Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and even terrorist attacks can be predicted to some degree, but there are some disasters that provide no forewarning. Emergency management coordinators working in Montgomery County must be prepared for catastrophes in both categories, and this means developing disaster response plans, conducting multi-agency emergency management training, and being ready to respond to any threat in a moment’s notice.
Emergency management coordinators are employed by several organizations based in the region and work with each other to ensure all are prepared when a disaster does strike. The Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security is in charge of organizing major emergency response between local, state, and federal agencies.
Planning for Emergency Management Careers in Montgomery County
Emergency management jobs in Montgomery County are primarily offered in the two areas of preparation and response, with additional positions that specialize in communication and public notification. Because the skills required for these vary, so does the education background required for those applying for emergency management careers in Montgomery County. Fortunately, there are a number of places in Montgomery County where candidates can study for emergency management degree programs and certification, either online or in person, including:
- College and university two- and four-year degrees in subjects including:
- Public Health
- Law Enforcement
- Social Sciences
- Maryland Emergency Management Agency where candidates can gain certification in the National Incident Management System course
- The American Red Cross where candidates can take courses in disaster response training such as:
- Disaster Assessment
- Introduction to Disaster Services
- Feeding and Sheltering
- Federal courses such as:
- Fundamentals of Emergency Management
- Developing and Managing Volunteers
- Emergency Planning
- Leadership and Influence
Recent Emergency Response in Montgomery County
Emergency management coordinators have the chance to cut their teeth every few years in Montgomery County when disasters do strike. The recent Superstorm Sandy provided just such an opportunity. Public information officers began issuing notices and warnings as weather forecasters were predicting the storm would bring its destructive forces over the county, while at the same emergency management coordinators were establishing live links with local and state agencies as well as ensuring resources and first responders were on notice and strategically located.
Emergency managers had actually coordinated their responses several months prior to Superstorm Sandy during their response to a destructive derecho storm, whose devastation was so severe it prompted the president to declare Montgomery County a disaster zone. The response to Sandy and the derecho was similar, and involved emergency management specialists conducting damage assessments, dispatching utility crews to the locations of reported downed power lines, and clearing the roadways of debris and fallen trees. There is no doubt that because of emergency planning and an organized response damage was mitigated and lives were saved.