Emergency Management Planning Specialist - Silver Spring, MD


Genwest Systems, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer information management and consulting firm headquartered in Edmonds, Washington. Since its inception, Genwest has been a recognized leader in the design and implementation of information systems and solutions. We depend on a diverse team of talented staff to design, develop, and deploy information solutions for our clients.

Genwest is accepting applications for two Emergency Management Planning Specialist positions, supporting our clients in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP). Both of these positions will support the mission activities of OR&R and some extent the greater NOAA mission to include preparedness planning, COOP planning, exercise planning and execution, training events, and response coordination during actual natural and human caused emergency events. One position will be in Silver Spring, MD reporting to the DPP Chief, and one position will be in Mobile, AL reporting to the NOAA Disaster Response Center (DRC) Director.

This posting is for the Emergency Management Planning Specialist position located at the NOAA OR&R DPP offices in Silver Spring, Maryland.


The NOAA National Ocean Service is enhancing program capacity to assess and mitigate risks to personnel, mission, and infrastructure and respond quickly and effectively to coastal storms and other threats and disasters. The NOS Disaster Preparedness Program and the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center serve a vital role for NOAA preparedness and Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning to include coordinating operational capabilities and knowledge from across NOS and NOAA to ensure mission success and that commerce, communities and natural resources can recover from any threat or disaster as quickly as possible. All hazards disaster exercises and training are focus elements to program support. The DPP is the newest program within NOS’s Office of Response and Restoration and is charged with ensuring that NOS and other federal and state partners are prepared to respond to and recover from significant environmental events and disasters such as major oil spills and hurricanes

Position Duties:

The Emergency Management Planning Specialist will work as part of a broader team of OR&R staff in support of DPP missions to include the management of the NOS Continuity of Operations portfolio, training activities, operational coordination, exercise planning and execution, partnership and stakeholder outreach, and preparedness program improvements. Examples of such activities include, but are not limited to:


  • Ensure that all NOS COOP Plans are updated annually and are feasible based on scenario-based planning and mission-related operations.
  • Conduct annual assessment of NOS emergency response communications resources.
  • Support planning and assessment activities related to NOS emergency response preparedness.
  • Support completion of annual Mission Essential Function revalidation, in partnership with NOS IT specialists.
  • Support identification and ensure proper routing of essential records.
  • Facilitate identification and support prioritization of program office training and exercise needs relative to COOP and mission focused emergency response efforts.
  • Support project and tool development and maintenance.
  • Support the Incident Management Team during emergencies through coordination of situational awareness reporting and other needs that may arise.
  • Coordinate and conduct informal training and education across NOS and NOAA on topics directly and indirectly related to preparedness and COOP.
  • Work with the NOS DPP/DRC Training Coordinator, Exercise Coordinator, and others as appropriate to develop formal training or exercise needs, as determined by program management.
  • Support partnership engagement through identification of new partners or continued collaboration with existing partners.
  • Carry out other disaster planning tasks as needed to maintain readiness.
  • Maintain open and effective communication with DPP, OR&R and NOS staff, management to ensure that the NOS COOP Plan is well managed and understood.
    • Convey timely and clear requests for information, plan updates, and group tasking. Collate and synthesize information feedback from multiple sources in NOS to produce final products.
    • General coordination as part of various working groups and teams to cover planning and meeting facilitation, taking notes, sharing notes, and making sure other programs are informed.
    • Represent the NOS DPP and NOAA DRC in internal and interagency meetings and conference calls as needed and appropriate.
    • Periodic travel and 24/7 availability for significant or major emergency events.
    • While the primary role of this position is not as an emergency responder, the position may require infrequent deployment and incident response support if there is a capacity shortage during a major disaster in support of NOAA missions.


The successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate the listed qualifications in his/her resume and interview. A self-motivated candidate with fundamental knowledge of disasters and preparedness should be able to quickly gain the additional knowledge required to be successful in this position.

Required Qualifications:

  • Solid knowledge of emergency preparedness and contingency planning
  • Master’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree with at least two years of satisfactory full-time professional experience in one or a combination of the following fields: emergency management, environmental science, biological science, physical science, geographic/geological sciences, meteorology, urban or coastal planning; engineering, economics, public administration; or political science.
  • Understanding of contingency planning as it relates to emergency preparedness, disasters, and environmental issues.
  • Self-motivated, able to work both independently and in a team setting,
  • Strong people skills and excellent oral and written communication skills to communicate effectively with various organizations, professions, and backgrounds.
  • Team members are expected to be open to feedback, suggestions, comments, and ideas for improvements.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of NOAA missions and the importance of NOAA’s natural trust resources is an advantage.
  • Certifications in emergency management, knowledge of Continuity of Operations (PPD-40) and/or the NIMS/Incident Command System (ICS).
  • Ability to work and travel independently.
  • History of success in team-based project execution, working as both lead and contributor on diverse multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Demonstrated flexible and proactive approach to problem solving.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and execute long term projects, including setting timelines and milestones and balancing priorities.


Compensation will be determined based on the experience and qualifications of the successful applicant in combination with contract budget. The position is eligible for full-time benefit package that includes health insurance, paid personal and holiday leave, 401(k) program eligibility, and employee disability and life insurance.

Application Guidance:

  • Relevant experience and certifications should be included in resume
  • Must include one page cover letter describing your experience that relates directly to the job duties stated in this posting
  • Must include three references that can confirm your experience

To Apply:

Please email a resume and 3 references to hr@genwest.com. Please include a cover letter, your resume and references in a single .pdf (Adobe Acrobat) attachment with your name included in the .pdf file name. Also, please include the words, “Emergency Management Planning Specialist – Silver Spring” in the subject line of your email.

Applicants selected for interviews will be contacted via email. The position will remain open until filled, with priority given to applications received before August 1 2018.