Westchester County, like so many other New York counties, was hit hard in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy, but it certainly wasn’t the first time it was impacted by natural disasters:
- Severe storms and flooding: March 2010
- Severe storms, inland and coastal flooding: April 2007
- Severe storms and flooding: June 2006
- Hurricane Katrina evacuation: August 2005
Emergency management professionals are called upon to help prepare the citizens of Westchester County for such disasters and to coordinate efforts when a natural or manmade disaster strikes.
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Emergency Management Careers in Westchester County, New York
A number of emergency management careers are found in Westchester County within the Office of Emergency Management (OEM):
Director, Office of Emergency Management
The Director of the Office of Emergency Management, who works under the direction of the Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services, coordinates emergency management plans and programs that adhere to the regulations and laws of the federal, state, and county governments. The Director also maintains and coordinates a number of planning activities and has regular contact with utility and private sector companies regarding emergency preparedness and response.
The Director of the Office of Emergency Management also ensures compliance by maintaining an approved County Emergency Operations Plan and following the regulations of the National Incident Management System.
Minimum degree and experience requirements for this position include either a bachelor’s degree in emergency management and 5 years of professional experience or a master’s degree in emergency management and 4 years of professional experience.
Emergency Mitigation Specialist
A career as an emergency mitigation specialist involves creating and implementing hazard mitigation plans, which help communities develop strategies for dealing with manmade and natural disasters. Emergency mitigation specialist jobs in Westchester County include coordinating programs with a number of private, public, and nonprofit agencies and organizations, assessing the vulnerability of hazards through risk assessments, and establishing mitigation strategies for dealing with potential manmade and natural hazards.
Emergency mitigation specialists often possess a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas:
- Political Science
- Urban Planning
- Public Administration
- Emergency Management
Further, experience requirements for emergency mitigation specialist jobs involves possessing at least one year of experience in one or more of the following areas:
- Emergency management
- Public health
- Fire service
- Public administration
- Urban planning
- Public safety
Professional Certification and Training
Professional certification for emergency management jobs in Westchester County is often a requirement, and many emergency management professionals seek certification to achieve career advancement. Individuals may choose to pursue one or more of the following professional certifications:
- 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
Training in emergency management often takes place through the Office of Emergency Management, who offers a wide array of training courses throughout the year, such as:
- Weather: Preparedness, Warning, Response and Recovery
- Radiological Emergency Preparedness
- Emergency Communications