Career Change

Hello BPN,

All this time at home has me thinking about laying the groundwork to change industries.

I am currently a large scale event producer (food & beverage) for conventions. Large events will not be back any time soon, so I am looking to reimagine my career. 

I am interested in exploring emergency management/ disaster relief from a program and planning perspective.

Does anyone have any recommendations for organizations that I can volunteer with? Or another avenue to get started. I plan on taking a few online courses through FEMA. Everything I have seen is to volunteer to be “boots on the ground” when a disaster hits- I am looking for something more logistics oriented.

 Thank you!

Parent Replies

Parents, want to reply to this question? Sign in to post.

RE: Career Change ()

I think your background in events management would be very relevant to relief orgs like Red Cross or Medicin Sans Frontiere. In the short run, check out the CalOES website for local or free trainings in the emergency management hierarchy as practiced in CA.

RE: Career Change ()

I left my job as an Emergency Manager after burning out from non-stop wildfire, storm/flooding, politics and pandemics. As someone who came from large special events in SF, there are tons of similarities between the two fields. You could easily make the transition. I’d invest time in CESA they are a wonderful learning resource. Don’t get a Masters in it! A word of warning, you will have to work insanely long shifts, travel, be around toxic-masculinity rooted in first responder and military relationships. It’s a rewarding career that being said! You get to work with wonderful people at the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, etc. it’s just not as fun or positive as special events.

RE: Career Change ()

I've been very impressed with Jose Andres' organization World Central Kitchen. He's been able to scale the model up while being quickly responsive to world events as they happen. To learn from them would be fascinating.

RE: Career Change ()

How about the American Red Cross? They have tons of volunteer positions and are always providing support for disasters. 

RE: Career Change ()

Check with the Alameda county office of emergency services for volunteer opportunities. They also host a lot of trainings, some online. Good luck!