South Carolina’s geographical location along the Eastern seaboard makes this southern state susceptible to the hurricanes and tropical storms that generate in the Atlantic Ocean during the late summer/early fall months of the year, spurring the need for qualified emergency management professionals who can coordinate, organize and launch activities during the event of a natural or manmade disaster.
Governor Nikki Haley proclaimed the week of May 26th as South Carolina Hurricane Awareness Week. The South Carolina Emergency Management Division has a Know your Zone program in place that provides crucial information for citizens when a hurricane prompts an evacuation. This program’s inception is a critical component to emergency management in South Carolina, as this state has been affected numerous times in recent years by hurricanes and tropical storms:
- Hurricane Katrina: August 2005
- Tropical Storm Frances: September 2004
- Tropical Storm Gaston: August 2004
Emergency Management Degree Options in South Carolina
Individuals interested in pursuing emergency management jobs in South Carolina should know that the most effective path to a career in emergency management includes obtaining a degree from an accredited college or university. There are currently no institutions that feature programs in emergency management in South Carolina, although there are a number of options through online/distance education. Degrees in emergency management through distance education programs may include:
- Associates in applied science in Emergency Management
- Associate’s degree in Emergency Management
- Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management/Disaster Management
- Bachelor of Art of Homeland Security/Emergency Management
- Master of Science in Emergency Management
- Master of Science in Public Safety Administration
- Master of Science with a concentration in Crisis, Emergency, and Risk Management
- Ph.D. in Emergency Management/Disaster Management
- Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness/Disaster Management
- Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management and Public Health
Although the curriculum between the above degree programs will vary, core curriculum is often very similar, including the following types of courses:
- Introduction to Emergency management
- Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness
- Populations at Risk
- Disaster Response and Recovery
- Populations at Risk
- Research in Disasters and Emergency Management
Professional Certification and Training for Emergency Management Careers in
Professional certification is often sought out by emergency management professionals interested in furthering their careers or meeting minimum employment requirements. The South Carolina Certified Emergency Management Program was designed to raise professional standards for emergency management professionals in South Carolina and was developed by the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and the South Carolina Emergency Management Association.
Candidates for certification must meet specific experience and training and provide required documentation.
Organizations Offering Emergency Management Services in South Carolina
Individuals seeking careers in emergency management in South Carolina may find opportunities in both the private and public sector:
South Carolina Emergency Management
The South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), through the Adjutant General’s Office, is the state agency responsible for the state’s emergency management services. The SCEMD develops, coordinates, and leads the state’s emergency management program for both natural and manmade disasters.
Atlantic Business Continuity Services
Atlantic Business Continuity Services, based in Charleston, South Carolina, is a continuity and disaster planning consulting firm designed to provide business services manmade and natural disasters and technology threats.