While it wasn’t a project, I think I am most proud of all of the accomplishments made over the past two years in response to COVID-19, including managing all of the projects that came along with it. This was by far the most challenging experience to-date in my career. In addition to coordinating messaging for the various other disasters that occurred in 2020 and 2021, I was proud to manage the state’s largest JIC for the longest activation in state history. In this role, I was part of the state’s Unified Command, managed more than 70 JIC personnel from over 10 state agencies, for a total of 16 months.
1. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Emergency management is very a diverse field and there are a ton of cool things that we do (often behind the scenes). Find your passion even if that means starting somewhere and working your way to where you want to be.
2. Network, network, network! Network early so that you have a better chance of breaking into the field, but never stop networking and building partnerships. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with someone early in my career and we end up re-connecting 5, 10, 15 years down the road. It is a small world and you never know when you might find yourself needing someone you met/worked with in the past.
Never burn bridges! Believe it or not, emergency management is a small world. I’m not saying that you should stay in a negative environment, but when you find yourself in a tough situation, take the higher road and always remain professional.