Kansas City is an economic powerhouse that is prone to a wide variety of disasters, both natural and manmade. Over the course of 60 years, more than 6,600 extreme weather events struck within fifty miles of the northern part of the city. Emergency management personnel plan to minimize the damage when disasters strike and respond quickly to them.
The Kansas City Office of Emergency Management is a division of the city manager’s office. It employs several specialists in emergency management, including two coordinators and a planner. Additional emergency management jobs in Kansas City are available from local companies, including security and chemical companies.
Federal emergency management jobs are also an option in Kansas City. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has its Disaster Assistance Division for Region VII located in the city.
Requirements for an Emergency Management Career in Kansas City
An analysis by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center saw the field of emergency management in the state experience more than 28% growth from its forecast of the period between 2002 and 2012.
There a number of different ways to embark on emergency management careers in Kansas City. These can range from starting entry-level work in the emergency management field with an undergraduate certificate to obtaining a graduate degree in emergency management. Those with degrees in this field typically command higher salaries and qualify for such jobs as emergency management director.
In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that sixty emergency management directors were employed in Kansas City.
Residents of this city can choose to pursue college coursework in emergency management from a number of schools in Missouri that offer such options as:
- Certificate in community emergency management
- Master’s in public administration with a concentration in disaster and emergency management.
Online schools are another option that offer students the ability to study from their location instead of commuting to another part of the state.
Certification of Emergency Management Professionals in Kansas City
The Missouri Emergency Preparedness Association (MEPA) encourages a high level of professionalism among emergency management professionals in the state. They provide two levels of certification for individuals in the field who have obtained the required amount of training. They are:
- Level 1 Missouri Associate Emergency Manager
- Level 2 Missouri Emergency Manager Certification
Certification is provided to the appropriate personnel based on a point system. One way to obtain points towards this is to have a college degree from an institution that has been accredited.
Potential Disasters in Kansas City
The government of Kansas City has assessed the impact of potential disasters that could strike in the area and found several to be highly risky.
Tornadoes – The frequency of tornadoes hitting Kansas City is over 2.5 times that for the U.S. in general and over 1.6 times that of the rest of Missouri. One of the worst tornadoes in the area was the Ruskin Heights one that struck Kansas City in 1957, killing 37 people near the city.
Hazardous Materials – Kansas City’s function as a major transportation hub makes it vulnerable to spills of hazardous materials from the rail, barge, and automotive traffic that traverse the city. Six hundred trains come and go in Kansas City each day, many of them carrying hazardous chemicals. This traffic is projected to pose a considerable threat to the local citizens.