Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

The Hagerty Advantage: Our People: Josh Dossick, Sage Hart, and Rebecca Downey

Here at Hagerty, we truly believe the advantage is our people. Throughout the months of June and July, we will be profiling several of Hagerty’s Response professionals – many of whom have been deployed continuously over the past year helping our clients respond to COVID-19 and other natural hazards.

Tell us about yourself and how your career path led you to Hagerty Consulting.

Josh Dossick: I have always been passionate about helping people. Hagerty Consulting gave me the opportunity to turn that passion into a career by putting me in a position to directly help people and communities when they are most in need. The ability to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters satisfies that passion in a very direct way.

Sage Hart: Prior to joining Hagerty I worked in finance and then operations at a start-up, totally unrelated fields. After beginning a Master’s program in International Relations, I discovered the field of emergency management through a professor. Hagerty was on my list when applying to jobs after grad school! Almost immediately, I began my first deployment supporting Hurricane Maria recovery. Then, in March of 2020, I jumped at the opportunity to assist in COVID-19 response and recovery, and I have been supporting those missions ever since.

Rebecca Downey: While working with a public health non-profit, I discovered the intersection of public health and emergency management at the Federal policy level. I enrolled in a graduate program in emergency management, and I heard about Hagerty through a colleague in my program. After spending some time at the Federal Level in emergency management, I joined Hagerty to work more closely with communities at a collaborative level. Since joining, I have had the opportunity to work on projects across all phases of emergency management and have supported clients across the country.

What do you find most rewarding about working in the field of emergency management, especially as a disaster response professional?

Josh Dossick: As a disaster response professional, I find the opportunity to provide an immediate, positive impact to a community stricken by disaster the most rewarding part of working in the field. There is nothing more fulfilling than providing aid and support to someone who has had their whole life turned upside down by an uncontrollable disaster, and assisting them on a path back to normalcy.

Sage Hart: Generally just the feeling of actually helping communities, supporting initiatives ranging from sheltering programs to vaccination efforts during COVID-19 response has probably been the most rewarding. The feeling of improving processes, providing safer environments for communities, and preparing cities for cost recovery has been some of the most rewarding work of my life. The sense of pride and mission in the teams I have worked with have made the journey that much better.

Rebecca Downey: As a response professional, I have seen clients and localities experiencing some of their darkest days and hardest moments. After the initial response, it can be an uphill climb to get the client back to their steady-state operations. Having the opportunity to see communities celebrate even the smallest milestones of achievement and have tangible signs of progress, is incredibly energizing and there is no other career path that compares.

With hurricane season underway and the peak time for wildfires on the horizon, how should communities be preparing today?

Josh Dossick: It’s important for communities to understand that disasters–like hurricanes and wildfires– can occur at any time, and they should have a plan for when they do. If you have to shelter in place, it is important to have enough supplies to last beyond what is projected. If you have to evacuate, have somewhere to go, know how to get there, and have enough supplies to make it there.

Sage Hart: Now is the time to plan, so communities can avoid hoping for the best during an emergency! COVID-19 aside, the past decade has presented the nation with increasing disasters from natural hazards in communities across the country. Learning from previous disasters and other communities’ experience is huge. The more communities develop, exercise, and improve emergency plans for disaster prevention and response (from a minor flood to a Cat 5 hurricane) the safer we all are.

Rebecca Downey:All disasters are local, and communities should encourage their members to check in with one another before, during, and after a disaster. Consider speaking with your neighbor about their emergency preparedness activities and offer support to developing an emergency supply kit, evacuation plan, and a plan for responding to hazards local to your community. A community is not prepared until the whole community is prepared.


What are you passionate about outside of work?

Josh Dossick: I’m passionate about travel, especially when it involves activities outdoors like skiing or hiking. I’m also passionate about music, through record collecting and going to see live shows. And I’m burdened with a passion for all Philadelphia sports.

Sage Hart: Running and sailing. I grew up sailing with my family and have a small catamaran I take out on Lake Ontario whenever I can. I’ve been running since college, and in my travels I have found there is no better way to learn a city than to run through it.

Rebecca Downey: I have a goal to read 500 books in 10 years, so I am always looking for new local bookstores to visit. When I am not reading, you can find me at a SoulCycle class with my favorite instructor!

Where is one place in the world you would like to travel and why?

Josh Dossick: Japan, to experience a totally unique culture and indulge in amazing food.

Sage Hart: Virunga National Park in the Congo, to climb an active volcano, surrounded by untouched biodiversity and families of gorillas. The remoteness and natural wonder, I can’t imagine a better adventure.

Rebecca Downey: Having never left the continental US, I would like to travel to Europe. I would want to focus on visiting World War Two memorials and museums, especially the Anne Frank House. That part of world history is so important, so recent, and I want to experience and learn from the history where it happened.

Josh Dossick is an emergency preparedness and response professional. Josh has found success contributing to real-world large-scale response operations, utilizing his ability to adapt and solve complex problems. He is adept in providing both qualitative and quantitative program assessment solutions to large area programs and communicating those results along with actionable next steps effectively. 

Sage Hart is an emergency management and response professional with a background in quantitative analysis. He is has supported multiple response missions at Hagerty performing site and damage assessments and advising clients on federal grant programs.

Rebecca Downey is an emergency management professional specializing in planning, preparedness, and response operations for healthcare systems. Throughout her work, she has supported projects involving regular engagement and collaboration with stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels.