How John Hughes Helps Booz Allen Prepare for the Unexpected

Sep 25, 2019 7:00 AM ET

Over the past year, John Hughes’ “office” at Booz Allen has been in Austin, Texas—and Albuquerque, Seoul, Okinawa, Singapore, Chicago, Anchorage, Seattle, and most recently New England. 

He’s an emergency specialist helping the firm’s worldwide offices prepare for and recover from emergencies and natural disasters.

A hands-on job solving problems 

Hughes’ background makes him well-suited for the job. His resume includes his role as a wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), certification in both crevasse and swift water rescue, and his former job as a firefighter.

“I wanted a hands-on job where I could solve problems,” he said. “Booz Allen’s Security Services Team is the perfect fit for an adventure junkie like me—I wake up every day not knowing what my workday will bring.”

On any given day, Hughes could be helping build an evacuation program, training employees in CPR and first aid, or talking with local leaders about emergency procedures and equipment needs—like air filtration masks for employees in South Korea, where the air quality can be very poor.  

Lightening the load during hurricane relief  

During Hurricane Michael last year, he traveled to Booz Allen’s Panama City office to help local employees with relief efforts. 

“The devastation was worse than the news coverage portrayed. Every tree was down, and almost every house for 30 miles had its roof damaged or missing,” he said.

Hughes coordinated equipment and volunteers, and he mapped routes for them to get to employees’ homes. 

“It’s a privilege to get to help people on their worst days––sometimes the worst of their lives––and to lighten their load even just a little bit,” Hughes said.

Read more about John Hughes and Booz Allen’s work in disaster response.