Emergency Management Solutions


Volume 7 No. 3                                                                        March 2015

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

Monthly Video 

Duck And Cover (1951) Bert The Turtle Civil Defense Film
Duck And Cover (1951) Bert The Turtle Civil Defense Film

In this age of high tech threats and terrorism, it's difficult to remember that there was a time when the country felt we were on the brink of Armageddon and was actively preparing the population for the possibility of nuclear war. This training video from 1951 seems quaint and humorous until you recall the context and remember that the government was deadly serious about the threat and the idea that such a war was survivable. Whether this video was intended to ease public fears or to provide real survival skills is a matter for debate. However, it does remind us that allowing our fears to drive decisions can sometimes result in unrealistic solutions.
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.  


Losing public trust leads to increased scrutiny and an increasingly downward spiral to your reputation....»



Understanding the difference between real and perceived risk can lead to better preparedness and peace of mind....»


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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.



"We need to update our emergency plan to conform to the latest guidance." As consultant, I hear these words on a fairly regular basis and cringe inside when I do. Over the years, I've come to realize that they are a type of code for, "Federal guidance has changed and I need to meet this requirement to get my funding" and the client really just wants a technical writer.  ...»



A recent article in Security Management magazine, Required: License to Operate by Megan Gates, discussed the need for "social license" for companies working abroad. Social license refers to the support of stakeholders and various levels of government and sensitivity to global activism that could affect the company. While the article was specific to business risk, the concept of social license is directly applicable to emergency management, which relies heavily on the cooperation of various government and private-sector stakeholders. ...»


Leadership Coaching  

Effective emergency managers understand the importance of collaboration. Our work depends on building trust and fostering relationships. In each encounter, we should seek to make others feel more powerful, competent and able to do more than they thought possible.


The research shows that actions of this sort make our constituents feel 30% more engaged. The real surprise is that leaders who encourage collaboration are seen as 60% more effective.


Enable Others to Act is the fourth practice of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership.


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

Ever thought of becoming a consultant? Frustrated by the lack of specific and practical information? I can help.


Consulting Transitions is a new membership site designed to help to you start your consulting practice. Among the services the site offers are:

  • An exclusive members-only blog that provides tips and ideas for your business
  • A protected members forum that allows you to share ideas with your peers
  • Participation in a monthly conference call where I answer your specific questions
  • Access to a reference library of examples, templates, and articles that I use in my own practice
  • Discounts on future webinars and courses

For a limited time, I'm offering access to the site at a substantially reduced investment that is 25 to 30% off the normal fee. In addition, I will lock in this rate for as long as you remain a member. However, this offer will end on April 1, so take advantage of it soon.


To access the registration page, click on the logo below or go to  




and use the password EMSolutions. The password is case sensitive.


Click here to take advantage of this limited-time offer



IMPORTANT: The page and password are exclusive for readers of EMSolutions, so do not register through the site registration page or you won't get the discounted rate!
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L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the March issue of Emergency Management Solutions.


Part of my job at FEMA was dealing with disasters in the Pacific Trust Territories. It's challenging when your population is scattered over thousand of miles of ocean, many on islands where ships cannot dock or aircraft land. So I've been following with great interest the relief operations in Vanuata near New Zealand in response to Cyclone Pam. It's a reminder that while we face different challenges, our job is the same the world over.


One of the frequent requests I get at conferences is advice on becoming a consultant. While I'm always glad to help, there's more to it than I can cover in a brief session. For the past few years I've been working on a membership site to help provide more detailed information and encourage my colleagues to help each other. Check out my new site at Consulting Transitions and see the article in the lower left corner of this newsletter for a special offer.



Lucien Canton  


Featured Article

Defusing Conflict with a Simple Phrase 

Don't threaten-solve the problem!


In my February newsletter, I wrote a very short article about how you could deal with difficult people by asking yourself, "At what level do I want this resolved?" This phrase is actually a very powerful tool for resolving conflicts if you turn it into a question to the other person. It offers a simple, non-threatening way to overcome the resistance that can frequently occur in dealing with crisis. 

The Concept

In my experience, conflict arises primarily because the person you're dealing with either has no interest in helping you or does not have sufficient authority to help you. The problem is that they don't often tell you their reasons for resisting your request and instead come across as unwilling to help or overtly hostile. Regardless, they pose an obstacle to getting things done.  






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 


Upcoming Education Opportunities


National Hurricane Conference

March 30-April 2, Austin, TX

The primary goal of the National Hurricane Conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific. In addition, the conference serves as a national forum for federal, state and local officials to exchange ideas and recommend new policies to improve Emergency Management. 


Managing Fire, Understanding Ourselves: Ā Human Dimensions in Safety and Wildland Fire

April 20-24, Boise, ID

Over the past decade fire researchers and practitioners have developed a significant body of knowledge about many social aspects of fire management. This conference will provide participants with an opportunity to present, discuss, and learn about the latest research findings, management innovations, and best practices in the US and elsewhere. 


17th Annual Emergency Management Higher Education Symposium

June 1-4, Emmitsburg, MD

The annual Emergency Management Higher Education Program Symposiums bring together academics representing colleges and universities with emergency management programs to discuss the needs of potential course users and emergency management degree program developers, as well as general items of interest pertaining to hazards, disaster and emergency management higher education.The primary purpose of the Symposium is to encourage and support inter-school dialogue on a variety of issues and problems related to hazard, disaster, and emergency management higher education, as well as to facilitate direct dialogue between the Emergency Management Higher Education Program and representatives of colleges and universities. 

Life Balance  


It Only Costs A Little More to Go First Class!


"It only costs a little more to go first class." was one of the favorite sayings of the First Sergeant of the company to which I was initially assigned many years ago. If you do any traveling, you know that this is not strictly true but Top wasn't talking about flying. What he meant was that it only took a bit more effort to turn a good job into a great one.


We're not talking perfection here. In our line of work, we seldom have the time to bake the cake, let alone put icing on it. My guru, Alan Weiss, frequently says, "When you're 80% ready, go!" Sometimes that extra 20% isn't worth the effort to achieve it.


So how do we go "first class" when we know we're only going to be 80% complete? The answer is in attention to detail, to what's important in the project. Fancy graphic design isn't as important as the information you've put together. That 80% needs to have everything you need for success. It takes a bit of effort to do that.


My old First Sergeant was all about getting the job done and done right, not about making it pretty. That was his definition of "going first class." 

From the Bookshelf  
Earthquakes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Seismic Disruptions

Jelle Zeilinga de Boer and Donald Theodore Sanders

In my December newsletter, I profiled a book by these authors that covered volcanoes in human history. This companion book takes on the subject of earthquakes in the same interesting and accessible style.

These books grew out of a series of lectures intended to convince liberal arts students that science is not "bloodless" and that who we are as humans can be understood by how we are affected by disaster. As such, the books are excellent in putting disasters into the context of human experience.

In this current volume, the authors use the same approach as in their book on volcanoes. Each chapter focuses on an earthquake prone region or specific event and begins with a discussion o the seismocity involved. This is then followed by a summary of the event and the impact on the victims. Two United States earthquakes are studied: the 1811 New Madrid earthquake and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires. But the book also covers some unexpected ground in early history: earthquakes in the Holy Land and their influence on the Bible, the earthquake that caused the collapse of Sparta, and the effect of earthquakes on Elizabethan literature.

If you're looking for an interesting and informative read, definitely check this one out.


Interested in more books on emergency management and related topics?
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 

Book now for the summer and fall!

©Lucien G. Canton 2015. 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