Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management is a joint city-county agency, which facilitates the activities of local government in the event of a natural disaster or major emergency and coordinates county, city, private sector, and volunteer services. Other services handled by Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management include:
- Developing and testing plans for emergency shelter, warning, rescue, communications, transportation, operations, welfare, and resource utilization
- Overseeing extensive training and public education programs
- Coordinating all activities with state and federal programs
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How to Become an Emergency Management Professional in Lancaster County
Lancaster County agencies and the private and nonprofit organizations in the surrounding areas often require emergency management professionals to possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Although emergency management programs are highly desirable college degrees to possess among individuals seeking jobs in emergency management, other acceptable programs may include:
- Urban Planning
- Public Health
- Public Administration
- Natural or Physical Science
- Emergency Management
- Criminal Justice
Candidates seeking careers in emergency management may also increase their chances of success in this profession by acquiring at least 3 years of professional emergency management experience working in a first responder capacity or as an emergency assistant coordinator for a nonprofit or government agency.
Emergency Management Training and Certification in Lancaster County
Formal training through certification programs and emergency management professional development courses is a requirement of many local agencies and companies in Lancaster County. Professional certification, which is indicative of an individual’s commitment to the profession, is often sought by employers. Individuals may earn a number of certificates in emergency management, including:
- The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)
- The International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Associate Emergency Manager (AEM)
- FEMA Professional Development Series (PDS) Certificate
- FEMA Advanced Professional Series (APS) certificate
Lincoln-Lancaster County Emergency Management offers a number of professional training courses throughout the year for emergency management professionals:
- Severe Weather Symposium
- Office of Security Transportation
- Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing
- Prevention of and Response to Suicide Bombing
- Initial Law Enforcement Response to Suicide Bombing
- Enhance Threat Risk
- Aircraft Accident Exercise
A History of Natural Disasters in Lancaster County
There were nearly 15,000 extreme weather events in Lancaster County, Nebraska, from 1950 to 2010, with 5,062 incidents of thunderstorm winds, 7,565 incidents of hail, 1,010 floods, 161 incidents of strong wind, and 253 winter storms.
But on May 22, 2004, Southern Nebraska, including Lancaster County and Lincoln, was hit with a number of deadly tornadoes. The largest tornado (which has been estimated to be the widest funnel every recorded), measured an EF4 and had a vortex of 2.5 miles wide. It destroyed 95 percent of the buildings of the town of Hallam, killed one person, and injured 37.
In the event of a devastating incident like the one that occurred in May 2004, local emergency management professionals must be able to coordinate response and recovery emergency services as to minimize injury and the loss of life.