Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 9 No. 11                                                                    November/December 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
Post-Disaster Violence Against Women
Post-Disaster Violence Against Women

This podcast discusses an issue that we seldom talk about: the increase in violence of all types against women following disaster. The statistics and research findings covered in the podcast are shocking. For example, New Orleans saw a 95% increase in sexual assault over the seven months following Hurricane Katrina. The message for us as emergency planners is the need for rethinking how we deal with security in shelters and the social issues that arise during recovery.
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.  

In our haste to help disaster victims we can easily become part of the problem or the victim of fraud.

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.

Providing assistance to undocumented immigrants requires overcoming numerous barriers.

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 holiday edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

In many ways, this may well be remembered as the holiday from hell on both a personal and professional note. My state is literally going up in smoke. Having just dealt with the major fires in the North Bay Area, many of the same firefighters are now deployed fighting fires in the southern part of the state. A dry winter isn't helping matters and we are growing concerned that another drought might lie ahead.

Yet there is a reason so many different faiths celebrate this time of year. The Winter Solstice reminds us that no matter how dark and long the night, eventually the days shorten and spring comes again. As long as brave men and women stand between the helpless and disaster, there is hope.

May you take heart from this season and find joy, happiness, and fulfillment in the coming year.


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

Gender and Disasters

Are we fully addressing all needs in our planning?

Some years ago, I attended a session on women in disasters. I'm not sure what I was expecting but I know I wasn't taking the subject too seriously. That changed very quickly. As an emergency planner, I was appalled at the gaps in our planning. The issues we neglected ranged from basic issues such as the failure to include feminine hygiene products and infant formula in our logistics supply chain to issues of safety within shelters. It changed my approach to planning.


_______________________ ________

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
Take Advantage of EOC Activations

One of the indicators I use for evaluating an emergency management program is the question, "When was the last time you activated your Emergency Operations Center and what was the reason for the activation?" I've found that emergency managers, particularly if they are new to the profession, are hesitant to activate unless there is clear evidence of a disaster. However, unwillingness to commit to activation robs you of three important benefits:
  1. Many disasters are slow-onset. It is sometimes difficult to realize that a disaster is occurring until you've already lost control of the event. Activating in the early stages of an incident positions you to react to escalating circumstances. Further, it brings together a wide range of experienced responders who can better assess the event together than individually.
  2. Activating an EOC is the best way to find flaws in your notification system and procedures for your initial actions. It's different from notifications provided during an exercise that everyone is expecting. A no-notice activation allows you find flaws in your system and the bad information that creeps into notification rosters. In addition, it helps you identify missing resources or problems with standing up the facility.
  3. An activation is an excellent training opportunity. If nothing comes of the event, you can take the opportunity conduct a brief "what-if" tabletop based on the potential for the incident to have affected your community. This provides training on the event and serves as a way to reinforce why you activated the EOC at this stage in the incident.
Never hesitate to activate an EOC if an incident has the potential to escalate. If it does, you are in a good position to respond. If it doesn't, conduct a brief after action review of the activation and a brief tabletop exercise based on the incident. Don't waste the opportunity to train your crisis team.
Life Balance
Taking Care of #1

Emergency managers are used to dealing with crisis. We see it daily and the stress a disaster can place on a person. But what happens when it gets personal? Do we deal well with personal crisis?

By nature, we tend to put our jobs first. We know that people rely on us and the best emergency managers take the job personally. But there is a fine line between being dedicated to the job and being consumed by it. We need to accept that we are not indispensable and take time to take care of ourselves.

Stress can produce both physical and behavioral symptoms. The physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, or low energy can range from mild to serious but is the behavioral symptoms that can affect our interactions with others. Here are some of the behavioral signs of stress:
  • Anxiety.
  • Restlessness.
  • Lack of motivation or focus.
  • Feeling overwhelmed.
  • Irritability or anger.
  • Sadness or depression.
Here are some actions you might consider when you notice these symptoms:
  1. Take time off. Many emergency managers feel that things will fall apart if they take a few days off. They won't. If they do, you need to consider how you train and empower your staff. No staff? Then you'd better plan on what happens if you are suddenly unavailable in a crisis. Either way, recognize that you are not indispensable.
  2. Accept help offered by family and friends. If you are going through a crisis, the people close to you will probably recognize it before you do and are usually anxious to help. It's hard to admit when we need help but sometimes just talking something out with a close friend or spouse can help you feel a lot better.
  3. Take care of your physical needs. Eat, even though you may not feel like it. Exercise and get adequate rest. Avoid self-medicating.
  4. Seek professional help. Sometimes we need the help of an expert which is why bring them in for critical incident stress debriefings. If you feel the need, the resources are usually there if you ask.
Emergency managers are many things, but superhuman is not one of them. If you don't take care of yourself, how can you take care of others?
From the Bookshelf
The Red Guide to Recovery: Resource Handbook for Disaster Survivors
By Sean Scott

When the fires are out and the waters recede, the disaster is just beginning for the homeowner. Faced with the daunting task of rebuilding, homeowners sometimes make ill-informed decisions in dealing with insurance companies and can fall victim to any number of frauds.  This book is designed to help the homeowner deal with these issues.

Author Sean Scott has spent of 32 years in the construction and restoration industry. He reveals the many insurance company standard practices designed to reduce payouts and the fraudulent practices of unscrupulous contractors and public insurance adjusters.

The book is a step-by-step guide on how to rebuild your home. Scott explains common terms in clear, simple words and provides specific guidance on issues such as hazardous materials and the psychological trauma that follows disaster.

Here's the best part. Scott wants to make the book available to disaster survivors at no cost. He works with various organizations to create custom editions unique to your community and bearing your logo. For example, the San Francisco Fire Department leaves a free copy with every homeowner whose home has been damaged by fire. You can find out more on his website  https://www.theredguidetorecovery.com/ 

 This is probably the single most important book for disaster survivors I have encountered and I highly recommend it.


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 2017. All rights reserved.


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ISSN: 2334-590X