Oklahoma Emergency Management Careers

The May 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes are an eerie reminder that emergency management specialists are a necessity in this part of the country, which is often referred to as Tornado Alley.

As disaster assistance for the tornado-ravaged Oklahoma City area reaches $25 million, residents here are reminded of the need for strategic emergency assistance by highly skilled emergency management specialists. In fact, Oklahoma residents have witnessed their fair share of natural disasters in recent years, with disaster declarations occurring in February 2013, due to a severe winter storm and snowstorm, and the Oklahoma Noble, Drumright, and Glencoe wildfires of August 2012.

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Emergency Management Degrees

Oklahoma has emergency management degrees at both the master’s and PhD levels:

  • Master of Science in Fire and Emergency Management
  • PhD in Fire and Emergency Management

Coursework in these programs often includes:

  • Principles and Practices of Emergency Management
  • Technical and Professional Writing for Emergency Management
  • Social Dimensions of Disaster
  • Emergency Mental Health and Trauma
  • Natural Hazards Primer
  • Emergency Preparedness for Industry
  • Theoretical Perspectives and Methods Applied to Emergency Management
  • Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction and Homeland Security
  • Emergency Management Issues in Communication and Mass Media
  • Humanitarian Responses to International Disasters

Achieving Professional Certification in Emergency Management

The Oklahoma Emergency Management Association (OCEM) offers the Oklahoma Certified Emergency Manager certification program, which demands a key set of minimum requirements, including:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Planning Experience: All candidates for the OCEM certification must have been a major participant in a local emergency operations plan or in the creation/update of a local emergency planning committee plan.
  • Exercising Experience: All candidates for the OCEM certification must have been a participant in at least one functional or full-scale exercise.
  • Training: All candidates for OCEM certification must have completed at least 40 hours of EMI/state-sponsored training within the last 2 years
  • Organizational Position: All candidates for OCEM certification must hold an emergency management professional position at the state, federal, or local government within the State of Oklahoma.

Emergency Management Career Opportunities in Oklahoma

Emergency management careers in Oklahoma may be obtained at the federal, state or local level, and there are a number of private organizations, companies and firms specializing in emergency management, including:

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) responds to disasters and emergencies in the State of Oklahoma. The OEM also maintains the State Emergency Operations Center, a command center for reporting emergencies and state response activities. There are currently more than 400 local emergency managers within the OEM. OEM focuses on: community preparedness, emergency response, disaster recovery, and hazard mitigation.

Atkins, a private company with more than 3,000 employees and more than 75 offices throughout North America, provides infrastructure planning, construction management, environmental consulting, architecture and program management, and urban planning services. Atkins has an office in Norman, Oklahoma.

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