Cabell County has a history of high intensity storms, leading the county to emphasize mitigation and rapid response to emergencies. Emergency management specialists are critical to these efforts.
The College Foundation of West Virginia predicts that employment for emergency management professionals in the state will grow by 16% in the coming years.The average annual salary for emergency management specialists in the state is $49,750, and professionals with experience average $86,230. Cabell County Emergency Management is one of the leading sources of emergency management jobs in Cabell County.
Requirements for an Emergency Management Career in Cabell County
Commonly, to qualify for emergency management jobs in Cabell County, professionals need to be certified by the West Virginia Emergency Management Accreditation Program. Requirements include having college credit of either:
- 120 hours towards a bachelor degree
- 60 hours towards an associate degree
Students can acquire the training that is required for certification by getting an associate’s degree from state schools or obtaining a degree from a online school that offers degrees in emergency management. College coursework in this area can include:
- Consequence Management
- Emergency Planning
- Emergency and Disaster Incident Command
- Introduction to Meteorology
- Psychology of Disaster
- Natural Disaster Management
- Introduction to Homeland Security and Defense
Natural Disasters in Cabell County
Emergency management specialists have accessed the risk that various types of natural disasters pose to the county and have developed a plan to minimize the risk to the residents of Cabell County.
Flooding – The most significant risk to Cabell County is flooding from the Ohio River, which runs along the western border of the county. Many streams empty into the river and contribute to the flood risk in the county. Flooding tends to occur in the spring in Cabell County, because of the combination of melting snow and temperature gradients between cold northern and warm southern air.
Nineteen days of heavy rain combined with melting snow caused the river to overflow its banks in 1937. Most of downtown Huntington was flooded, and five people were killed. In response, city leaders built a massive floodwall that has mitigated flooding damage.
Cabell County continues to be devastated by floods, and a March 1997 flood caused federal authorities to declare the county a disaster area.
Tornados – West Virginia is prone to storms with high winds that can produce tornados. Historically, Cabell County has had 60% more tornados that the rest of the state. An F5 tornado struck the Huntington area in 1968 and caused seven deaths and 93 injuries.