Life Balance for Emergency Managers
What did you have for lunch today? I'm willing to bet that you either skipped lunch, grabbed a quick bite at your desk, or snagged some fast food. Am I wrong?
We tend to look at our lunch periods as just a time to refuel, a bit like a pit stop on a race course. We see them as necessary evils that interrupt our hectic schedule. If something has to give in that schedule, it will be our lunch time.
What we fail to realize is that lunch is about more than just refueling the body. It's an opportunity to give ourselves a mental break. Our brains need downtime to assimilate new information and synthesize ideas. Taking a half hour or so to catch your breath and think makes you more effective.
So at your next lunch break, take the time to enjoy your lunch. Consider taking a brief walk around the block. Chat with friends. Read something not related to your work. You'll be surprised at how productive your afternoon will be!
From the Bookshelf
Hurricane Katrina had a significant impact on emergency management in the United States, not the least of which was reminding the Department of Homeland Security that natural disasters can be more devastating than terrorist attacks. Hurricane Katrina also highlighted the inadequacy of preparedness measures for people with functional needs, the subject of this month's white paper. The best book I have read on Hurricane Katrina from the emergency management perspective is Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security by Christopher Cooper and Robert Block. The authors provide context by giving a brief history of New Orleans and its levee system then provide a day by day account of the critical first days of the disaster. The book has the ring of truth about it - those things of which I have direct knowledge were accurately reported - and the tone is impartial and balanced.
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