The devastation of communities from natural disasters has piled on lately. Hurricanes alone account for many billions of dollars in property loss. The tragedy of lost loved ones and cherished family possessions is beyond measure. In the midst of these far-reaching calamities, two OCU graduates have been working diligently to preserve and protect those affected most by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
Ethan Allen, a 2015 OCU graduate in Emergency Management, has first-hand experience of such mega-disasters. Working with The Salvation Army in Ft. Myers, Ethan assisted with the massive cleanup after Hurricane Irma. His work gave hope to local residents who lost everything. Serving as Safety Officer for the Ft. Myers District, Ethan maintained proficient levels of health and well-being of Salvation Army disaster relief volunteers, and checked for appropriate food standards and facility awareness.
Ethan mastered the Safety Officer’s work quickly due to his extensive OCU student work and volunteering. He found camaraderie among relief workers allayed stress of dealing with the chaos Irma created. “To see so many people getting involved, no matter what their situations, reminded me that there is hope that comes from knowing you aren’t alone, and that people are going to be there with you in these difficult moments. Coming from a faith-based school, I know we ultimately have faith in Jesus that will support us through such tribulation. Even in these dark scenarios, He is cause for hope.”
Ethan appreciates that Professors Thad Hicks and Larry Potts introduced him to the career opportunities in Emergency and Disaster Management. He also is called to ministry and has learned how to relate his skills in emergency management into ministry. Without his professors, major coursework, and work opportunities found through OCU, Ethan would not be where he is now. “Hope is something OCU instilled in me, and without that hope, I would not be fully prepared and equipped to serve those suffering through treacherous conditions,” he explains.
Dustin Hube, an OCU 2015 graduate also, is accustomed to working to alleviate such devastation as well. After earning his degree in Emergency and Disaster Management, Dustin went on to help disaster victims on numerous occasions during recent years. While in the Emergency Management program he volunteered to go to Haiti to drop off supplies and help rebuild the community after the 2010 earthquake. In November 2011, after Hurricane Irene, he went to New York to clean up and help rebuild, and in 2012 he traveled to help on Staten Island, New York after Hurricane Sandy.
Remarking on these experiences, Dustin says they helped him arrive where he is today: “Because of my hands-on experience with these natural disasters where I applied what I learned in EM class, I have a real understanding on how emergency management works.”
Dustin appreciates the guidance and encouragement of Thad Hicks: “Professor Hicks has been a great mentor. He encouraged me the first day I took a seat in his class. Now I am a full-time EM manager. Professor Hicks initially introduced me to Pickaway County Emergency Management Agency, where I assisted with a household hazardous material cleanup day. That experience opened the door for me to an agency internship and eventually to being hired as an employee.“
In October 2017, Dustin accepted a management position at Mt. Carmel Hospital System in Columbus, Ohio, where his skills will continue to grow and be well used.
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