Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter


Helping Managers Lead Better in Crisis

November 2012

 May the joy of the harvest season be with you and your family!
In This Issue
Speaking Engagements
Article Headline

Recovery Planning

Pre-planning is vital

Some years ago, my colleague Valerie Lucus McEwen performed an analysis of data from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program's assessments. Her findings confirmed what we had always suspected: emergency managers do well in the areas of preparedness and response but give little attention to mitigation and recovery.


This is not surprising. Preparedness and response tend to be tactical in nature while mitigation and recovery are more strategic. Once the action moves beyond coordinating hierarchical agencies to the rather messy world of politics and community action, emergency managers find themselves outside their comfort zone and tend to avoid mitigation and recovery planning.


The problem, however, is that in the long term recovery may well be more important than response in terms of community survivability. One can certainly argue that if you don't respond well, recovery may be irrelevant but if we examine history we find that we will respond, either well or poorly. Whatever the nature of that response, the true challenge will be the restoration of the community's infrastructure, environment, economy, and social systems.



Shock Troops of Disaster

1938 Hurricane
1938 Hurricane
Think the recent storm that struck the East Coast was unpredictable? Check out this video from the Work Projects Administration about the 1938 hurricane that struck Long Island and New England. While clearly a publicity piece for the WPA, it highlights the damage from the storm and the work of volunteers in the aftermath.

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Welcome to the November issue of Emergency Management Solutions


Many thanks to those of you who took the time to participate in my recent reader's survey. You've given me some great ideas for next year and I found your suggestions extremely helpful. Thanks again!
As I'm sure many of you are doing, I have been following the relief operations for the storm that struck the East Coast as a result of Hurricane Sandy. My featured article shares some thoughts on recovery planning. I've also found an interesting video that reminds us both of the importance of volunteers and the fact that disasters are,for the most part, predictable.
If you did not get the chance to complete the survey, I'm always open to constructive criticism and new ideas. Just send me an email with your comments.
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 articles in the white paper section of my blog site,  Canton on Emergency Management. 
Lucien Canton
PS: If you're enjoying my newsletter, be sure you also sign up for my blog, Canton on Emergency ManagementClick the link below and sign up today!



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Professional Development 


With our focus currently on the East Coast in the aftermath of the big storm, we're reminded yet again about the importance of recovery planning. One of the books I've found most useful over the years is JIm Schwab's Planning for Post-disaster Recovery and Reconstruction. I was delighted to find that the American Planning Association, in partnership with FEMA, has been working on a new version to be published sometime in the near future.


You can follow the progress of this project on the APA website. The site also includes Recovery News, a blog dedicated to recovery issues, and several detailed case studies on recovery.


You can also find the three chapters of the current book that focus on recovery planning on the FEMAwebsite. If you haven't begun work on a recovery plan, now is a good time

Life Balance  


One of the hallmarks of a Certified Emergency Manager is that you're expected to give something back to the profession. It's a way of acknowledging the help and support we've received from our peers as our career progression by helping others in turn.


There are many opportunities to serve if you open yourself up to them. Professional journals such as the Journal of Emergency Management and the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are always looking for reviewers and editorial staff. Standards committees are seeking subject matter experts. The Emergency Management Forum is always open to ideas for speakers and topics.


Writing or speaking not your cup of tea? How about mentoring a student or new colleague or serving on the board of non-profit associated with emergency management.


My point is that giving of ourselves not only strengthens our profession but helps us grow as individuals. Don't spend all your time focused on work - give a little time to helping others improve. Trust me, you'll like how it feels.

From the Bookshelf  


 Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive
by Bruce Schneier 

As the human population has expanded, personal relationships have, of necessity, been replaced by societal trust. In his latest book security technologist Bruce Schneier examines the nature of that trust and the societal pressures that we have developed to maintain it. 

Schneier makes his case for the evolutionary development of trust in the first part of his book. He then examines moral, reputational, and institutional pressures and security in detail and considers why they succeed and, more importantly, why they fail.

Schneier bases his theories on sound social and biological science, explaining complex topics in clear and accessible language. This is no ivory-tower academic tome - Schneier illustrates his concepts with case studies and examples drawn from a variety of disciplines, including homeland security and disasters.

I found this book fascinating for two reasons. The first is the obvious implications for homeland security programs. Secondly, the book has a lot to do with how people make decisions and the factors that can influence those decisions. Either topic would make this book worth reading; together they make it absolutely essential. I highly recommend this book. 

 Looking for more books? Check out An Emergency Manager's Reading List

Speaker's Corner 
Speaking Engagements  


December 4: Crisis in Leadership or Leadership in Crisis?, Emergency Management Magazine All-Hazards Summit, Miami


December 6: Crisis in Leadership or Leadership in Crisis?, Emergency Management Magazine All-Hazards Summit, Houston
December 11: Crisis in Leadership or Leadership in Crisis?Emergency Management Magazine All-Hazards Summit, New Orleans 

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 SpeakerMix page.  
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!

ŠLucien G. Canton Novemberr 2012