Emergency Management Careers in St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis is prone to severe weather events and was the site of the two tornados that caused the most damage in U.S. history.  One of these caused the third most fatalities from a tornado in this country’s history.  Emergency management specialists are active in St. Louis helping to prepare for future disasters that might strike the city.

There are a number of entities that employ emergency management professionals in St. Louis.  One source of emergency management jobs in St. Louis is the city’s Emergency Management Agency (CEMA).  It plans emergency response activities, along with training and educating emergency responders, public officials, and the public.  Large companies, hospitals, and non-governmental organizations are also sources of such jobs in the St. Louis area.

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Requirements for an Emergency Management Career in St. Louis

The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center projected the growth of emergency management jobs in the state to be greater than 28% over a ten-year period ending in 2012.

Obtaining a college degree in emergency management enables professionals to advance in their careers and frequently to obtain management positions.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one hundred emergency management directors were employed in the city in 2012.

Potential students can study at a school in St. Louis that offers an M.S. in Biosecurity and Disaster Preparedness.  Graduates from this program frequently specialize in the health field.  Students seeking a broader training in emergency management can choose from other schools in Missouri or online institutions that offer degrees in this field.

Certification of Emergency Management Professionals in St. Louis

Missouri has an active organization of emergency management specialists:  the Missouri Emergency Preparedness Association or MEPA.  They encourage professionalism in this field by certifying emergency management professionals.  A certain level of training is required, and points are assessed depending on the level of experience, types of training, and possession of college degrees from accredited institutions.

Emergency management professionals in St. Louis can obtain two types of certification:

  • Missouri Associate Emergency Manager
  • Missouri Emergency Manager Certification

Natural Disasters in St. Louis

Tornadoes – St. Louis is much more likely to be struck by tornadoes than the rest of Missouri.  It has a history of having some of the country’s worst tornadoes, including the St. Louis—East St. Louis tornado that killed over 250 people and injured more than 1000.  Fortunately, early warning systems have greatly reduced the death toll from tornadoes that strike today.

Flooding – The city’s location along the Mississippi River makes it vulnerable to flooding when the river rises in the spring.  In addition, flash floods are also a threat to St. Louis.  For instance, in June 2013, street flooding was caused by rain from slow-moving thunderstorms.

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