Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 9 No. 1                                                                                      January 2017

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
High Risk/Low Frequency Events
High Risk/Low Frequency Events

In the world of risk management, Gordon Graham is a legend as anyone who has heard one of his presentations can attest. In this excerpt from one of his seminars, he talks about why high risk/low frequency events are where we should focus our planning and training efforts. While he's addressing fire fighters, his concepts are universal and well worth hearing.
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.  

There's an old fable that speaks of a king who summoned his wise men and tasked them to gather all the world's wisdom in one place. After many years, they created a magnificent library housing the sum of all knowledge.

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.

In addressing the issues of women in disasters, we sometimes focus too much on vulnerabilities rather than need.

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.
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.

Visit my blog
Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the January edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

I'm sure you've heard the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." Whether this is apocryphal or not really doesn't matter. There's no question that we are living in interesting times. But if you study history, humanity has spent almost all its existence living in interesting times.

One of the things that we must continue to acknowledge is that, regardless of our personal political beliefs, our commitment to the relief of the suffering caused by disasters does not change. We'll see changes in strategy and budgets just as we always do. We'll argue about the direction we need to take and the roles our organizations will play. But in the end, we'll do what we've always done: meet the challenge of disaster relief with all the resources we can bring to bear.

My old friend, Hank Renteria once said, "Emergency Management is not what you do; it's who you are." His words have always stayed with me as the standard for our profession. 

Interesting times or not, may the new year bring you joy, happiness, and fulfillment.


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

Battling Lazy-based Budgeting

Five Ways to Protect Your Budget

It's that time of year when many of us are wrestling with budgets and it seems that we are always dealing with reduced funding. This has become the norm and it's a wonder that we have any budget left. But many of these reductions can be traced to what I call "lazy-based budgeting." Lazy-based budgeting is the reliance on formulas and across-the-board reductions rather than on actually setting budget priorities.

It's understandable why budget managers do this. There is a desire to simplify the budget process and to give the appearance of fairness in allocating budget cuts. But the results are not equal and can have a severe impact on small organizations such as emergency management offices.



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
Keeping Current - Part 2

Last month I shared some of the blogs of some of the experts I follow to keep current on various topics related to emergency management. This month I'm focusing on academic resources that can help you dig deeper into the theories and research related to emergency management.

Journal of Emergency Management - JEM is a peer reviewed journal published bi-monthly and devoted to research on emergency management topics. The cost is a bit steep at $255 but this gives you online access to articles as well as the hard copy. There is also a very attractive rate for students. It may be worth considering a corporate subscription for your emergency management office. (I am on the editorial board for this publication)


Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management - JHSEM is an online, peer reviewed journal for research related to emergency management. It allows publishes opinion pieces, book reviews, and news articles. Unfortunately, it's not free but the online cost is extremely reasonable for an academic journal of this quality, around $75. (I am on the editorial board for this publication)


International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters - IJMED is the official journal of the International Research Committee on Disasters, a committee under the 

International Sociological Association. IJMED focuses on the social and behavioral aspects of relatively sudden collective stress situations typically referred to as disasters or mass emergencies. Online subscriptions are extremely reasonable at $35. However, what makes the journal unique is that to increase dissemination of scholarly research on disasters to other disciplines and, especially, to scholars in developing countries, back issues (older than three years) are available free of charge.


Natural Hazards Center - The Center a national and international clearinghouse of knowledge concerning the social science and policy aspects of disasters. It collects and shares research and experience related to disasters, emphasizing the link between hazards mitigation and sustainability. The Center offers three free publications, National Hazards Observer, Natural Hazards Review, and Disaster Research, and free access to quick response reports on disasters.


Disaster Research Center - The DRC was the first social science research center in the world devoted to the study of disasters. It houses the E. L. Quarantelli Resource Collection contains the world's most complete collection on the social and behavioral science aspects of disasters, numbering more than 70,000 items. You can access a large amount of the DRC's research online. They also house the EMForum.org Webinar Archives.

Life Balance
Tobin's Final Meandering...Thoughts to Move Forward in 2017

This month's column is by my friend and colleague Rick Tobin. Last month I wrote about the importance of small wins. Rick's article offers suggestions on how to apply this concept to daily life.

