Emergency Management Solutions


Volume 7 No. 5                                                                                              May 2015

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

Monthly Video 

The Hindenburg Disaster

On May 6, 1937 the Hindenburg, the largest dirigible every built, burst into flames while landing at Lakehurst, NJ. Thirty six people, mainly crewmen, were killed but, amazingly, over 62 others survived the fiery crash. A news crew covering the arrival managed to obtain the dramatic footage seen here. Following the disaster, public interest in lighter-than-air transport declined rapidly.
Blog Highlights  

Canton blog masthead
Visit My Blog

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


Farewell to Roy KIte, emergency manager, mentor and friend. ...»



Nepal may seem a world away but emergency planners face the same problems wherever they are....»



The California PUC wants to reward people who save electricity with higher rates. Do they really think this is going to encourage future conservation?...»


Visit my blog 


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.



The decision to issue a warning to the public is never an easy one. I have written elsewhere about one of the most common reasons for failing to issue timely warnings: the fear of creating public panic.  ...»


My friend and colleague, Bob Jaffin, has suggested that the difference between emergency management and homeland security is the one of focus. Homeland security tends to focus on external threats while emergency managers primarily focus on the communities we serve....»



One of the hallmarks of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 was the extensive use of social media to exchange information. Technology is changing how emergency managers interact with the public in dramatic ways....»


Visit my blog


Each of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership has six behaviors associated with them. By measuring the frequency of these thirty behaviors we can identify those areas where a leader can improve by increasing the frequency of those key behaviors. This is the purpose of the Leadership Practices Inventory, a 360 assessment that incorporates the leader's self-assessment and the assessments of coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates.


The LPI is not a measure of leadership. Instead, it measures the frequency of behaviors common to successful leaders. The results of the LPI are used to create an improvement plan to help increase the frequency of those behaviors.


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

Free Resource Guide for Solo Consultants


For solo consultants, true wealth is discretionary time. Don't waste yours on simple tasks that can be handled by technology. This free resource guide reveals the four essential online tools I use to manage my solo consulting practice and save hours of valuable time. And the best part is - they're free!




Join My Mailing List
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the May issue of Emergency Management Solutions.


This month saw the passing of my friend and mentor, Roy Kite. It was Roy who recruited me for FEMA and started my career in emergency management. You can find out more about Roy in my blog article "The Last Musketeer."


Another loss to our profession is the recent death of Joe Scanlon, formerly of Carleton University's School of Journalism. Although a journalist by profession, Joe was heavily involved in emergency management research for over 30 years and was considered one of the leading experts on disasters, particularly in the area of mass casualties and the treatment of human remains. You can find out more about Joe at his profile page on Carleton University's website.




Lucien Canton  


Featured Article

Playing Politics

3 Political skills you must master

For many emergency managers, politics are anathema. We believe that our focus should be solely on our work and that the compromises involved in politics should not affect our ability to deliver services to those who need them. Politics is seen as something vaguely dirty and distasteful and has nothing to do with emergency management.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The simple fact is that much of what we do, from the authorities we use to the budgets that fund our programs, is rooted in politics. To be truly successful, you have to understand how the political process works and how to influence it. 






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 


Continuing Education Builds Your Skill Set


One of the requirements for the Certified Emergency Manager designation is for education in non-emergency management subjects. This is also a requirement for re-certification. Ever wonder why we need continuing education in subjects not related to our discipline?

The answer is that as generalists, there is very little knowledge that cannot be useful to us in some way. The continuing education requirement is a mechanism to help us learn new skills and improve existing ones.

For example, are you wrestling with your annual budget? Take a course in budgeting or accounting. Don't understand the political process in your community? Study public administration. Unsure about previous disasters in your community? There are history courses that can teach the research skills necessary to find the answers.

There are countless other opportunities: public speaking, leadership, psychology - the list is endless. This is not just a requirement for certification; it's an opportunity for personal improvement that has significant professional benefits.


Upcoming Educational Opportunities


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. 


July 19-22, Broomfield, CO

The Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop is designed to bring researchers and practitioners from many disciplines together for face-to-face discussions on how society deals with hazards and disasters.


International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference

November 13-18, Clark County, NV

The IAEM Annual Conference provides a forum to discuss current trends and topics, share information about the latest tools and technology in emergency management and homeland security, and advance the work of IAEM. Conference sessions encourage stakeholders at all levels of government, the private sector, public health and related professions to exchange ideas and collaborate to protect lives and property from disaster.


Life Balance  


Keeping Fit Is Job-related


Emergency managers are not known for healthy lifestyle choices. We spend way to much time living on the edge, miss meals, suffer from chronic fatigue, and drink too much coffee. It usually takes some significant medical event for us to make any changes to our lifestyles.


I'm not going to harp on the benefits of keeping fit. I'm not a fitness nut by any stretch of the imagination. I've been there myself and I know I avoided exercise and healthy eating as much as anyone. However, we're of no use to anyone if we can't go the distance in a crisis, so think of it as job-related.


You need to consider fitness from two angles. One is your personal fitness and you're on your own there. If you need me to tell you about diet and exercise, I can refer  you to a good wellness consultant.


The other angle involves planning for extended operations. I love pizza as much as the next guy, but it's not exactly the meal of choice for people working extended hours under pressure. Meals, Ready to Eat (MRE's) are also not a great choice (very high in sodium, and calories). Plan for healthy snacks and real meals in your emergency operations center. Make sure people keep hydrated and take occasional breaks. Enforce shift schedules.


Remember, any one can gut it out for 24 hours or so. But what are you going to do by day three when your EOC is staffed by zombies?

From the Bookshelf  

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America
by John M. Barry

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 still ranks as the most destructive flood in US history, inundating 27,000 square miles to a depth of 30 feet, doing $400 million in damages, and killing 246 people.

John Barry's book tells the story of the disaster but goes much deeper to describe the social and historical context that led up to the flood. Barry begins by tracing the history of flood control measures on the Mississippi and the debate over the controversial use of levees. The book focuses principally on the events in Mississippi and New Orleans and Barry paints a picture of the social attitudes of the time and an economic system that relied on black sharecroppers.

Of particular interest to emergency managers is Barry's account of the flood itself and the response that saw the first use of a coordinated federal relief effort. More importantly, Barry traces the long term impact of the disaster, showing how it led to major population shifts and affected presidential politics.

Barry's writing makes the book easily accessible and the wealth of detail is fascinating and holds the reader's interest. Definitely worth the read.


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 

August 18-20 Jacksonville State University EM Doctoral Program,  Jacksonville, AL

©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