Emergency Management Solutions


Volume 6 No. 8                                                                                    August 2014

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

Monthly Video 

It's smarter to travel in groups
It's smarter to travel in groups
Okay, I admit this is a bit off the wall. This is a series of promotional videos done by the Belgian bus company De Lijn to promote ridership. Nevertheless, they do offer some subtle messages of interest to emergency managers. Note that in three of the vignettes, someone recognizes an imminent threat, activates a plan, and coordinates the response.

How many other lessons can you find? 
Blog Highlights  

The following are excerpts from my blog
Canton on Emergency Management. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.  
The contamination of Toledo's water supply is not the first time this has happened in the US and it won't be the last....»

Studying the past can improve disaster planning...»


 Visit my blog 

Leadership Coaching 


Last month I attended the annual Leadership Challenge® conference where I completed my training as a coach for the Leadership Practices Inventory®.  


Thanks to some new information I received during my networking sessions, I'm going to be revamping my program offerings over the next month or so to improve their value and make them more affordable. Stay tuned!


Meanwhile, I highly recommend reading The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.  

The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations
by James M. Kouzes  & Barry Posner 

The Leadership Challenge is a registered trademark of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. www.leadershipchallenge.com

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L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the August issue of Emergency Management Solutions.


August is vacation month for many but not, it seems, for emergency managers. Every day seems to bring news of another crisis: floods in Nepal, fires in California, earthquakes in Iran, civil disturbance in Missouri. If you're one of those engaged in response or recovery operations, best of luck and remember that there's a worldwide community of EMs willing to help if you need it. 


And speaking of help, I need yours. My publisher has finally convinced me to write a second edition to my book. If you've read it or have a copy you've been meaning to read, I'd appreciate any suggestions for new content or changes that need to be made. The more input I can get, the better the book will serve the needs of the EM community. If you know me, you know I'm not thin-skinned, so don't hesitate to send me constructive criticism.  


Lucien Canton  


Featured Article

Emergency Support Functions  

Misunderstood and misapplied 



One of the mistaken assumptions I encounter frequently when reviewing emergency plans is the belief that plans must mirror the
National Response Framework and that the emergency support function (ESF) concept must be included in the plan.

However, there is no mandate to do this. The National Incident Management System (NIMS), for example, merely requires that emergency management/response personnel be familiar with the National Response Framework. CPG 101 Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans lists the ESF format as just one of three example formats.


If in fact there is no specific mandate to use the ESF concept, what utility does it offer the local jurisdiction? Should be used, and if so, how should it be used?






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.


  Visit my blog

Professional Development 


DHS releases the National Protection Framework

The National Protection Framework describes what the whole community should do to safeguard against acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and other threats or hazards. It describes the core capabilities; roles and responsibilities; and coordinating structures that facilitate the protection of individuals, communities, and the Nation. This Framework is focused on actions to protect against the greatest risks in a manner that allows American interests, aspirations, and way of life to thrive.

Scheduling Tools

I know you've been there. You need to schedule a meeting with a number of stakeholders. You send out an email with proposed dates and times. You find out that not everyone can make the proposed times. You send out a new email with new proposed time and dates...Sound familiar?

How about this one? You need to schedule a series of appointments with individuals. You send out emails with proposed times and dates. Everyone wants to sign up for the same time slot. Someone won't be able to make any of them. You send more emails or begin making phone calls. You spend more time setting up the meetings than you do at the meetings.

As a consultant, I face these problems on a regular basis. My life improved significantly when I added two tools to my bag of tricks. The first is a program called Doodle that allows me to schedule meetings with multiple attendees. I enter available times and dates then send a link to my attendees. The link takes the attendee to a webpage where they can select the times and dates that work for them. Since they can also see other attendees availability, they can adjust their schedule to accommodate the group. There's a free version that works for most meetings or you can get an inexpensive paid version.

Doodle has recently added a feature called Meet Me that allows appointment scheduling but I haven't tried it yet. Instead I use a program called Acuity Scheduling. I set up my appointment times and send a link to the people with whom I want to meet. They can then select from any open time slot. Once they select a time, the slot is closed. There's a free version which will allow you to do basic scheduling but I use a paid version that automatically adds the meeting to my calendar and sends reminders to the participants.

There are certainly other options out there. These just happen to be the ones I stumbled on and use in my practice. The point is, make use of technology to free yourself from the hassles of meeting planning. Many of these programs have free versions or trial periods, so check them out and gain more free time.
Life Balance  


"Ordinary" people can turn out to be "extraordinary"

My daughter recently shared a story with me. It seems a lady had just lost a beloved pet who had brought much love into her life. She knew that a new pet would do the same, so as a way of "paying it forward" she went to an animal shelter and asked for the pet that no one else wanted, the one that just couldn't get adopted and was closest to being euthanized.

She expected, as would you or I, that the pet she received would have a physical defect or suffer from a personality disorder. She was prepared for this and promised herself that she would accept whatever burden her new pet turned out to be. To her surprise, she was presented with a sweet little kitten with whom she instantly bonded. The reason no one wanted the kitten? It was too "ordinary".

In much the same way, we frequently make snap judgements about people because they don't match what we expect to see. They're shy or they don't fit the norm. Yet these same people may turn out to be just what you need. In her book, Icebound, about her battle with breast cancer in the Antarctic, Dr. Jerri Nielsen talks about how the shyest member of the team taught the others how to survive in close quarters.

Maybe it's time to cut "ordinary" people a little slack and give them a chance to be part of the team. They might surprise you.
From the Bookshelf  
Dark Invasion: 1915: Germany's
Secret War and the Hunt for the First Terrorist Cell in America
by Howard Blum

Terrorist cells hiding in major US cities, a bomb exploding in the US Capitol, sabotage of commercial shipping, assassination attempts on leading financiers - these incidents can easily be from today's headlines. But all this and more, including the threat of biological warfare, took place in 1915. Although the US was officially neutral, German intelligence were tasked with disrupting the flow of US armaments to Britain and France.

Blum's book tells the fascinating tale of how German intelligence operatives went about their mission of disruption and sabotage in some detail. He contrasts this with the efforts of the New York City bomb squad to uncover the threat and then to stop it. The book focuses on the personal histories of the individuals involved on both sides and sometime suffers from a confused chronology and a lack of specific information. For example, it's a bit unclear how effective the German sabotage efforts were because Blum does not give any data on total vessels lost or financial loss. Nevertheless, the book offers incite into how a terrorist cell could operate in the US. Technology may change but human nature does not. 


Interested in more books on emergency management and related topics?

Check out my bookstore at:         
Speaker's Corner 
Looking for a Speaker?


Need a speaker for your next conference? I offer keynotes, seminars and workshops.
Why Should You Choose Me As Your Speaker?
Three Reasons Why I'm the Right Speaker for Your Conference 
You can find more details and sample videos on my website or on my SpeakerMatch page.  
Speaking Engagements  
September 9
Preparing a Response and Recovery Plan for Your Organization, Power Grid Resilience, San Francisco, CA

October 7
The Future of Campus Safety and Security
, Emergency Management Magazine, Philadelphia, PA   

October 15
The Future of Campus Safety and Security, Emergency Management Magazine, College Station, TX 

©Lucien G. Canton 2014. All rights reserved.


You may reprint and excerpt this newsletter provided that you include my copyright, the source,
the author, and "reprinted with permission."

ISSN: 2334-590X