As home to New York City, the largest metropolitan center in the U.S., New York must provide the highest levels of protection to its residents and visitors. Not only does New York City serve as the home to more than eight million residents, its importance as a global financial center also make it a target for terrorist attacks. Perhaps just as important, is New York City’s unique place in representing the U.S. to the rest of the world.
The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) supervises the emergency management programs throughout the state. Due to its strategic importance, New York’s emergency management systems are often more sophisticated and robust than those found in other states. Among its unique areas of operation is its Cyber Security division, which monitors the state’s most important computer systems. This also requires active cooperation from companies operating in the state who are legally bound to report any unauthorized breaches of their digital security systems.
How to Become an Emergency Management Professional in New York
One of the key agencies in New York responsible for maintaining public health and wellness is the New York City Department of Health, which published the following criteria for a new Emergency Preparedness Training Coordinator. From engineering firms to healthcare providers, these criteria represent common requirements for emergency management jobs in New York:
- Must possess a bachelor’s degree
- Must have several years of experience in emergency management
- Must have experience in developing, designing and providing EM training
- Must possess exceptional written and verbal communication skills
- Must be able to manage multiple projects under tight deadlines
- FEMA certification is preferred
- Knowledge of NIMS, ICS or HSEEP
New York’s DHSES offers a variety of training and certification programs for emergency management professionals. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a federal set of guidelines for EM personnel. Training for NIMS is offered through federal agencies and includes courses on:
- NIMS resource management
- National response framework
- NIMS Introduction
- Introduction to the incident command system
- ICS for single resources and initial action incidents
- NIMS multi-agency coordination systems
- NIMS public information systems
In addition to the public organizations, many important industry associations certify EM professionals. The International Association of Emergency Managers provides the prestigious Certified Emergency Manager Accreditation.
The Impact of Manmade and Natural Disasters on Emergency Management Policy in New York
On September 11, 2001, New York City was the site of the country’s worst terrorist attack when four airliners were hijacked, with two eventually crashing into the World Trade Center towers. The resulting collapse and destruction of the two towers resulted in almost 3,000 fatalities. This event marked a watershed moment in counter-terrorism policy that has reshaped emergency management programs across the country.
In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused widespread flooding in New York City. Much of the city including subways, homes and businesses were flooded for several days. Thousands of residents were without power during and following the storm. At least 53 people were killed due to the hurricane, and almost $18 billion in damages occurred.