The Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is the state’s head organization in charge of emergency preparedness, response and recovery. In addition to planning for natural disasters, Maine is also actively engaged in protecting its residents from terrorist incidents through Maine Department of Homeland Security.
As it is situated upon the northern border, Maine is especially attentive to the security issues related to unauthorized entry of terrorist or criminal individuals from Canada. In order to limit or eliminate any threats, Homeland Security helps prepare first responders, upgrade communications networks, and strengthen public health structures.
Major Natural Disasters in Maine
Maine is susceptible to disasters common to coastal regions in the northern latitudes: storms and flooding. One of the biggest storms in the state’s history occurred in 1998. A three week ice storm left almost half of the state without power for over two weeks, and caused six deaths. Almost $48 million in damage occurred to local infrastructure, and hundreds of millions more to private homes and businesses. The resulting devastation has led to more integrated emergency responses at the state, county and local levels. Emergency generators have also been deployed to cities throughout the state.
In 2010, an enormous winter storm in combination with high lunar tides caused widespread flooding throughout Maine’s coastal communities. The waves were high enough to crest over the roofs of homes and cause many residences to be washed out to sea. The storm knocked out power to almost 133,000 homes. Maine has also been the target of hurricanes and tropical storms, including Hurricane Bob which caused almost $1.5 billion in damage.
Training and Qualifications for Emergency Management Jobs in Maine
One of the major providers of emergency management jobs in Maine is the Maine Department of Homeland Security, which requires the following qualifications for a career as an Emergency Management Planner:
- Possession of a bachelor’s degree in an EM field; a master’s or doctor’s degree in homeland security or emergency management is preferred
- Five or more years of experience in EM, hazard mitigation, homeland security or business continuity planning
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills
- Strong organizational skills
- Demonstrated proficiency working independently or on a team
- Familiarity with computer and office equipment
- Professional certification in CEM, FPEM, AICO, CFM, or CPP
Emergency Management Certification Options
The most common training for emergency management personnel is certification through the Maine Basic Emergency Manager Training Program. This program offers emergency management classes in Maine including:
- Fundamentals of Emergency Management
- Introduction to NIMS
- Introduction to Hazardous Materials
- Damage Assessment and Reporting
- Emergency Operations and Reporting
- National Response Framework
- Emergency Planning
- Exercise Design
- Disaster Recovery
MEMA also designs and conducts exercises throughout the state to help facilitate coordination from personnel at the local, county and state levels. These exercised include orientation seminars, drills, tabletop exercises, functional exercises, and full-scale exercises. These exercises are designed to introduce key concepts, procedural competencies and experience in emergency communications.