Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 12 No. 1                                                                          January 2020

In This Issue
Exploring Emergency Management & Homeland Security
Bernstein Crisis Management
Blog Highlights
Featured Article
Professional Development
From the Bookshelf
Speaker's Corner
Exploring Emergency Management & Homeland Security
Public-Private Partnerships Should be a Two-Way Relationship
by Timothy (Tim) Riecker

Public-private partnerships are not a new concept to emergency management. There are municipalities, regional areas, and states that have formed committees and strategized how the private sector can provide support during a disaster. Certainly we have seen a lot of support, on both a large scale and locally, from the 'big box' stores, such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, and Home Depot. Tide's Loads of Hope program, something so simple but extraordinarily impactful, provides a means for disaster victims to have clean clothing. Insurance companies have established a response capability to expedite their assessments and services to their clients. Private sector partners know that these things are not just good public relations, but that they have a means of supporting communities that government and relief organizations may not.
There is another aspect to public-private partnerships that doesn't seem to be widely addressed, and that's the community business. How can they help the community in a disaster? First, business continuity is essential, since they may also be impacted by the disaster. Small businesses don't have the level of capability to leverage that large companies do. Yes, the SBA can help them with long-term recovery, but the ability of some small businesses to get back to operations quickly can directly help a community recover. I work with a lot of small communities, many of them serviced by small shops and independent grocers. There are no big box stores for many, many miles. For grocers, power outages result in spoiled food. Road closures result in crippling supply chain problems. While we'd like all businesses to have mitigation measures and preparedness for disasters, many small businesses simply don't have the capitol to invest in things like generators and they obviously can't control road closures.
What's to be done? Local municipalities absolutely need to bring these small business owners to the table, establish relationships, identify their needs, and consider identifying them as part of the community's critical infrastructure. The resilience of small grocers, lumber companies, and other purveyors is essential to the resilience and recovery of so many small towns. The impacts are easy to see... if a store can keep running, they are not only providing essential goods and services to the community, they are also supporting the economy by keeping their employees working. What do they need? Things like power and access, obviously, but tangential things like the availability of child care is huge. Following disasters schools usually close and often become community shelters. Many parents work when their kids are in school. If school is closed, they need access to child care.



© 2019 -  Timothy Riecker

Tim Reicker is a founding member, partner and principal consultant with Emergency Preparedness Solutions, LLC, a private consulting firm serving government, businesses, and not for profit organizations in various aspects of emergency and disaster preparedness.

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Bernstein Crisis Management
A Different Take On Peloton's PR
by Erik Bernstein

Y ou've undoubtedly already seen coverage related to Peloton, maker of high end exercise bikes and treadmills, becoming the first brand to draw the internet's ire in the 2019 holiday season. While pundits have been furiously drawing lines in the sand for debates over whether the brand truly made an offensive ad or the real offense is how furiously social media users eat up any opportunity to become outraged today, we have a bit of a different take. In fact, we won't be revealing whether we thought the ad was A-OK or awfully offensive at all because, well, that's not really what this blog is about. Instead, let's talk about something we hold near and dear - crisis management! Of course if you haven't seen the ad yet, take a peek:
What struck me in reading about the fallout from this ad was that it seemed so...predictable. As with most high end products, the folks at Peloton clearly know their brand and they know their customer base. What they also should have known is that some people wouldn't love the ad they were creating. After all, in a time when topics like body image and sexism are often triggers for intense debate, wouldn't it be wise for any brand in the fitness industry to analyze their communications through the lens of someone with strong feelings about those issues?
While some might say the answer is to never put out any communication with potential to create offense I tend to disagree. Obviously you don't deliberately attack or inflame with the things you put out, but as the old adage goes, "You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time." If you want to share your message in a way that truly speaks to the intended recipients but also has a chance to ruffle some feathers then you need two things first:
  1. An acute awareness that you're likely to spark a bit of "outrage", and;
  2. A plan for how to communicate about the situation.


© 2019 - Erik Bernstein

Erik Bernstein is Vice President of Bernstein Crisis Management, a specialized firm dedicated to providing holistic strategies for managing crisis situations.

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Featured Video
HOLDING WATER The social impact of the diversion of the São Francisco river in the Cariri Paraiban
The social impact of the diversion of the São Francisco river in the Cariri Paraiban

The documentary depicts the positive and negative impacts of the São Francisco Inter-Basin Water Transfer, the biggest water infrastructure in Latin America. This mega-infrastructure project was designed to provide water security for more than 12 million people living in one of the poorest and driest regions of Brazil. Through this documentary, Dr. Flavio Lopes Ribeiro hopes to give a voice to the local population impacted by the water transfer and encourage viewers to consider the political or social issues that facilitate or hinder people's access to safe drinking water. 
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.  

