My area of interest was, in broad terms, learning more about how emergency management works within a community or a region. Specifically, I went into the summer interested in how high risk communities were impacted. I knew very little about the subject as it was something that is not emphasized in school or readily available to the public.
Through the experience, I went in with the hope to create a council to meet and discuss how they could better serve their communities. I found out early on in my project that my council already existed, called VOAD, and that I needed to refocus what I was interested in. Through this, I got exposed to the whole range of things that go on in emergency management. I got to tour an airport and talk about supply drops in case of severe emergency, run a mock volunteer coordination effort, and be an actor in a range of simulations to test efficiency. I found my niche in taking on projects and learning about them. In the end, I devoted myself predominantly to a project designing a flier to educate the public about what emergency management is and encourage people to get involved.
One of the most interesting things I found about the experience was how students are treated by emergency management and planning. Resources are out there and accessible for nearly every other group of people, from small children to homeless to elderly. As a student, it was both frustrating and interesting that a population that often has the least number of resources and the highest population densities in specific areas are discounted in emergency management. I hope to be able to look at issues like this one in the future as a part of my expanded interest in emergency management.