preparation process will be underway in the coming years in which emergency shelters will be staffed by Red Cross volunteers and Emergency Management Coordinators, who will direct emergency services and provide immediate disaster relief. Although the damage and injury caused by tornadoes are unpredictable, it is a guarantee that those entrusted with emergency management careers in DuPage County will be there to help.
Swine Flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, was diagnosed in DuPage County in the last days of April 2009, causing the region to become another of the many localities across the globe to be affected by the recent outbreak. Because the pandemic had been raging in other parts of the world for some time, the DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in partnership with the DuPage Health Department and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had already prepared contingency plans for what to do if the virus should be detected in the area.
These were put into effect even before the first suspected cases were reported, and included the launch of a public education campaign, the establishment of quarantine centers, and the strategic distribution of the flu vaccine. Fortunately the 2009 outbreak proved to be less deadly than expected, giving emergency management officials practice for how to prepare for future threats, such as the looming bird flu and West Nile Virus.