The state of Wyoming has ranked Natrona County as the county with the highest overall risk for natural disasters. Over 900 extreme weather incidents occurred within 50 miles of the county over the past few decades. Emergency management specialists devote their efforts to try and mitigate the damage that could occur from such disasters.
Because of the large number and type of potential disasters, Wyoming has a high concentration of emergency management specialists. Their mean annual salary is $50,100, and experienced specialists earn an average of $72,610. Their ranks are expected to grow by 11% throughout the state.
Emergency management jobs in Natrona County include working for local government with the Natrona County Management or in the private sector for pipeline companies that move potentially hazardous materials.
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Requirements for an Emergency Management Career in Natrona County
To embark on emergency management careers in Natrona County, applicants should have an associate’s degree at the minimum. Other requirements include being able to travel throughout the county and having a Wyoming driver’s license.
Potential students can obtain their education in one of Wyoming’s schools that offer emergency management certification or an associate’s degree in the field. Online schools are another option to obtain the degree required to become an emergency management specialist. A variety of courses are offered, including:
- Disaster Exercises
- Emergency Planning
- Resource Management
- Mitigation Planning
The state of Wyoming provides advanced training to emergency management specialists through the Wyoming Homeland Security Training Program. It is operated through the joint efforts of the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy and the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security.
Although the emphasis of the program is on detecting and dealing with the aftereffects of terrorist activities, it also provides training in communication skills and managing critical incidents. Such skills greatly benefit emergency management specialists as they coordinate disaster recovery efforts.
Natural Disasters in Natrona County
The inhabitants of Natrona County have a history of being subject to natural disasters. Many of these are projected to be a continuing threat to Natrona County residents.
Flooding – Historically, flooding has been a severe problem in Natrona County. The North Platte River is subject to flooding, and the past decade has seen a building boom near the river. Melting snow packs and releases from dams upstream of Casper are additional sources of floodwaters.
Over 60 floods have caused 33 deaths and over $16 million in damage in 2010 dollars. The county received a state disaster declaration for its July 2009 flood. The county is projected to suffer the greatest losses in the state in the event of a 100-year flood. The state has projected that direct building losses could reach $117 million and that over 7,000 people could be displaced in the event of such flooding.
Hail – Because Natrona County is so densely populated, hailstorms can cause large-scale damage. Over 460 incidences of hail were reported in the county between 1950 and 2010.
The county has suffered the second largest amount of damages from these types of storms of all of the counties in Wyoming. Hailstones as large as golf balls have been reported in the county, and storms in 1986 and 1962 in particular caused extensive damage to houses and vehicles.
Wildland fire – Wyoming is prone to wildfires, because the state is so arid. Natrona County is one of the top ten counties in Wyoming when ranked by fire risk. Nine percent of the land in the wildland interface has been developed, placing these buildings at high risk from wildfires.