Emergency Management Solutions


Volume 6 No. 12                                                                             December 2014

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

Monthly Video 

1973 Iceland Volcanic Eruption
1973 Iceland Volcanic Eruption
In 1973, the Eldfell volcano on Haimaey island in Iceland erupted, forcing the evacuation of several thousand residents to the mainland. When the lava flow threatened the only port on the island, the Icelanders made a desperate attempt to halt the flow. This video clip highlights that attempt and its outcome.
Blog Highlights  

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


Three steps to keep storm warnings from scaring the pants off of you...»



Tracking a news item back to its source shows how small errors can produce big changes to the original story....»


EM Blog Masthead
Visit My Blog


The following are excerpts from my blog, Managing Crisis, published by Emergency Management Magazine. Please visit my blog to see the rest of my articles.



One of the best logisticians with whom I have worked was my friend, the late Ken Chin. Ken had a unique way of looking  ...»



Bridging the gap between academics and practitioners, as this blog is dedicated to doing, is not an easy task. While there are  ...»

Leadership Coaching  

The Importance of Personal Values


Is it more important to be clear on your personal values or the values of the organization you serve? The answer may surprise you. As you would expect, leaders who are clear on both have the highest level of constituent commitment. One would expect that the lowest level of commitment would be where the leader was unclear on both.


But surprisingly, commitment is lowest when a leader is unclear on his or her values but clear on the organization's values. Further, when a leader is clear on his or her values, he or she is able to compensate for being unclear on the organization's values. Here's what the research shows:



What this tells us is that being aware of your own values has a significant impact on the commitment of your constituents. In fact, the research shows that leaders who are clear about their values report being 25% more engaged than those who aren't. More importantly, the constituents of these leaders reported being 40% more engaged.

The First Practice of Exemplary Leadership is Model the Way. An important commitment of the Practice is being clear on your own values. 


To find out more about the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, consider taking The Leadership Challenge. Just click on the icon below for more information:

Click here to take The Leadership Challenge



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 December issue of Emergency Management Solutions.


This is always a bit of a schizophrenic season for me. On the one hand, we have the joys of the season - spending time with family and friends, seeing people treating each other just a bit nicer than usual, spontaneous generosity... But at the same time, it's can be a very dangerous season and many of us are dealing with weather related disasters and will give up our holidays in the service of others. But doing good for others is what we are all about and totally in keeping with spirit of the season.


Wherever your journey takes you, I wish you all the joys of the season and best wishes for the New Year.




Lucien Canton  


Featured Article

Avoiding "Disaster of the Month" Syndrome  

Five Ways to Maintain Your Focus


Although public interest in Ebola has waned as the media moves on to other issues, planning for pandemics should not stop. While the Ebola crisis is far from over and remains a serious world health concern, the hysteria in this country has died down and the impetus for planning for infectious disease outbreaks is waning. In a very real sense, Ebola has masked the true need for such continued planning.


Emergency planners need to ride out these cyclical peaks of near hysteria and maintain their focus on substantive planning. We can't afford to be only reactive; planning shouldn't stop because a new "hazard of the month" has captured the attention of the public and elected officials. But how do we resist the demand to "drop everything and get on this?"






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 


Give Yourself A Gift for the Holidays


Most of us experience a bit of downtime during the holidays. I realize that it can be tough balancing work and family commitments, particularly as many of us are engaged with winter storm response. But, generally, things slow down a bit and it's a good time to get in a bit of professional development.


Here are some easy ways to improve over the holidays:

  • Take one of the many independent study courses offered by the Emergency Management Institute. Most are fairly short and can be taken for college credit. There is also a certificate awarded for completing the seven courses in the Professional Development Series.
  • Read a book on a topic of interest to you. From the Bookshelf below has a link to my bookstore where you kind find all the books I have reviewed and others that are suggested reading. Most are available through your public library system.
  • If you subscribe to professional journals like the Journal of Emergency Management or professional publications such as Emergency Management Magazine, you probably have a whole bunch of back issues with articles you've been meaning to read. Now would be a good time.
  • Catch up with your favorite blogger's articles. Once you've done that, consider checking out my blogs through Blog Highlights in the left column.
  • Surprisingly, YouTube offers a lot of interesting documentaries and original disaster footage, as you've probably guessed from my Monthly Video. If you find any really good ones, let me know. I'm always looking for good material.

You get the idea. You don't have to take a lot of time for any of these. But a few minutes here and there spent on your professional development can pay big dividends in the new year. who knows, it might even get to be a habit. Wouldn't that be a great gift!

Life Balance  


Last month I wrote about the importance of passion to being a success. Consultant Alan Weiss addressed this same topic in a  a recent blog posting, reprinted here with his permission.

Finding David

by Alan Weiss


At the recent Million Dollar Consulting® College I told the (probably apocryphal) story of Michelangelo buying a piece of discarded marble and creating the incredible masterpiece, David. When asked how he could do this from a single piece of stone, he said, "I just carved away everything that didn't look like David."


I told the participants that their careers should be based on what they love doing and are passionate about, and all else should be "carved away." Michelangelo didn't add a nose or hand or leg, he culled the marble that didn't fit his representation. Similarly, we shouldn't patch on elements and interventions that are in vogue or can make us a few bucks, but rather cull anything that doesn't represent our passion and excellence.


Lisa Gaffney, a member of the class who is launching her own practice, said on the last day when the group compares advice, that she was intent on "finding David" for herself. I think that's well said and a highly apt reminder.


Base your future on your passion and excellence, carve away all else. Make your career a work of art.


From Alan's Blog 



© Alan Weiss 2014
 Reprinted with permission

From the Bookshelf  
Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions

by Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Sanders

While the immediate impact of volcanoes are readily apparent, we often tend overlook the long-term effects that volcanic eruptions have had on human history. Volcanoes can produce significant climate and ecological change that can literally change the course of history. In this fascinating book, de Boer and Sanders examine a number of eruptions that have done so.

Each chapter is a case study focused on a particular event. The authors describe the geology of the affected area and the the progress of the eruption. But the real focus is on the aftermath and consequences of each eruption. The studies range from the formation of the Hawaiian Islands to Mount St. Helens in 1980 and the stories associated with them are fascinating: the eruption of Thera that may have destroyed the Minoan civilization in the Bronze Age, the last moments of Pompeii as Vesuvius explodes, the eruption of Tambora in 1815 that led to widespread  starvation around the globe.

But the authors also consider smaller events that illustrate the impact on people. The fight to save the island of Heimaey in Iceland and the evacuation of Tristan de Cunha are stories that are both dramatic and instructive. I plan to use both as case studies in future courses I teach.

If you want to learn about volcanoes and their consequences, you couldn't do better than this book. I highly recommend it.


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  

Now taking bookings for 2015!

©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