Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter


Helping Managers Lead Better in Crisis

November 2011

In This Issue
The Power of Images
Video: GGRC Preparedness Series
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaking Engagements

Crisis Communications


The Power of Images

By now you've probably seen the video or photographs of a police lieutenant pepper spraying peaceful protestors at the University of California in Davis. As a result of this image, the police officers involved have been suspended pending investigation of the incident and the UC Chancellor is under fire.


There is a power in visual images that we sometimes fail to understand. This power derives in part from the belief that what we're seeing is true, that the evidence of our own eyes transcends all others. It is for this reason that YouTube is considered a highly trusted source of news by the Gen Y crowd.


But can we really believe our own eyes? Do images tell the truth?

The simple fact is that images are not always truthful and have been used historically to manipulate public opinion.




Disaster Preparedness Series 


GGRC - Developing a Plan For Your Center
The GGRC Standard

This is the sixth video in the Golden Gate Regional Center Disaster Preparedness video series for the developmentally disabled. This video is the first of three videos intended to help service providers develop effective emergency plans. While this video is specific to California, it provides useful information on using a systematic approach to planning.

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Welcome to the November issue of Emergency Management Solutions.
I've been doing a fair bit of thinking about the recent controversy over the Occupy protests and what lessons we can take away from the way different jurisdictions have been dealing with them. My article this month deals with one facet that touches on how we deal with negative images.

My monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch but you're not getting full value if you're not alsos signed up for my blog. I usually try to blog twice a week, so don't miss out! You can sign up on my blog site Canton on Emergency Management.


Visit my blog 


If you are having trouble viewing my featured article, try clicking on the link at the top of the page. Alternatively, you can always find my white paper on my blog site, Canton on Emergency Management.

Lucien Canton

Professional Development 


In past columns I've mentioned the importance of attending professional development conferences. But in these times of economic austerity, it's not always possible to take advantages of these opportunities. However, there is an alternative: webcasting.


If you were unable to attend the recent International Association of Emergency Managers conference in Las Vegas, you can still get access to some of the keynote speeches and breakout sessions for a reasonable price (under $200, under $150 if you're an IAEM member). Details can be found at the IAEM website.


By the way, one of the sessions to which you'll have access is my presentation comparing the Great Fire of London, the Great Chicago Fire, and the San Francisco earthquake and fires of 1906.

Life Balance 
It's not uncommon for us to focus on imperfections. The nature of our work is such that success always seems out of reach because of a lack of resources, be they time, funding or organizational support. We tend to fixate on the future and on where we need to take our organizations. Inherent in this fixation is a dissatisfaction with the status quo.
Years ago I was an avid backpacker in the mountains of California. I'd trudge for hours up a mountain that seemed never ending. However, every now and then, I'd pause, catch our breath, and look back at where I'd come from. I was always amazed at the distance I had covered and it made the next mile or so bearable.
There is no better time of year to pause and consider how far you've come in your job and your life. It's okay to lay down your burden for a short while and realize that you have made progress. Take the time to do this and be thankful for the colleagues, friends and family that helped you get this far.
From the Bookshelf 


Can we learn anything from a disaster that occurred over 350 years ago? If you don't think so, reading Adrian Tinniswood's By Permission of Heaven: The True Story of the Great Fire of London will change your mind. Look closely and you'll see echoes of our own time: insufficient firefighting resources, lack of planning for conflagration. ignoring past disasters, ineffective political leadership. You'll also see an almost textbook application of ICS principles and effective leadership. Tinniswood's discussion of the politics of recovery is also of interest. Best of all, it's almost free on Amazon - a great holiday bargain!

Speaking Engagements 

May 2012: Are Emergency Plans Really Necessary? IAEM Oceania Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand

Looking for a Speaker?


Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops. You can find more details on my website  or on my SpeakerMixpage. 


Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
If you've heard me speak...

...I'd greatly appreciate it if you would take a minute to give me feedback on SpeakerMix. Just go to the site and click on the "Write A Review" button. 


Many thanks!

´┐ŻLucien G. Canton  March 2011