The Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Department works with other disaster and infrastructure agencies to plan for and respond to all types of disasters. From providing cooperative emergency management training in Jefferson Parish to assisting neighboring jurisdictions in times of crisis, emergency management coordinators run the show when it comes protecting the property and lives of the parish’s residents. Through effective disaster planning and professional response, emergency management specialists working in Jefferson Parish agencies ranging from non-profit to the public sector participate in:
- The development and implementation of the All Hazards Emergency Operations Plan
- Inter-agency coordination, collaboration, and drills
- Running public education awareness campaigns
- Issuing emergency alerts through several mediums
Emergency management coordinators recently had a chance to hone their skills dealing with severe weather and some unforeseen complications.
Planning for Future Emergency Management Jobs in Jefferson Parish
Working for the Jefferson Parish Emergency Management Department or any other local agency requires a commitment to public safety and the protection of property. Having the right education is also recommended, and there are a variety of institutions offering emergency management certification and degree programs in Jefferson County and online.
Federal training programs along with private, public, and online universities offer courses in:
- Disaster Preparedness
- Disaster Management
- Emergency Management and Public Health
- Disaster Health
- Urban Planning
- Social Work and Mental Health
The Jefferson Parish Department of Emergency Management offers Emergency Medical Services Certificates in:
- Defensive Driving
- CPR and First Aid
- Hazardous Materials
The Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross offers hazard-specific training for:
- Winter storms
- Flu pandemics
Compounding Challenges for Emergency Managers in Jefferson Parish
Emergency management jobs in Jefferson Parish many times involve hurricanes, tropical storms, and picking up the pieces in the aftermath of these events. The region is familiar with the worst of nature’s tempests, one of which includes the recent Tropical Storm Lee that passed through in the summer season of 2011. Emergency management coordinators knew there was no comfort to be found in the fact that Lee was too weak to be classified as a hurricane; the storm still dumped over a foot of rain, caused flood damage to numerous properties, and spawned a string of tornadoes that wrought still more damage, prompting the president to declare Jefferson Parish as part of a major disaster area. Emergency management coordinators began their response to Tropical Storm Lee long before it even made landfall, starting by issuing public alerts and warnings.
Jefferson Parish saw more hurricanes the year after Tropical Storm Lee, keeping those working in emergency management careers busy coordinating their response in a similar way as they had for Lee. After important infrastructure had been restored – downed trees removed, power brought back on line, broken gas lines mended – and people could leave emergency shelters for their homes, emergency management coordinators discovered an unwelcome surprise when, while conducting a damage assessment they found tar balls washed up on the beaches of Jefferson Parish. As determined by chemical experts, the viscous black conglomerates were remnants from the 2010 BP oil spill that had been washed ashore by Gulf storms. However as a demonstration to the preparedness of emergency management coordinators, they already had a contingency plan for such an event that had been greatly improved in light of the recent spill, and they quickly went into action issuing notices and organizing beach purification programs.