Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 10 No. 2                                                                                 February 2018

In This Issue
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 Black Sea Flood - Top 10 Natural Disasters
The Black Sea Flood - Top 10 Natural Disasters

This is a summary of the theory that the formation of the Black Sea in prehistoric times may have been a catastrophic event that gave rise to flood mythology such as the Legend of Gilgamesh and to the story of Noah in the Bible. The evidence seems strong but like many theories, is still contested. However, it does suggest that disasters have had a significant influence on history.
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.  

As in common in many disasters, the California Legislature is considering legislation to improve perceived problems arising from the recent Wine Country Fires. But will their good intentions be enough to overcome obstacles to improvement?

Visit my blog 

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.

Over a half century of research shows that people do not panic in a disaster. So why do we keep using public panic as an excuse for failing to provide adequate warning?

Visit my blog

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.
Leadership Coaching

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.
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 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.

Visit my blog
Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the February edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

As I write this, there's snow falling in the Vatican and Dublin, Ireland, is expecting 6 inches of snow. Here in San Francisco we've been experiencing extremely cold (well, for us) temperatures and looking forward to a major rainfall. It seems that the weather patterns have gone crazy.

What that means to us as emergency managers is that we need to be prepared for the unexpected. A dusting of snow in San Francisco is an excuse for a holiday. Six inches would bring everything to a halt as we have no snow removal equipment. Could we cope?

How about you? What surprises could unexpected weather bring to you? Could you cope?


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article
_ ________________________________________________

The Wine Country Fires

A Case Study in Notification 
and Warning

On October 8, 2017, a series of wildfires, collectively referred to as the "Wine Country Fires" broke out in Northern California, killing 25 people, destroying 5,000 structures, and forcing the evacuation of over 100,000. One of the criticisms leveled at responders was that public notification and warning were inadequate. This was particularly true in Sonoma County where the local emergency management office was criticized for the decision not to activate the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system that is a component of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).

At the request of the County, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services was asked to perform an independent assessment of Sonoma County's emergency alert and notification system. The recently released report of the assessment team identified six gaps in the County's warning program that I believe are applicable to many similar programs and therefore worth reviewing.


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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
PrepTalks Symposium

FEMA, in partnership with the International Association of Emergency Managers, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Homeland Security Consortium, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security, has released the first two in a series of eight videos in the PrepTalks Symposium. According to FEMA's press release, 

PrepTalks are 15-to-20-minute presentations by subject-matter experts and national and international thought leaders, designed to spread new ideas, spark conversation, and promote innovative leadership for the issues confronting emergency managers now, and over the next 20 years.

If the first two videos are any indication, PrepTalks is going to be an exciting series. The first video features Dr. Dennis Mileti on "Modernizing Public Warning Messaging" in which he discusses research on how to design and disseminate alerts and warning information that encourage public action. I've heard Dr. Mileti speak on this subject several times and what he says will change how you think about warnings.

The second video features John Barry speaking on "The Next Pandemic: Lessons From History" in which he discusses lessons learned from the 1918 and the 2009 influenza pandemics. Barry is the author of The Great Influenza: the story of the deadliest pandemic in history, considered one of the best books on the 1918 pandemic.

Other videos in the series include:
  • Social Capital in Disaster Mitigation and Recovery - Dr. Daniel Aldrich
  • Rapid Mapping of Potential Hazard Exposure - Dr. Robert Chen
  • Land Use Planning for Community Resilience - Dr. Philip Berke
  • Disaster Risk in Developing Countries - Francis Ghesquire
  • The Unthinkable: Lessons from Survivors - Amanda Ripley
  • Financial Literacy (April is Financial Literacy Month) - John Hope Bryant 
You can find out more about the series on the FEMA website at www.FEMA.gov/PrepTalks.
Life Balance
Traveling Light

In the pilot episode for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a group of aliens for whom time is not linear, ask the protagonist, Captain Benjamin Sisko, "Why do you choose to be here?" They are referring to Sisko's preoccupation with his wife's death and are confused by his desire to remain in such a painful time. It is only when he comes to terms with that incident from his past that he can move on.

This is not unusual. I have two friends who are obsessed with the death of their mothers years ago. I'm not talking about the normal grief we feel for our departed loved ones but an obsession that causes friends to roll their eyes and implies that they are the only ones who have ever lost someone they love.

And it's not just about grief. I once worked with two colleagues who had never gotten over a disagreement they had had in the military some twenty years before.

The things we carry through life can help us or hinder us. They have a powerful influence over how we interact with others. Incidents from our youth in many ways make us the adults we are. But it's one thing to remember and learn and quite another to obsess and let an incident from years ago cloud our judgement.

Our journey through life is a lot easier if you don't carry a lot of baggage. Learn to travel light.
From the Bookshelf
Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event that Changed History
By William Ryan and Walter Pitman

How widespread are the effects of a major catastrophe? Can the become the basis of myth and legend? These are the questions that oceanographers Ryan and Pitman set out to answer.

Noting the similarities between the flood recounted in the Bible and myths from other cultures such as the legend of Gilgamesh, Ryan and Pitman speculated that the these stories may have had their origin in a major flood that created the Black Sea. To confirm their hypothesis, the pair spent years gathering core samples from around the world and working with other scientists in related disciplines such as archaeology.

The result is a detective story that spans years and continents and in the end is very persuasive. Parts of the book are a bit heavy going as it covers the research in sometimes excruciating detail but the result is a fascinating look at how a major catastrophe can have impacts that result not only in geological changes but can alter civilizations.


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 2018!

©Lucien G. Canton 2018. 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