English 1121 ( Mon-Wed 10am-11:15am)
February 15, 2020
Word Count : 1057
Discourse Community of the Emergency Management
Let’s go back in time before 9/11, such things as FEMA and Emergency Management did not exist in America or were not taken seriously at all. FEMA and Emergency Management didn’t exist until post 9/11. That is when the city decided to take action and take Emergency Management seriously. What Emergency Management is where everything is controlled by in any incident. If there’s a fire in your building, emergency management is there notifying the fire department, police department, red cross, and the ambulance. They are the one behind the scenes, making plans to help solve any emergencies. It is crazy because if we had this way before there could have been a high possibility that 9/11 could have been prevented or there could have been a better plan to save more people and it could have been taken care of in an efficient way that could have saved more lives.
Majority of us in NYC have been in a DOE public school before in their lives. In the DOE offices there are many people in charge of things such as transportation, food, books, etc… Somehow we forget about an important role in the DOE and that is the Emergency Management Unit.
Being in the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management, I had noticed that emergency management is not really acknowledged as much and it should be… people should know what to do when their life could be at risk or when unexpected events happen they need to take action. In highschool I had gained the opportunity to be an intern in the summer at the Department Of Education, Emergency Management Unit. I gained this opportunity by a recommendation from a friend that was already an intern at the time and my well written cover letter. Being apart of this internship has taught me so much and helped me acknowledge and care more about the emergency management system.
Being in the internship we focused primarily on making every school ADA (American Disability Act) accessible. My friend and I had created floor plans , created and organized spreadsheets for each school and filed reports on what the school needed to work on to make their school ADA accessible. We focused on where we should apply a ramp, bathrooms and elevators for people with disabilities to make their life easier in school. When we were done with a school we would write on a huge white board in the office the schools we have completed and that was a way to notify the people in the office which schools are done. Doing this job had to be done very carefully because not only was the reports and spreadsheets are seen by our boss but also seen by the contractors and other units working along with them to make sure that every school in every borough was accessible to people with disabilities
When we were not in the office we would go to different places. We were given a schedule every week on the locations we would need to meet up at, and also communicated through a group chat to know where to meet and keep in contact. We would go visit schools that were on our list to give us a better vision of how we can make it accessible. We were also taken to an Emergency Management warehouse where they keep emergency equipment such as boats, and other vehicles in case of any city emergency. We also had a couple of meetings in the OEM ( Office of Emergency Management) building which is actually a block away from City tech. We would have meetings with people from different operations such as FEMA and red cross and we would discuss different ways to mitigate a certain disaster or incident that can happen in NYC. Throughout this internship we communicated over text messages with our boss and other co-workers in the office with us.
In this internship I was paired with my friend and we shared this experience together. I asked my friend Natalie some questions about the internship. Before taking this internship she was kind of doubting this internship. Natalie said being in the Emergency Management Unit internship at the DOE was an experience that was out of her comfort zone. She claims “As a student that didn’t excel in the class that correlated with this internship, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be much help. Working in an office space was also something I was in fear of when I applied to this internship because I felt as though I’d have to be in a professional state at all times and not get comfortable with anyone there” but as soon as she started working there her attitude towards this internship changed. This internship helped her realize that communication and asking for help when needed is very important. Our supervisors were not just boring and professional all the time they were actually fun to be around with and very helpful.
From my personal experience doing this made me feel good to help out people and to help them get their education too. This internship taught me as well that I should ask for help when needed. Any time a problem would rise at a meeting that my bosses would be in and we’d hear about it, they’d always communicate amongst each other to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even while working with Natalie on the reports, anytime one of us did not understand something we would always help each other. When we both didn’t understand something, our supervisors were always willing to clarify anything at any time which was something I’ve appreciated because usually i’m someone who will just figure it out on my own instead of bothering someone for help. Natalie and I appreciate Keith Grossman, our main boss who hired us, not only did he take us by the hand in this job, he treated us with high respect and made us feel at home even though we were just interns. By the end of this internship I think we can both say the saddest part of it all is that it was just seasonal and it didn’t last longer.
Ahorrio, Natalie. Personal Interview. 16 February 2020.