A lot of people are suffering right now, from those who are infected with COVID-19 to people who have lost their homes during natural disasters like wildfires and hurricanes. If you’ve been watching these crises unfold, then you might be feeling like you want to contribute to the relief effort and help people get back on their feet after they have dealt with a disaster in their lives.
The good news is that there are lots of careers that could prepare you to help those in need. You can get a degree that will allow you to make a difference while building a fulfilling and stable career.
It’s important to choose a career path that is suited to your skills, abilities, and interests. Within the field of disaster and emergency management, there are lots of different paths you could take. Here are some options to consider.
Hospital Emergency Preparedness Administrator
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot about our world. It has revealed many weaknesses in various systems that support our society, such as supply chains, the economy as a whole, and the healthcare system. It’s clear that our hospitals need to be better prepared to meet the demands of crises like the pandemic and natural disasters that result in a large influx of patients.
Hospital emergency preparedness administrators are tasked with these preparations. It’s their job to consider all of the worst-case scenarios and to make detailed plans for dealing with them.
These professionals need to create action plans that can be activated immediately during an emergency and must consider lots of different potential scenarios. They are also in charge of establishing a chain of command and training staff to respond to emergencies. Hospital emergency preparedness administrators must be willing to step into a leadership role when crises arise.
To become a hospital emergency preparedness administrator, you will need to gain skills and experience in the field after earning a related degree. At that point, additional certifications will allow you to advance in the field.
Public Information Officer
The internet is an amazing tool that has been essential for keeping people connected, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. But there are downsides to the internet, including a lot of misinformation. At the best of times, misinformation can cause major problems, but during a disaster or emergency, it can be deadly.
Public information officers act as liaisons between the general public and government agencies providing advisories and recommendations. They are communications experts and must be able to appeal to the public in the interest of community safety.
Because there are so many channels of communication, public information officers need to be comfortable communicating in different mediums. Social media has become a powerful tool in emergency management, but public information offices also have to be able to quickly write speeches for officials, create press releases, and communicate with media outlets.
Most people who become public information officers start with a degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or English. From there, internships and/or experience within a government agency are typically required.
Emergency Management Specialist
If you want to directly work with people affected by natural disasters and crises, then a career as an emergency management specialist might be the best option. Emergency management specialists may be called upon to help in all kinds of crises, from hurricanes to nuclear emergencies to hostage situations.
Emergency management specialists need to be adaptable and work well under pressure. When no disaster response is required, they typically perform preparedness tasks and help to ensure that communities will be resilient in an emergency. They also conduct training and help to make facilities safer. They might be called upon to distribute resources, coordinate personnel, and respond to emergencies at any time.
If you enjoy fast-paced, varied work, then this could be the perfect career for you. Most emergency management specialists have at least a bachelor’s degree, and many also hold master’s degrees. This career can be quite stressful, but it can also be extremely fulfilling and offers a strong average salary. The growth rate is solid, meaning that there will be many new opportunities in the future for those who are suited to this type of career.
Working in disaster and emergency management isn’t for everyone. It is challenging but rewarding work that will test your ability to work under pressure. But if you want to make a difference and help people who are in crisis, there’s no better line of work you can choose!