Water is an absolute essential for disaster survival but there are numerous barriers to properly storing it. A new company offers a potential solution.
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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.


Crisis management is a strategic function that is usually the province of senior leaders. But the skill set emergency managers offer can add value to an organization's crisis response.

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L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the January edition of  E mergency Management Solutions .
  I frequently joke about the "disaster flavor of the month," an event that captures the attention of the public to the exclusion of all other hazards. We are seeing that now with the outbreak of a new coronavirus in China. Here in San Francisco, we're seeing cancelled flights and a run on masks. along with multiple newscasts and press conferences.
It is, of course, prudent for us to review pandemic response plans and to prepare for the worst. It's what we do. However, as emergency managers we do not have the luxury of focusing on a single hazard; we must constantly be planning and preparing for a broad spectrum of potential events. We need to stay focused on the broader mission and not let the media and the public drive our planning.


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

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Has PowerPoint Had Its Day?

A Bad Tool or a Misused One?

Like the comedian Rodney Dangerfield, it seems that PowerPoint "don't get no respect" these days. From academics to business executives, it seems as if no one has anything good to say about the program. Yet by one estimate there are over 30 million PowerPoint presentations being given each day worldwide. Surely, they can't all be a waste of time.
There are certainly some powerful advocates for eliminating PowerPoint. Both Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Jack Dorsey of Twitter have banned its use in meetings in favor of written documents. Bezos has staff read a written briefing paper at the start of a meeting while Dorsey uses a group session to edit a Google doc. Tony Robbins doesn't use PowerPoint; his presentations revolve around fill-in-the-blank workbooks.
Academics like Edward Tufte have pointed out the weaknesses of PowerPoint as a medium for conveying technical information. Tufte identifies the need to both identify the presenter's story and to determine the presenter's credibility, neither of which can be done without more data than can be conveyed in a PowerPoint Slide.


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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.

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Professional Development

My colleague, Regina Phelps, recently gave webinar on the coronavirus outbreak that contained a lot of good information on what we should be considering as we review our crisis management and pandemic/infectious disease plans. Among her many practical ideas were suggestions for building situation awareness and the need to focus on specific impacts on your organization. You can find here slide presentation at  https://drj.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/DRJWebinar_2019nCoV-Coronavirus-_v1r3_20200130.pdf

Call for Speakers

2020 Hi Ed symposium  Call for Submissions will be opening Feb. 3 with a March 1 deadline. A webinar, explaining how to complete the submission form, how detailed the information should be is scheduled for February 4.
IAEM 68th Annual Conference & EMEX IAEM invites all interested in presenting to the emergency management professional to submit for one of the many coveted breakout speaking slots at the premiere event for emergency management. Deadline is 
Thursday, February 13, 2020 at 11:59:59 PM CST. View the webinar Tips For a Successful Speaker Proposal.

Professional Development Opportunities

June 1-4, 2020
Emmitsburg, MD
The 2020 symposium theme is "Imagination, Improvisation, and Innovation in Emergency Management Education."
International Association of Emergency Managers Annual Conference
Nov. 13-18, 2020
Long Beach, California
The goal of the IAEM Annual Conference is to improve knowledge, competency level and collaborative skills. IAEM accomplishes this by attracting relevant high-profile speakers to address current topics and practical solutions.

From the Bookshelf
The Sympathetic State: Disaster Relief and the Origins of the American Welfare State
By Michele Landis Dauber

Emergency managers like to think that we are somehow divorced from politics. However, disaster relief is at at its heart a political construct and has a much broader influence on government policy than we realize.
In this fascinating book, Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber traces the history of disaster relief in the United States from colonial times and demonstrates how reoccurring themes were used to build precedent that would eventually lead to the New Deal by defining the conditions of the depression as a disaster.
The book is not a historical study but a political one and can be tough going at times. However, Dauber's style is very readable and holds your interest. Many of the political arguments are the same we still wrestled with today: how do we define disaster? What constitutes eligibility? What is the government's role in disaster relief?
If you want a deeper understanding of how our disaster beauracracy and disaster relief policies evolved, The Sympathetic State is essential reading.


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

This book looks at the larger context within which emergency management response occurs, and stresses the development of a program to address a wide range of issues. Not limited to traditional emergency response to natural disasters, it addresses a conceptual model capable of integrating multiple disciplines and dealing with unexpected emergencies.

Save 20%!

By special arrangement with my publisher, readers of Emergency Management Solutions can save 20% when ordering directly from Wiley.com. Just click on the image to the right to be taken directly to the order page and enter the code  VBR13 at check out to get your discount.
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 

Emergency Preparedness & Response Master Class
BLR Safety Summit
Indianapolis, IN
April 5, 2020

©Lucien G. Canton 2020. All rights reserved.


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ISSN: 2334-590X