"I feel like I didn't choose Emergency Management, Emergency Management chose me. When I was in high school I got involved with the Civil Air Patrol. Oddly enough, the day after I got my membership card in the mail was September 11, 2001. During Katrina in 2005, I found myself in a Salvation Army Shelter, advising the Command team on best practices to organize and manage the large influx of donations, volunteers, and unique medical needs of evacuees. In all of that, I found a passion and excitement of trying to create order of chaos. By 2007, I was enrolled in the UNT EADP program.
I probably had a more unique experience while earning my EADP degree. I was the very last UNT student that had to travel to UT Arlington to earn a Commission in the U.S. Army through the ROTC program. When I graduated, I commissioned onto Active Duty with the U.S. Army as an MP Officer thinking that would get me in the middle of the action for using my Emergency Man-agement skills. I was right and wrong. I was in the middle of the action at Fort Hood alright, but Emergency Management was somewhat of a foreign concept to MP's at the time. Using my net-work of classmates and what I learned at UNT, I was able to help develop the understanding and of Emergency Management within the Military Police Brigade at Fort Hood.
I left active duty in 2014 to earn my Juris Doctor (Law Degree) at Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth. To my surprise, I became one of the handful of people in the United States to take even a slight interest in Emergency and Disaster Management Law. I had no clue how I was going to make a job out of it though, since virtually no firms really practiced in the area. Looking back, I think my wife was more worried than I was. So, I started writing. I not only started a blog "Emergency Management Law.com" but I also wrote three articles on very unique topics of the law related Emergency Management. Two of these articles will be published in Spring 2018. One by the South Texas Law Review and the other by the Cooley Journal of Clinical and Practical Law. The third was a grant funded project that analyzed how to effectively enforce evacuation orders and avoid over criminalizing the act of staying behind. I've also spoken on Emergency Management and the Law at three separate conferences and have earned my "Certified Law Enforcement Planner" credential.
I say all of this not to stroke my ego (though many may still accuse me of it). I offer this as an example with a small piece of advice that few may heed: Don't be scared to avoid the path well-traveled. Sure, the beaten path offers many opportunities before you and we often need people on that path, but blazing a new trail is sometimes what the profession needs. See a need and work your hardest to fill that need. I did it, and not only am I supporting the profession with meaningful discussion on the law, but I'm enjoying every minute of what I do."
This Alumni Spotlight on William Gribble ('09) first appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of The Mitigator, the EMDS department newsletter.