The city of Louisville, Kentucky has authorized its Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to plan for and respond to major natural and man-made disasters that may occur in the city. The OEM serves as valuable resource for city residents who wish to prepare themselves for floods, earthquakes, severe storms, tornados or hazardous material spills.
In addition to providing public information, the OEM also has developed a comprehensive Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan (NHMP), which provides a blueprint for emergency management responses to all types of natural disasters. The NHMP was formulated in response to the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000, which emphasized pre-disaster mitigation rather on crisis response. This plan is updated every five years as required by federal law.
According to the NHMP, Louisville is vulnerable to primarily 12 types of natural disasters. The most important of these is flooding due to close proximity of the Ohio River and almost 790 miles of streams. Louisville is particularly vulnerable to flooding due the relatively low elevation of vast parts of the city, of which almost 15 percent rests upon a floodplain.
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How to Become an Emergency Management Professional in Louisville, Kentucky
With its tragic history and continuing vulnerability to natural disasters, prospective emergency management personnel may find job opportunities in Louisville, Kentucky. Professionals who have experience in public health, meteorology, engineering, information technology, and business continuity planning will be required to possess qualifications like these:
- Possession of a bachelor’s degree in
- Emergency management
- Business administration
- Homeland security
- Health administration
- Public policy
- At least three years of experience in homeland security or emergency planning
- Prior experience coordinating EM programs or personnel
- Knowledge of major emergency management systems like the National Incident Management System or National Response Framework
- Demonstrated ability working with federal, state and local EM officials
The state agency Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) offers emergency management professionals in Louisville a wide variety of training programs. In addition to training exercises conducted at various times of the year with emergency management personnel from around the state, KYEM also offers an expansive selection of training courses including:
- Moving Water Rescue Technician
- Hazmat Technician
- Search and Rescue
- Emergency Operations Center Management
- Disaster Management for Electric Power Systems
In addition to many customized training programs for use by local personnel, KYEM also offers courses designed by federal emergency management agencies that allow students to acquire advanced knowledge of EM practices.
Major Disasters in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville experienced one of its worst disasters in 1937, when it received almost 15 inches of rain over 12 days. Almost 70 percent of the city was flooded, forcing almost 175,000 residents to evacuate. The estimated damage to the city was estimated at $250 million or $3.3 billion in current dollars. Another major flood in 1945, prompted the construction of a major flood protection system that included a flood wall and pumping system in Louisville and surrounding areas.