IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Are You Maladaptive?

If so, the emergency management profession is not for you.

If there is anything I’ve learned from my tenure in the emergency management profession, it’s that change is constant and change is actually increasing rapidly.

Here’s the definition for “maladaptive: not providing adequate or appropriate adjustment to the environment or situation.”

Our “situation” is that everything is changing constantly. Here’s a short list:

  • Technology
  • FEMA programs and processes
  • Climate change, which is changing our hazards profile
  • People who we need to interact with
  • Organizations that we need to coordinate with
  • The geopolitical situation that we operate in
  • National and international relationships
  • What your priorities are
  • The COVID-19 pandemic, which has been one big change

If you are maladaptive and don’t want or are not comfortable with a constantly changing work environment, then emergency management is not for you. There is an old phrase: “Be the change you want to see happen!”

What is true today might not be true tomorrow. Get over it and get on with it. Semper Gumby!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.
Special Projects
Sponsored Articles