Charleston County is no stranger to emergency situations. As it is located right on the coast of South Carolina, Charleston County tends to be the first place hit by major storms moving in from the Atlantic Ocean. In recent history, these storms have included Hurricane Katrina, Tropical Storm Frances and Tropical Storm Gaston. While hurricanes and tropical storms tend to be the most worrisome disasters to strike Charleston County, there are other worries- such as wildfires, severe thunder and lightning storms and manmade disasters such as oil spills and other hazardous material spills.
Emergency Management Degrees and Certification in Charleston County
Emergency Management Degrees: In order to get an emergency management job in Charleston County, a person must have a degree in a field related to emergency management. The most common emergency management degrees offered in Charleston County include the following:
- Criminal Justice- homeland security and emergency management
- Criminal Justice- homeland security technology
- Applied science in criminal justice
- Leadership and executive management
- Public administration- emergency management and leadership policies
- Criminal justice- homeland security policy and coordination
Emergency Management Certification: Certification is not required for most emergency management positions in Charleston County, but it can give an applicant a leg up on the competition during the hiring process. Emergency management certification can be obtained through the South Carolina Emergency Management Program. In order to receive certification, a person must complete extensive training through courses that focus on emergency management principles and practices, as well as state, local and federal techniques concerning mitigation, preparedness and response.
Emergency Management Service Providers and Employers in Charleston County
The primary emergency management service provider in the county is the Charleston County Emergency Management Department. The department has four main goals when responding to emergency situations:
Mitigation: The department seeks to minimize the environmental impact and the public health threat impact of disasters.
Preparedness: The department is responsible for planning during emergency situations, such as evacuations and medical needs during disasters, among many other factors.
Response: The primary goal with response to act quickly and efficiently in order to ensure maximum safety for the public.
Recovery: Once the emergency situation is over, it is the duty of the department to measure the damage and enable a quick recovery from the situation.
The Charleston County Emergency Management Department is the largest employer of professionals in the area, but there are also private sector entities that offer jobs in Charleston County. The largest private sector employers of emergency management professionals is Atlantic Business Continuity Services, which is a consulting firm that specialized in disaster preparedness and is based in the city of Charleston.