I will not make predictions for next year like quake activity in Rome, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and Haiti, and a volcanic eruption of great size in Hawaii. Nope, I am not going to get into those kinds of discussions any longer. I'm out of that business. For instance, predicting that the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packer's game will be the highlight of the entire football season...far more interesting than the pabulum of the Super Bowl. No...no more visions of the future past.

Before I go onto my meandering, which at the end of the year dribbles all over the Internet, let me just add the same idea I've passed on to many of my friends and relatives the last year. It is time to forge ahead without focusing on world events for which we have little to no influence to change. We can, however, be change forces in the world directly around us. Here are some humble examples from me that demonstrate the good you can do, just in your brief sphere of influence.
  1. When I take our rescue dog, Bella, for a walk at our apartment complex, I make sure that children (and some adults) get the chance to pet her. She is so gentle. Most of the people in my complex cannot afford or know how to take care of a large dog. Many are refugees from other countries where having such a pet is uncommon. It gives the kids a thrill and I often have to stop as I hear cries of "Bella, Bella!" echo across the streets. Of course, they don't know my name, but the dog, yes, that gives them a bit of joy in their troubled lives. I also help these kids fix their toys...like skates and bikes, since many of their parents have no tools or repair skills.
  2. I take care to feed and watch over some of the feral cats that have been dumped here, and even work to rescue some of the dogs that have also been dumped, when I can catch them. I can't do much, but I can do a little.
  3. When I shop or go to business places, I try to lighten each person I greet with a little pun or humor to give them a breather from the gloom. Yes, some don't like it (can't blame them). But, many times, I see a person a little bit happier, even if just for a moment. It costs me nothing but a little time...and sometimes a quick turn of phrase.
  4. Although I do let people know when I don't approve of their bad behavior (you wouldn't want to ride with me during heavy traffic hours), I also go out of my way to lavish praise on those who are doing things right, especially if they are going out of their way to perform their jobs. I let their bosses know, as well. It just costs me a little time, but it could make all the difference in their career path.
  5. When new neighbors move in, I engage them and introduce myself. I offer them support, when I can, to move in or find information about our area. Those directly above us also get some homemade dessert I cook up as a welcome gift. I also tell them about the solutions I've found to cheaply, effectively and safely deal with the giant roach infestation here. On occasion, I've been able to give rides to residents who missed their buses or have no alternative to get them to a store or doctor's appointment.
Now, do those actions change the war in Syria, the inner-city racial tensions, the loss of jobs in the Rust Belt or the battles over Global Warming? Nope. However, they make small ripples that might just make living in this community a bit brighter. Each of us can do this. Remember the old song, "If everyone would light just one little candle what a bright world this would be."

And, on that thought, I'm going to stop my final meander instead of going into all those other distracting topics I find scattered about the Net. It is time to refocus in 2017...get away from the noise and clatter...to blunder bravely into a new world of our own making, instead of being led by the nose.

I wish you all to find your peace and joy for the years ahead. May your candle burn bright and stay secure through breeze and shadow. This is my final written meandering. May your wanderings be pleasant and productive.

Rick Tobin © 2016
Used with permission
From the Bookshelf
Cyber Breach: What if your defenses fail? Designing an exercise to map a ready strategy
by Regina Phelps

Regina Phelps previous book, Emergency Management Exercises, rapidly became a best seller because of it clear, step-by-step process for developing exercises. In this new book, she tackles the issue of developing a cyber breach exercise.

There's no argument that the risk of a cyber breach increases daily. At the same time, emergency planners often lack sufficient knowledge to craft exercises to test plans and strategies related to cyber security. Phelps book helps bridge this gap. 

The book is not a primer on cyber breach or cyber security. Rather it shows how to adapt proven exercise techniques to the unique demands of a cyber security exercise. While the basic exercise design concepts in this book are familiar and well covered in her previous book, it is this focus on the differences between traditional exercises and cyber security exercises that makes the book valuable. For example, Phelps points out the need to have two Exercise Design Teams, one focused exclusively on IT/Information Security to develop the narrative and timeline that precedes the exercise.

At half the price of her previous book, Cyber Breach is a bargain and worthy of a place on your bookshelf.

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 2017

©Lucien G. Canton 2017. 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