The head agency overseeing emergency management operations in Shelby County is the Shelby County Office of Preparedness (SCOP). This agency administers numerous programs that may originate from federal policies, while others may be unique to Shelby County. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a federal network of volunteers who are trained by county officials to prepare for and respond to environmental or terrorist incidents. CERT volunteers are provided instruction in a variety of skills like search and rescue, small fire extinguishing, and community organizing, which can improve chances for survival for themselves and their neighbors.
The Alert FM program is an emergency communications system widely available to Shelby County residents. Individuals who wish to receive these alerts must first purchase an Alert FM receiver, which are available as portable devices or as computer linked USB devices. The Alert FM system is activated when a natural or technological disaster is imminent and provides reliable information that can optimize chances for survival and safety.
Qualifications for Emergency Management Jobs in Shelby County, Tennessee
Emergency management jobs in Shelby County may be found in an array of industries including urban planning, disaster preparedness, public health, engineering and business continuity planning. The exact qualifications necessary to obtain one of these jobs is stipulated by the employer, but many involve requirements similar to these:
- A bachelor’s degree in a one of the following fields of study
- Homeland security
- Terrorism studies
- Business management
- Public administration
- Information technology
- Experience supervising emergency management personnel and programs
- Accreditation as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM)
- Superlative communication skills
- Proven ability to work with officials from federal, state, and local agencies as well as the private sector
While the majority of training for EM personnel is provided by employers or affiliated organizations, EM coordinators and executives may wish to obtain training from federal agencies like the Emergency Management Institute. This organization offers emergency management courses in Shelby County, Tennessee as well as highly respected certification programs including the Professional Development Series and the National Incident Management System Series.
Natural Disasters in Shelby County, Tennessee
Since 1950, there have been eight fatalities and 113 injuries related to tornado events in the county. The most destructive of these events involved a Category 3 tornado that struck in 1968. This twister killed four county residents and injured 32 others. The resulting property damage was estimated at between $500,000 and $5 million.
In 2011, Shelby County was declared a federal disaster area by the U.S. government when widespread flooding resulted from severe storms. The rains and upstream melting icepacks contributed to an elevation of the Mississippi River. More than 3,000 homes were damaged as well as 226 businesses and 322 industrial sites.