Emergency Management Careers in Orleans Parish, Louisiana

Emergency management coordinators that work in the Orleans Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management direct collaboration before, during, and after the events of a natural disaster. They are in charge of coordinating or directing:

  • Public education classes
  • Ensuring stockpiles of supplies are adequate
  • Keeping agencies up to date with joint emergency management training in Orleans Parish
  • Communicating emergency declarations and alerts
  • Emergency services advisories
  • Search and rescue
  • Damage assessment
  • Debris removal

An unforgettable disaster for those working in emergency management careers in Orleans Parish, and a significant catastrophe in the history of emergency management nationwide, was the 2005 Hurricane Katrina event, which saw billions of dollars in damages and a significant portion of New Orleans and many other area cities underwater after the failure of the levee system.

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Studying for Future Emergency Management Careers in Orleans Parish

Because emergency management coordinators specialize in many areas and are tasked with a plethora of functions, candidates wanting to prepare for such a career path have many options to choose from when it comes to obtaining a qualifying education. There are a variety of locations that offer an emergency management degree or certification in Orleans Parish. The Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross provides certification programs in:

  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Disaster Services
  • Disaster Assessment Basics
  • Health Services Response Workshop
  • Emergency Operations Center Collaboration

Federal emergency management agencies, as well as local public, private, and online universities, provide certification, associate, and bachelor degrees in pertinent subjects such as:

  • Certificate in Emergency Management and Public Health
  • Business
  • Certificate in Disaster Preparedness
  • Engineering
  • Certificate in Disaster Health
  • Public Health

Catastrophic Challenges for Emergency Management

As is normal for those with emergency management jobs in Orleans Parish, specialists were tracking the Katrina storm system long before it posed a threat to anyone in the United States. The usual protocols were followed, with emergency management coordinators being very attentive to details as at one point while over the Gulf of Mexico the storm was a category five hurricane. As soon as there was an indication the storm was likely to make landfall in Orleans Parish, the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management was implementing its hurricane preparedness contingency, notifying the public, preparing emergency shelters, and establishing direct links with emergency management coordinators throughout the participating federal, state, local, and non-profit disaster agencies.

As Hurricane Katrina made its way across the Big Easy damage reports began to come into the Orleans Parish Emergency Management Center. Emergency management coordinators were receiving information that the hurricane had not been as destructive as predicted and were beginning to think the recovery process was going to proceed normally, but then the critical levee system broke. Flood waters inundated 80 percent of the city, killing thousands, destroying around 300,000 homes, and causing an estimated $96 billion in damage. Emergency management coordinators were faced a drowning city, with much of its critical infrastructure – roads, power, water, and gas – destroyed. Additionally, concerned for the safety of their own families, many first responders were unavailable for duty, causing emergency management coordinators to have severely restricted options for their response. Ultimately those working in emergency management jobs in Orleans Parish did the best they could with the limited resources they had, and a significant inquiry and study were made months after the disaster on ways officials could improve their disaster response in the future.

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