The state of Oklahoma is located right in the epicenter of “tornado alley” and has experienced many of the largest tornadoes in the modern history of the United States. In the past few decades, Oklahoma state has experienced more than 60 severe tornadoes (ranked F4 or F5.) The latest large tornado to strike Oklahoma County occurred in 2010 when a series of three tornadoes ripped through the county destroying miles of power lines, hundreds of trees and hundreds of homes as well. The county has also experienced its fair share of lower level tornadoes, which occur at least a dozen times a year.
Of course, tornadoes – as the most common natural disaster in the county – are the primary concern of emergency management professionals, there are other worries as well. When it rains in Oklahoma County, it pours, which leads to large flooding problems in and around the county. Occasionally the flooding, tornadoes and other natural disasters require large-scale responses and evacuations, which are lead by emergency management professionals and organizations located in Oklahoma County.
Degrees, Training and Certification in Oklahoma County
Degrees: In Oklahoma County, there are plenty of options when it comes to getting a degree in emergency management. Most degrees of this type are acquired via online classes through a variety of schools. The most common degrees are in homeland security and emergency and disaster management, environmental hazard mitigation and restoration and public administration.
Certification: There are many types of certifications offered in Oklahoma County; depending on which career an applicant wants to enter. The most common certifications offered in the county are environmental hazard mitigation and restoration, environmental risk assessment and homeland security leadership.
Training: Most emergency management training in the state is done through national and federal emergency management agencies like FEMA and Homeland Security. The training consists of how to prepare communities for tornadoes and severe weather emergencies, evacuation procedures and evaluating security and public warning systems in cases of emergency.
Emergency Management Jobs in Oklahoma County
The primary organization in the county is the Oklahoma County Emergency Management Agency and is located in Oklahoma City, the most populous city in the state. There are also other organizations located in the county that offer various emergency management careers.
- Damage Assessment: The various organizations and agencies located in the county are responsible for assessing damage and working with federal government agencies to ensure that funds are allocated for recovery.
- Storm Spotters: These emergency management professionals are required to track storms in order to keep the public informed.
- Public Outreach: People working in this department are responsible for keeping the public informed during emergencies.