As is the case with most of Wisconsin, Waukesha County is frequently affected by a high number of severe weather events. In fact, there have been nearly 400 of these types of events in the past few decades.
Emergency management specialists in Waukesha County help plan for and mitigate the impact of natural and manmade disasters. The county is part of the Washington-Ozaukee-Waukesha workforce development board. Combined with Milwaukee County, this area employs approximately 90 emergency specialists. The number of jobs for these experts is predicted to increase 22% in the next several years.
The field of emergency management is seeing increased attention, as localities plan ways to minimize the potential damage from disasters by training their emergency management specialists to supervise disaster recovery efforts. U.S. News and World Reports listed emergency management specialist jobs as one of the top 50 careers in 2011.
In Wisconsin, emergency management specialists earn an average of $55,930 a year. Those experienced in the field earn as much as $81,340 annually. A key employer in the county is the Waukesha County Office of Emergency Management.
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Requirements for an Emergency Management Career in Waukesha County
Typically, requirements to obtain emergency management specialist jobs in Waukesha County include having earned a bachelor’s degree in the field and being able to travel widely. Emergency management coordinator positions with the county require a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields:
- Emergency management
- Public administration
- Public safety
To earn a bachelor’s degree in Wisconsin, residents can attend one of the two state schools that offer degrees in the field or obtain their degree from one of the online schools that specialize in this area. Bachelor’s degree available in Wisconsin include:
- Applied Science Fire and Emergency Response Management
- Interdisciplinary Studies with an Emphasis in Emergency Management
Some of the courses offered include the following:
- Principles and Practices of Emergency Management
- Strategic Emergency Preparedness, Planning, and Implementation
- Disaster Recovery
- Disaster Response Operations and Management
There is a national emphasis on providing high quality training to emergency management specialists. In Wisconsin, these professionals can obtain certification from the state. Both online and classroom coursework is required to become certified in the state. People with emergency management specialist careers in Waukesha County can benefit professionally from this increased training.
Emergencies Declared in Waukesha County
Waukesha County is one of the more disaster prone counties in Wisconsin. It has suffered from flooding, tornados, severe winter storms, thunderstorms, hailstorms, fog, drought, and wildfires.
Flooding – Between 1982 and 2008, the county was hit with thirty floods. One of the worst was the flash flood in North Prairie in 2008 that caused $63 million in property damages. Much of the county suffered from flooding in 2004 that caused $35.6 million in damages to property and $216 million in crop damage.
Flooding problems have increased in the county as its population has grown substantially. The resulting increase in physical structures has caused a greater volume of run-off water, which further increases the potential for damage from flooding.
Tornados and High Winds – Tornados in the spring, fall, and winter are more likely to occur in southern Wisconsin and thus have greatly impacted Waukesha County. It had 28 tornados and 7 funnel clouds between January 1950 and April 2011.
One of the most devastating was the 2010 tornado that struck Eagle, causing $20.6 million in property damage. The state’s estimate of future risk from tornados suggests that Waukesha County could be the third most impacted county in the state.
Thunderstorms – Waukesha County has the highest incidence in the state of hurricane-force thunderstorm winds. Fifteen such events occurred between 1970 and 2001.