In Tarrant County, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is responsible for addressing disaster preparedness and implementing response plans. OEM also works closely with state and federal authorities to craft comprehensive mitigation and recovery programs. This office coordinates resources and local agency activities in the wake of a natural or manmade disaster.
The OEM has partnered with municipal government of Fort Worth to generate an All-Hazards Mitigation Plan. This plan assesses vulnerabilities presented by communities, businesses and public infrastructure, provides recommendations and details potential response plans. This plan also examines past disasters which have impacted Tarrant County.
Training and Requirements for Emergency Management Professionals in Tarrant County, Texas
Because Tarrant County is susceptible to tornadoes, floods and extreme weather, many private sector and government organizations sponsor emergency management jobs in Tarrant County, Texas. Professionals with backgrounds in emergency planning and response, public health, engineering, business continuity planning, and architecture are likely to obtain jobs with qualifications similar to the following:
- A bachelor’s degree with significant course work in
- Emergency management
- Terrorism studies
- Public health
- Information technology
- Business administration
- Public policy
- At least one year of experience in the coordination of emergency operations and personnel
- Ability to train volunteers or personnel in emergency management principles and practices
- Knowledge of Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, National Response Framework, and National Incident Management System
- Ability to work effectively with personnel from private organizations and government agencies at the local, state or federal levels
The federal Emergency Management Institute designs and distributes emergency management training classes in Tarrant County, Texas. These include
- Radiological Emergency Management
- Emergency Manager: an Orientation to the Position
- Special Events Contingency Planning for Public Safety Agencies
- Civil Rights and FEMA Disaster Assistance
- Orientation to FEMA Logistics
- Multi-hazard planning for Childcare
- Social media in Emergency Management
- Introduction to Incident Command System
- Hazardous Materials Contingency Planning
- Preparing for Federal Disaster Operations
Historical Disasters in Tarrant County
Due to the large population of Tarrant County, this region is especially vulnerable to long periods of drought. Significant droughts have occurred in the county periodically about every 20 to 25 years. These droughts may last long enough to dramatically detriment residential and commercial activity. The most severe droughts occurred in the 1930s and from 1950 to 1957. The 1957 drought prompted county authorities to commit to a water pipeline from Lake Texoma.
On the other hand, flooding is also a significant risk to the area, with 155 flash floods reported between 1993 and 2006. According to the National Weather Service, almost eleven flash floods occur annually in Tarant County. In 2004, a 500 year flood event occurred that killed at least six people including three children. This event damaged many homes and businesses in the area.