Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter


Helping Managers Lead Better in Crisis

December 2013

In This Issue
Monthly Video
Blog Highlights
Featured Article
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner

Monthly Video 

So you want to be an Emergency Management Specialist
So you want to be an Emergency Management Specialist

Here's an interesting video developed by Adventures in Education, part of a non-profit sponsored by the Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation. The video is clearly designed to encourage students to complete a degree (I haven't used algebra or trigonometry for years) but it's fairly accurate if a bit response focused.
Blog Highlights

The following are excerpts from my blog
Canton on Emergency Management. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.


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What do a City Attorney, an environmental specialist, and an emergency manager have to do with the San Francisco Water Department? 


It was, admittedly, a very unusual partnership but we all shared a common interest: deep wells. One of the main concerns I had as Director of Emergency Services for San Francisco was water. San Francisco sits at the tip of peninsula and the end of a pipeline that extends into the mountains 167 miles......�


One of my favorite heroes growing up was Robin Hood. I was nurtured on the TV show starring Richard Greene (yeah, showing my age) and later enjoyed reading the stories about Robin and his Merry Men, particularly those in my "Best in Children's Books" that had some really neat artwork. And when I saw Errol Flynn as Robin - well, who wouldn't want to be that cool? 


As I grew older, I became interested in the historical Robin Hood and the origins of the stories. This childhood interest may well help to explain my strong interest in history, particularly medieval......�


Remember that you  can also follow my new Emergency Management Magazine blog Managing Crisis

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L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the December issue of Emergency Management Solutions


Our profession is one of those that doesn't always get holidays. Disasters and emergencies don't consult the calendar and have a way of striking when most inconvenient. I know many of you will be giving up your own family holiday time to ensure that others can enjoy theirs safely. It's a holiday gift you can't get in any store. If you're one of those, thank you!

Please accept my best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year!


Lucien Canton  


Featured Article

Leading in Crisis

The 4 traps of decision making


During the second day's fighting at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, Colonel Strong Vincent, a brigade commander in the Army of the Potomac, learned from a passing courier that the Union left flank was undefended and that the Confederates were advancing on Little Round Top. Seizing this position would allow the Confederates to fire on the entire Union line and force the retreat of Union forces, opening the road to Washington.


Recognizing the tactical significance of the position, Vincent, without waiting for orders, moved his brigade into a blocking position. What followed was one of the most dramatic and pivotal engagements of the war, one that decided the battle of Gettysburg and most probably the war itself. Though Vincent fell in the battle, his ability to recognize the crisis, to make critical decisions under pressure, and to deploy his resources inspired his brigade to hold the vital position on the Little Round Top.






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

Professional Development 


It's the old Catch 22: Want a job? Get some experience. Want experience? Get a job. One of the measures of how far we have come as a profession are the many academic programs available today. They are producing the next generation of emergency managers, people who have chosen the profession rather entering it as a second career and who have a strong knowledge of emergency management theory and practice.


The one thing they lack is experience. There are few entry level jobs in emergency management to begin with and these recent graduates find themselves caught in the Catch 222 as they compete for the few jobs that are available.


But we can do something to help; we can offer internships that help bridge the experience gap. I have yet to find an emergency management office that couldn't use some help for a few weeks, whether it be preparing grants or helping to plan exercises or updating emergency plans. While paid internships would be great, many internships offer only academic credit to the student.


One caveat - don't waste the student's time giving them clerical work. They're there to learn from you; your side of the deal it to make yourself available and share your experience. Not a bad deal when you think about it!

Life Balance  


I recently watched an interview with Linda Ronstadt, a singer I have admired since I first heard her sing more years ago than I want to remember. Sadly, she no suffers from Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing.


Not that that has slowed her down any. Her interview was bright and upbeat. What really caught my attention though was her reply to a question regarding her biography titled Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir. The interviewer asked why she had used that title (also the title of one of her earlier records) since her life had been anything but simple. Ms. Ronstadt replied, "But it was a simple dream. All I ever wanted to do was sing and to find a job that would allow me to do that all the time."


Once you recognize and follow your dream, all things are possible. It's sometimes hard to keep things in focus but our dreams are our guideposts through life. Ms. Ronstadt's "simple dream" brought her a life of success and excitement far beyond anything she ever expected.


How's your dreams doing?

From the Bookshelf  
Emergency Management: Principles And Practice for Local Government
by ICMA Press

This is one of those books that should be on every emergency manager's bookshelf. 

Edited by William Waugh and Kathleen Tierney, two of the most respected academics in emergency management research, and with a list of contributing authors that reads like a Who's Who of disaster researchers, the book is a compendium of emergency management theory and practice. It touches on every facet of our profession and provides research-based findings that have practical application in the real world. It helps us understand the "why" behind what we do and, in some cases, suggest ways we should be doing things.

Don't let the fact that this is a book by academics put you off. The chapters are well written and clear and have considerable recommendations for further reading. The authors are not ivory-tower academics. Some, like Dr. Frances Winslow have worked as emergency managers. Others have done considerable research at the scene of major disasters. All have been in the field of emergency management research for years and are well known.

Speaker's Corner 
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 SpeakerMatch page.  
Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
Lucien Canton Seminar Excerpts
Speaking Engagements  


Now taking bookings for 2014!

�Lucien G. Canton December 2013