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An Editor’s Personal Journey to Emergency Preparedness

I confess that, in 2009, I did not know anything about emergency preparedness. Now, I am the editor of a publication with a nationwide readership of professionals who prepare their communities for any possible emergency or disaster. What an exciting journey from unknowingly unprepared to finding a passion that would change my life! This journey began with an exciting new opportunity to work for a practitioner publication after spending a couple of decades in academic journals. However, I realized almost immediately that the best part of this job would not be the words on the page but the women and men behind those words who would inspire me and so many others across the country.

After settling into the new role, I could not stop thinking about how Domestic Preparedness writers and advisors were helping their communities. So, I sat down with one of the publication’s advisors, who always promoted volunteer organizations, and asked, “Where should I start if I want to volunteer in my community?” And so, it began. I joined the local Citizen Corps chapter the next day and soon received my Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. There was no going back at that point because I wanted more. So, the next step was to sign up to become an emergency medical technician at the local firehouse, which later led to Firefighter I training. With a love of reading, writing, and learning, getting a master’s degree in emergency and disaster management was a logical next step. The latest inspiration from the writers and advisors involved the communications aspect of emergency response – getting an amateur radio license. Stay tuned because this preparedness journey is unlikely to end anytime soon.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the March edition of the Domestic Preparedness Journal features articles by inspirational women who, through their service and writing, are instrumental in building more prepared and resilient communities. For more inspiration, this issue also shares valuable insights on the challenges that the members of the 2024-2025 Editorial Board urge communities to think about and prepare for in 2024. Thank you to all those who serve and protect their communities and who lead others down their individual preparedness paths of education, training, and service.

Catherine L. Feinman

Catherine L. Feinman, M.A., joined Domestic Preparedness in January 2010. She has more than 35 years of publishing experience and currently serves as editor of the Domestic Preparedness Journal, DomesticPreparedness.com, and The Weekly Brief. She works with writers and other contributors to build and create new content that is relevant to the emergency preparedness, response, and recovery communities. She received a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management from American Military University.

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