Emergency Management Solutions


Volume 7 No. 8                                                                                           August 2015

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

Featured Video 

Mega Drought
Mega Drought

While I'm not a huge fan of the History Channel and it's "Mega Disaster" series, they can spark thinking about low frequency/high consequence events. With California in it's fourth year of drought and the effects of climate changing making future droughts highly likely, this is one problem that demands our immediate attention at the national level.
Blog Highlights  

Canton blog masthead

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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.  


It's time to stop the mob attack on a single hunter and actually take some constructive action to stop the trophy trade....»



With dire predictions of massive earthquakes, floods, and a new ice age are we all doomed?...»

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If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.

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.

A fundamental expectation for emergency planning is that our plans encompass all the people we serve. It is a laudable goal but we sometimes fall short...»

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If you are having trouble accessing these articles, go directly to the blog by clicking either the logo or the green "Visit my blog" button.
Good Leaders Take Risks
Good leaders are never content with the status quo. They seek to seize the initiative and are constantly looking for innovative ways to improve.
More importantly, they transmit this to the people they lead by encouraging risk-taking and experimenting with small wins. They learn from experience and are not afraid to alter course.
Research shows that leaders that challenge the process are 40% more effective and that their constituents feel 25-35% more engaged.
Challenge the Process is the third 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
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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!




L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the August issue of Emergency Management Solutions.


One of the things I always encourage colleagues to do is to share our expertise with the academic community. I had the pleasure this month of doing exactly that with a visit to Jacksonville State University where I had the privilege of addressing a group of graduate students seeking a PhD in emergency management. As is always the case when I do things like this, I think I learned more than the students did.



Lucien Canton  


Featured Article
Simplify Your Planning
"Doorstop plans" are a waste of time

Research shows that few people read plans during a time of crisis. So why do we commit our limited resources to great massive documents crammed with details that no one will use or remember when it counts? The answer, sadly is that we write our plans to meet the requirements of others rather than the needs of those who must implement them. We demonstrate our adherence to "guidance" and our commitment to special interest groups by including specific language and annexes rather than actually crafting a response mechanism that will work when needed.

The problem is that, like so much of our emergency management programs, much of our planning has evolved over time to meet the crisis of the month rather than as the result of a systematic approach. While we understand that the relationships we forge during the planning process are more important than the written plan, the emphasis has been on the written plan as the metric for success.


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.

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Professional Development 
Improve Your Public Speaking
The ability to speak persuasively is a core capability in just about any profession. Emergency management is no different. But everyone, even professional speakers, are nervous about speaking in public. It's considered the most common phobia. So how do you overcome your reluctance to speak? 

Speech coach Darren LaCroix is fond of saying that you only need three things to become a good speaker: stage time, stage time, stage time. His point is that the more you actually speak, the better you become at it. So here are three ideas that can help you get more practice time:
  1. The heart of a good speech is a good outline -knowing what you're going to say and in what order. Get into the habit of creating talking points for yourself, even if it's just providing input at a staff meeting.
  2. Prepare your oral reports as if they were presentations: identify your objective, the key points you want to cover, and the call to action you want your listeners to take.
  3. Create a standard talk on preparedness that you can give on a moment's notice. You can delete talking points if you have only a short time or add points for a longer talk. 
Upcoming Educational Opportunities
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  
Stand Up to Criticism
How well do you take criticism? It seems that we're all walking on eggshells these days to avoid inadvertently offending someone. This is particularly the case on social media, where saying the "wrong" thing can make you a target for unsolicited and often insulting comments. Yet, if we are to make progress, at times we must risk offending someone who doesn't agree with us. This is particularly true for emergency managers, who must often serve as the catalyst for change. Future vision is often interpreted as an assault on the status quo and that can breed fear and resistance.

To face criticism, you need to be clear on your personal values. Research has shown that this clarity can make you a more effective leader and increase the engagement of the people who follow you. If criticism forces you to act against your personal values you need to rethink the situation.

Secondly, consider the source of the criticism. Unsolicited criticism seldom is truly beneficial while solicited criticism from friends and peers can be extremely valuable. It's a way of making sure that we are truly going in the right direction. I personally place a higher value on the friend who cares enough to tell me the unpleasant truth than the one that continues to let me go down the wrong path for fear of hurting my feelings.

But here's the thing: as valuable as constructive criticism may be, you're under no obligation to accept the suggestions offered to you. Listen carefully, consider the ideas, and then make a decision based on your values. You won't necessarily be popular but you'll be able to live with yourself much better than just letting the winds of criticism blow you from one side to the other.
From the Bookshelf  

The Red Guide to Recovery - Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors
by Sean M. Scott

We tend to think of "recovery" in macro terms: the restoration of community infrastructure. But what happens on the personal level? When the fires are out, the flood waters recede, and the fire trucks leave, what happens to the individual homeowner? To whom can they turn for advice in dealing with the biggest crisis of their lives?

This where the The Red Guide to Recovery comes in. Written by a 32 year veteran of the construction and restoration industry, the book is a step-by-step blueprint for personal recovery. Author Sean Scott highlights the pitfalls and scams a homeowner can face in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and offers practical advice for understanding and navigating the intricacies of insurance policies, hiring a contractor, and staying safe.

Of particular note to emergency managers is that the book can be customized to your jurisdiction and organization, making it a valuable public outreach tool. Several major fire departments across the US have purchased the book as a handout to the victims of residential fires. You can find out more about this service at http://www.theredguidetorecovery.com/

This is one book that should be in every homeowner's disaster kit.


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 

September 10 Practical PreparednessBurlingame Lions Club, Burlingame, CA

©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