Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 8 No. 2                                                                                           February 2016

In This Issue
Featured Video
Blog Highlights
The Leadership Challenge
Consulting Transitions
Featured Article
Professional Development
Life Balance
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner
Join My Mailing List
Featured Video
The Roma Air Crash
The Roma Air Crash
The crash of the Hindenburg on May 6, 1937 is well remembered, partly because of the newsreel footage that captured the airship's last moments. But it was not the first dirigible crash in the United States. Fifteen years earlier, the crash of the Roma killed 34 of a crew of 45 and sparked a national debate about the safety of air travel and the use of hydrogen. The Roma had been built in Italy in 1919 and was purchased by the US Army in 1921. Built for trans-Atlantic crossings, it was the largest airship of it's day,  measuring 410 feet long, 92 feet tall. It was built to carry 100 passengers and cargo at speeds up to 80 miles an hour. On February 21. 1922 took off from Norfolk, VA for a brief demonstration flight. The airship was a unique design that did not use a full rigid skeleton like a zeppelin and shortly into the flight the nose began to deform, forcing the airship into a steep angle that stressed the keel and eventually led to a crash. To make matters worse, the vessel brushed an electrical line, setting off an explosion and fire that completely destroyed the Roma.
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.  


Using smart phones and crowd sourcing, Berkeley scientists may soon be able to provide early warning about severe earthquakes ...


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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

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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.


FEMA has just released the National Planning System, a much anticipated document intended to provide a unified approach and common terminology to all-hazards planning. It's a bit underwhelming...


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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.
The Leadership Challenge
What Is The Leadership Challenge?

Is leadership a learned behavior or an innate personality trait? While there are certainly naturally charismatic individuals who are considered "born leaders", leadership is a measurable set of behaviors that can be learned and taught. This is the conclusion arrived at by researchers Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner after years of rigorous research. Starting in 1982, Kouzes and Posner set out to understand what happened when leaders performed at their personal best. They conducted hundreds of interviews and reviewed hundreds of cases studies and survey questionnaires. What emerged were five fundamental practices common to extraordinary leadership achievements:
  1. Model the Way
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision
  3. Challenge the Process
  4. Enable Others to Act
  5. Encourage the Heart
The Leadership Challenge begins with a 360-degree assessment of thirty leadership behaviors associated with the five practices, the Leadership Practices Inventory. The results are used to identify opportunities for improving as a leader by increasing the frequency of specific behaviors. Based on over thirty years of research, the Leadership Challenge is an effective and practical tool for leadership development.

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
Consulting Transitions
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!

Interested in exploring the world of consulting? My new membership site might be just the resource you need to get started. You'll have access to blogs designed to answer very specific questions, a resource library of templates and articles, the opportunity to network with peers, and discounts on coaching and training programs. Download the free guide or click on the logo above to go straight to the site.

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Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the February issue of Emergency Management Solutions.

February seems a quite month here in San Francisco; we survived the craziness of the Super Bowl without incident and the El Nino storms are pausing before a second onslaught expected in March.

But it's a false calm, as we all know. Across the country my colleagues are dealing with impacts of multiple tornadoes and the threat of more to come. Across the Pacific, relief operations are ongoing in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston in Fiji. In Europe, the refugee crisis continues and in Asia, North Korea is threatening war. I'm often reminded of the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." 


Lucien Canton  
Featured Article

Process versus Content
Group decision making needs structure

Consultant Alan Weiss recently commented that, "A great many of the problems we face are the result of policy decisions poorly made. ... We become immersed in content but pay insufficient attention to process." Weiss' point is that we frequently use a flawed decision making process that fails to consider empirical evidence and is instead influenced by factors such as bias and factionalism.

It strikes me that this can be particularly true for emergency managers. One of the strengths we bring to our role in response is our ability to create ad hoc solutions on the fly. We are encouraged to think creatively and "outside the box." For us, the most important of the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership is always. "Challenge the Process."


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
National Planning System Released

FEMA has just announced the release of the long-awaited National Planning System intended to provide a unified approach and common terminology to all-hazards planning.  

The National Planning System consists of two key elements: the Planning Architecture, which describes the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of planning and planning integration; and the Planning Process, which describes the steps necessary to develop a comprehensive plan.

The Planning Architecture identifies three levels of planning that should look familiar to readers of CPG 101 Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans:
  • Strategic-level planning sets the context and expectations for operational planning.
  • Operational-level planning provides the tasks and resources needed to execute the strategy.
  • Tactical-level planning shows how to apply resources in order to complete the operational tasks within a given time frame.
The Planning Architecture also draws a distinction between deliberate planning done prior to an event and incident action planning.

There are no surprises in the Planning Process either, it's straight out of CPG 101:
  1. Form a Collaborative Planning Team
  2. Understand the Situation
  3. Determine Goals and Objectives
  4. Plan Development
  5. Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval
  6. Plan Implementation and Maintenance
Professional Development Opportunities

New Orleans, Louisiana
March 1-3, 2016 
This conference, previously known as the International Disaster and Conference Expo, will focus on disaster and resiliency in a global environment. Topics include economic resilience, emergency management, coastal restoration and water management, homeland security, and business continuity.

Preparedness Summit
Dallas, Texas
April 19-22
The goal of the Preparedness Summit is to provide a venue where participants are exposed to current information, research findings, and practical tools to enhance the participants' capabilities to plan and prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and other public health emergencies.

July 10-13, 2016
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.
Life Balance
 You Can't Park In Front If You Don't Drive By

Having been raised in San Francisco, I have been trained since the age of fifteen that a parking spot is a prize of great value. Like any big city, parking spots in the City by the Bay are scarce, particularly in the downtown area. If you have to drive instead of using public transportation, you begin searching for a spot blocks away from your destination. If you see one, you grab it. It's built into your DNA.

That wasn't the case with my friend and colleague, the late Ken Chin. Ken's mantra was, "You can't park in front if you don't drive by." He practiced what he preached, insisting that we drive by our destination in the hopes of finding a parking spot close by. He had a surprising rate of success.

Over the years, I came to realize that Ken's mantra wasn't just about parking; it was the secret of his success as an emergency manager. He didn't allow himself to be deterred by conventional wisdom but instead was willing to take risks. He was accepting of new ideas and adapted quickly to new situations.

So the next time you're tempted to follow the herd, consider taking a risk. You just might end up parked in front of your destination.
From the Bookshelf
The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time
by John Kelly
The Black Death was one of the most devastating plagues in history, credited with killing anywhere from 30-60% of Europe's population in the Middle Ages. But it also produced considerable social change: weakening the power of the Catholic Church, devastating the feudal system, and sparking advances in medicine and disease control.

In The Great Mortality author John Kelly tries to capture the social impact of the Black Death by setting it in the context of the times. Drawing on contemporary accounts, Kelly examines the possible origins of the plague and the reasons it spread so rapidly. But more importantly, he looks at the impact it had the communities it affected and why some were more successful in resisting the plague than others. He also looks at the long term impact of the plague and how it changed the medieval world in ways we are still trying to understand.

The Great Mortality is a fascinating and enjoyable read and holds lessons for what we can expect in future pandemics. 


Interested in more books on emergency management and related topics?

Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs
by Lucien G. Canton

Speaker's Corner

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 2016

Lucien G. Canton 2016. All rights reserved.


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ISSN: 2334-590X