The Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has the authority to request assistance from state and federal forces when an overwhelming event affects the county. Emergency management coordinators work together to develop the best plans for action, response, and recovery in the event of any disaster – however likely or unlikely they are to occur.
Studies have found that the most effective way to mitigate disaster related property damage and save lives is to educate individual citizens on what to do during a disaster scenario. That is why the Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management spends so much time and resources conducting training exercises.
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Preparing for the Emergency Management Jobs of the Future
Candidates interested in applying for emergency management jobs in Baltimore County will usually find a set of basic minimum requirements and qualifications that are quite similar across the board. Many jobs require some amount of education, usually in the form of an emergency management degree or certification. These are offered at several locations in Baltimore County, including community colleges, universities, and four-year colleges in programs such as:
- Social Sciences
- Emergency Management
- Homeland Security
- Information Technology
- Urban Planning
- Public Health
There are additional online opportunities where candidates can obtain emergency management certification through the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and federal certification programs that include:
- Emergency Management and Public Health
- Disaster Preparedness
- Disaster Health
- Incident Command System
- National Response Framework
- Applying the Incident Command System to Healthcare Organizations
Being Prepared: Emergency Management in Baltimore County
Baltimore County can experience several disasters in a year’s time, most likely ranging from severe storms to flooding and tornadoes with an occasional winter blizzard. With hundreds of employees working in multiple disaster response and preparedness agencies, on-the-job training is not enough to prepare those holding emergency management jobs in Baltimore County for the real thing. Moreover disasters that are less frequent also need to be readied for. Both of these reasons, along with citizen preparedness, are why emergency management training in Baltimore County is so important. Every year hundreds of volunteer citizens participate in drills and training exercises with emergency management specialists, first responders, shelter staff, and many others. Emergency management coordinators often stress the importance of disaster planning and preparedness for families and their pets. In a recent drill involving the Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the county Fire Department, and the state Department of Social Services, organizers worked with 35 volunteers and their pets for an emergency drill.
Because the protection of life is the primary responsibility and goal of emergency management coordinators, training specialists are always careful to ensure emergency shelters are adequate and well-stocked. Described more as life boats than cruise ships, these facilities are meant to act as a last resort when residents cannot return safely to their dwellings, or worse, if their homes have been destroyed. That is why the Baltimore County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management holds an annual emergency shelter drill at Eastern Technical High School that helps disaster coordinators learn how to set up emergency shelters while providing services for victims and their pets. Emergency management coordinators know from experience that the more their citizens are trained, the better chance there is for survival and damage mitigation in the event of an actual catastrophe.