The range of natural disasters that have hit Virginia run the gamut from wildfires, severe snowstorms, flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes and even an earthquake. Virginia was also tragically the site of one of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that took place against the Pentagon. When emergency management officials are not immediately dealing with one of the state’s natural or man-made disasters, chances are the various government and private agencies will be training, preparing, and planning for the next ones to come.
Preparing for Emergency Management Jobs in Virginia
As there is a wide variety of emergency management jobs in Virginia, matching individuals and their skill sets up with the right position is only a matter of time. Those wanting to make their future careers in the field can begin by taking classes for some form of emergency management certification in Virginia, including first aid and CPR courses or a citizen police academy.
If the sector seems like a good fit, there are number of degree options in emergency management and other fields that could prepare you for the kind of work involved in keeping Virginia safe:
- Associate’s Degree in Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, or Business
- B.S. in Human Services
- B.S. in Law Enforcement
- B.S. in Justice Studies
- B.A. in Psychology
- B.S. in Information Technology/IT
- M.S. in Leadership and Executive Management
- M.S. in Terrorism, Mediation, and Peace
Emergency Management and the Pentagon 9/11 Terrorist Attack
September 11, 2001 is a day no American will ever forget, though in the minds of emergency management personnel involved in the catastrophe, the memory of that period may be particularly ingrained. Perhaps no amount of emergency management training in Virginia could have prepared officials for dealing with the sheer amount of logistical, organizational, and security issues raised by the Pentagon attack, however through their baptism in fire emergency management officials came out of the smoke to conduct their duties with renewed resolution and professionalism.
Federal, state, and local emergency management officials set up a temporary perimeter around the site of the crash, coordinated with emergency medical services and search and rescue to help the injured, maintained contact with air, radar, and intelligence officials to ensure there were no other immediate threats to safety, and worked with various levels of law enforcement and investigative agencies to gather evidence, redirect traffic, and conduct crowd control. 9/11 turned into an unforgettable day for those with Virginia emergency management careers, although it was also a time of demonstrated leadership and competence for the state’s emergency management personnel.
Natural Disasters in Virginia
One key difference for emergency management personnel between the 9/11 Pentagon attack and a hurricane or an earthquake is infrastructure. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the August 23rd, 2011 earthquake, infrastructure such as electrical and gas lines, water, sewage, and roads were all disrupted. This necessitated an entirely different kind of response, which included Virginia emergency management jobs such as:
- Line Crews
- Natural Gas Inspectors
- Logistics Coordinators
- Emergency Shelter Managers and Housing Task Force Leaders
- Environmental Floodplain Management and Crew Leaders
- Wireless Communications and IT Specialists