As one of America’s most important historical cities and a global center for academia and commerce, Boston is an excellent place to begin or continue an emergency management career. Located in the Northeast and on the coast of the North Atlantic, Boston is susceptible to a variety of natural or manmade disasters. In order to limit any vulnerability to these hazards, the Boston Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has introduced a variety of hazard mitigation and disaster response programs.
One of the most important programs overseen by the OEM is the Citizen Corps Council. This organization is part of a nationwide network of government and community groups which help prepare Boston residents for potential natural or technological emergencies. The Citizen Corps Council helps provide basic necessities, clothing, or shelter to communities that have experienced a major natural or terrorist disaster.
Training and Qualifications for Emergency Management Professionals in Boston, Massachusetts
In the aftermath of numerous natural and terrorist emergencies, the Boston business community and public agencies house a wide variety of emergency management jobs. Professionals who have prior experience in information management, public health, government, law enforcement or business administration may find themselves eminently qualified for emergency management careers. The majority of employers of EM professionals are seeking candidates with qualifications such as:
- Possession of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in
- Public policy
- Terrorism studies
- Business continuity planning
- Health administration
- Five or more years of experience in emergency management or homeland security
- Proficiency with the National Response Framework or National Incident Management System
- Demonstrated ability to work with government officials, private sector EM specialists, and volunteer organizations
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is a major portal for training of EM personnel. The MEMA has implemented a training program that includes regular drills and simulations for a variety of public and private EM professionals, as well as a number of courses which offer advanced skills and knowledge like
- Hazardous Materials Awareness
- Incident Command System
- Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
- Incident Management Assistance Team
A History of Disasters in Boston
In 1919, Boston experienced a unique type of disaster. The United States Industrial Alcohol Company possessed a large cast iron storage tank that contained almost 2.5 million gallons of molasses. Due to the rapid thaw due to an unexpected mid-winter heat wave, the tank exploded. Portions of the tank were flung across the industrial area of the North End, while the enormous mass of syrup surged out in all directions. The Boston Molasses Disaster claimed the lives of 21 people and injured more than 150 others.
In 2013, Boston received record-breaking rain and snow. Over the course of a single day the city received 12.8 inches of snow. The ocean storm that caused the storm also produced widespread flooding in many coastal areas. At its peak, almost 10,000 people were without power in the region.