Within the New Jersey State Government, the Office of Emergency Management (NJOEM) is responsible for helping develop emergency planning and preparedness throughout state with help from local and private organizations. Within the NJOEM are several units devoted to types of disasters that could endanger the lives or property of state residents.
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The Emergency Preparedness Bureau oversees Northern and Southern Regional Units, as well as Radiological Emergency Response Planning and Technical Unit. The Northern Unit has jurisdiction over 11 counties and 298 cities or towns, while the Southern Unit presides over ten counties and 266 towns or cities. These units have close working relationships with these local agencies which help facilitate coordination of local and state resources. The radiological unit provide technical advice and support at the state’s two nuclear power plants as well as during the shipment of radiological material.
Most Serious Disasters in New Jersey
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey causing widespread devastation. In the coastal city of Hoboken, almost have the town was flooded leading to the displacement of almost 50,000 residents. At least 37 state residents died during the storm and 2.6 million residents lost electrical power during the storm. The total estimated damage was almost $30 billion.
The 2011 New Jersey experienced unprecedented torrential rains that contributed to flooding in many areas of the state. In addition to the rains caused by Hurricane Irene, parts of the state receive more than 20 inches or rain. This was preceded by a relentless winter where major snowstorms dumped more than 32 inches of snow and ice on the state.
How to Become an Emergency Management Specialist in New Jersey
Emergency professionals can be found in industries throughout New Jersey but especially in agencies staffed with emergency responders. Common job requirements include:
- Must have a bachelor’s degree in one of the following
- Public administration
- Health services administration
- EMS or emergency management
- Business administration; or related field
- At least three years of experience in emergency planning at the federal, state or local level
- Experience in disaster planning preferred
- At least four years of experience in health care field
- Possession of strong verbal and written communication skills
- Proficiencies in word processing applications
- Possession of a valid driver’s license
- Possession of certification in EMT or Paramedic
- Knowledge of WMD operations and incident command system
- Knowledge of hazardous materials operations
The NJOEM offers a variety of training programs for current or prospective EM professionals. These include:
- Basic workshop in emergency management
- Hazardous materials training
- Basic public information officer course
- Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
- Professional Development Series
- New Jersey National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration
Emergency management classes in New Jersey may also be found through federal agencies like the Emergency Management Institute.