Mobile District's first Certified Emergency Manager®

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District
Published Aug. 3, 2016

Mobile District’s first and only Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) Ashley Leflore reported to the district in late December 2015 as an emergency management specialist. While most people were enjoying the holidays by preparing to bring in the New Year, Leflore was eager to commence her first day of duty with the Mobile District team. She started her career with USACE in the Vicksburg District in 2010 as an emergency management specialist. Three years later she landed a job with USACE readiness support center (RSC) where she worked for two years before joining the Mobile team. Leflore is responsible for assisting in preparing, training and managing the district employees, volunteers and resources for declared disaster.  “I knew I wanted to work here years ago, when I was in Vicksburg I came over here and helped with the tornados in 2011,” said Leflore. “And I was impressed with the Mobile District and the their emergency management people, so it was always a goal to come here.” 

In preparation for emergency events, she is responsible for creating and maintaining all Mobile District emergency management plans. This includes response plans for all hazards, operating procedures used during emergency events, and communication plans among others. Leflore has been busy in her first six months assisting in preparing the district emergency management program for its EMAP (Emergency Management Accreditation Process) accreditation. EMAP is a set of 64 international standards by which programs are evaluated. The district is on its way to being the eighth USACE district to receive the EMAP accreditation, and the second in South Atlantic Division. Also USACE is one of two federal agency with EMAP certification.

Prior to joining the Mobile District, Leflore was responsible for developing disaster exercises, training and managing the liaison officer team at the Vicksburg District.  Leflore is also a member of the national Local Government Liaison (LGL) cadre, a trained team of liaisons that coordinate between USACE and local officials during a federally declared disaster. In that capacity, she has deployed several times to assist in facilitating FEMA mission assignments in national disasters. All employees are eligible to become a trained volunteer. Please stop by the emergency management office for more details. 

CEM® is considered to be the top certification in Emergency Management. Created as a joint venture by FEMA and the International Association of Emergency Manages (IAEM). The CEM® was developed as a standard to recognize professional competency in emergency management across the nation. Every 5 years, CEMs are required to prove a number of hours in education, training, and significant contributions to the field of emergency management in order to maintain their CEM® credentials. Those contributions may include written publications, awards or special recognitions in their profession, a substantial role in responding to a disaster, and professional leadership through speaking to or teaching others about emergency management.  As part of the certification process, applicants must also submit letters of reference, a written essay, and pass an exam that covers all aspects of emergency management from mitigation and preparedness, to response and recovery. Since the creation of the CEM®, it has spread worldwide.

Ashley has a bachelor's and master's degree in Emergency Management from Jacksonville State University. She received her international certification as a Certified Emergency Manager® from IAEM.