Vermont is no stranger to natural disasters, especially when it comes to hurricanes, flooding, severe storms, and tornadoes. Examples include the severe storms that were accompanied by tornadoes and flooding at the end of May 2012, as well as Hurricane Irene, which passed through the state towards the end of August 2011.
From federal agencies and the state’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to municipal and county governments, Vermont’s first responders and emergency management personnel stay busy training and preparing for the worst.
Hurricane Irene’s recent devastation in areas such as Barre highlighted inter-agency emergency management collaboration. PPPs, or private-public partnerships, are the engines for some of the country’s leading development initiatives and this holds true for one such housing redevelopment project supported by a grant from a federal emergency management pilot program. Private development and construction companies were awarded contracts to redevelop Irene-damaged multi-family rental housing facilities in Barre to provide permanent shelter for the many families displaced by the storm. As federal, state, and local officials organized debris removal, city zoning and code inspectors worked to salvage or make recommendations for the housing renovations.
Preparing for Jobs in the Emergency Management Field
Because of the variety of jobs in the emergency management sector there are many ways interested parties can prepare for the future. One route is through studying for an emergency management degree in Vermont. Relevant subject areas are as diverse as:
- BS in Criminal Justice
- BS in Human Services
- BS in Law Enforcement
- AA or BA in Homeland Security
- BA in Business Administration or MBA
- MS in Leadership and Executive Management
There are also a number of public, private, and non-profit agencies that offer emergency management training and certification in Vermont in areas such as first aid and CPR, volunteer firefighting, and neighborhood watch programs.
Different Types of Emergency Management Jobs in Vermont
The example of the Barre project demonstrates post-disaster long term management, but this does not say anything about some of the other emergency management jobs in Vermont- those that provide organization and assistance in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Vermont emergency management careers in this field include:
- Law Enforcement and First Responders
- Wireless Network Managers and Technicians
- Information Technology Managers
- Public Services Coordinator
- Housing Task Force Agent
- Damage and Risk Assessors
- Staging Area Leaders
- Search and Rescue
Vermont also has had its share of winter disasters, with several declared for ice storms and severe winter weather. During these instances government agencies at the various levels along with private sector partners worked to restore downed power lines, plough the streets, keep emergency shelters supplied with electricity and gas for heating and cooking, and maintain law and order. Emergency management professionals pulled together commendably during one of the state’s worst disasters in history, the Great Ice Storm of 1998 that saw one to two inches of ice coat everything from the Northeast Kingdom to Champlain Valley, causing some people to lost power for more than a week as millions of branches snapped knocking out power, blocking roads, and damaging structures.