Photo by Rick Naystatt

Many people have the impression that emergency management is encompassed in the flashing lights and oscillating sirens of fire engines and other emergency response vehicles. However, if we look at the sector from a higher elevation, we can see that the issues of emergency management cut across many different disciplines and matters. My personal focus is related to how hazard risks affect socially vulnerable populations (lower socio-economic communities, the elderly, those less able to easily communicate, etc.) at a higher rate than more socially stable and affluent populations.

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Photo by Cpl. Bryan Nygaard

The emergency management field can provide extensive career opportunities for transitioning veterans in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Some titles that may interest veterans seeking a new career include continuity of operations specialist, preparedness specialist, emergency management specialist, training and exercise manager, and mitigation planner, to name just a few. Because contemporary emergency management comes from the lineage of civil defense, military experience can act as a core element for excelling in this field. However, focusing on being a first responder may not be the best option. The more expansive your search for positions in other aspects of emergency management, the more likely you will have success.

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