Have you ever considered becoming a Disaster Recovery professional? Most people do not realize that emergency response/ disaster recovery is one of the fastest growing career fields in the environmental sector. Government agencies at all levels and corporations are looking for professionals who can step into a crisis situation and make things go smoothly. One of the biggest issues that comes up in this industry is millions of dollars and hundreds of man hours are spent on training people who may not be available when the next crisis situation occurs. The goal of this article is to show job seekers how to leverage their disaster recovery experience and training into a new career.
- Decide if an environmental disaster recovery career is right for you : The environmental disaster industry is not filled with easy or plush office jobs. It may mean working outdoors for long hours in hazardous conditions after earthquakes, floods, oil/chemical spills and terrorist attacks in devastated cities or remote areas around the world. One of the little known facts about paid disaster jobs is they tend to have high turnover because individuals find out that work is harder than expected.
- Get educated and trained: Make it a point to attend as many training courses as possible especially FEMA's Incident Command Training, 40 Hour HAZWOPER and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. These courses will be key components in moving from a volunteer position to a paid one. There are also accredited college degree programs in estimating, environmental management and safety which will increase your value as well. Applicants who complete these programs are also in high demand by law enforcement, industrial firms and relief agencies. There are also certifications like CHMM. CHMP and HMMT and training programs from EPA and OSHA which could enhance long-term career aspects.
- Document Your Experience On Your Resume: Make sure you add all of your significant achievements and training to your resume. If you are in a volunteer status, get a letter on your volunteer organization's letterhead which acknowledges your time of service and duties. Information like this will become important for future interviews.
- Get Your Name in the Cadre Database: Agencies like FEMA and some private companies maintain databases of workers who are "called up" when a disaster strikes. These people usually fill some of the higher paying and longer term positions. To be successful in these opportunities, job seekers should make sure that their unique experience and skills are fully documented. The better your resume and experience, the earlier you get the call.
- Network, Network Network:Disaster Response professionals and volunteers work all over the world. Many of them have connections to non-profit organizations, government agencies and companies who can offer future employment. Get business cards and contact information from project managers, supervisors and government officials so you can build relationships and leverage their international, national and local network contacts. Don't forget to use social media tools like LINKEDIN to stay connected.
Think About It For A Moment
This kind of work is not for the timid, greedy or those who cannot tragedy. However it is for those who want a huge opportunity to make a difference in people's lives. Ask yourself: Am I ready for this?
Suggested Reading And Websites
- American Red Cross Had 137 Big U.S. Relief Operations in 46 States in Disaster-Filled 2011 (environmental-expert.com)
- Georgia's New Smart Phone Disaster "App" :A New Tool To Save Lives (hintonhumancapital.com)
- 3 Ways to Find Disaster Relief Jobs (hintonhumancapital.com)
- Tornado Power Dwarfs Atomic Bomb (foxnews.com)
- The 6 Critical Job Skills of Successful Safety Professionals (hintonhumancapital.com)