This paper presents a case study of a one-week disaster recovery alternative break experience (ABE) in New Orleans, Louisiana, in January 2018. ABEs are non-credit elective programs for undergraduate students that blend active citizen pedagogies with field-based learning in compelling, cost-effective ways. The case study describes the ABE program, including its underlying pedagogies, schedule, learning objectives, and activities, distinguishing it from traditional community service projects and study abroad programs. The authors describe the unique situation of the ABE program at the University of North Texas and identify aspects that may be transferable to field-based student engagements in emergency management at other universities. ABE programs enrich emergency management curricula and cost-effective ways for students to explore disaster-focused social justice issues and become lifelong active citizens.