Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 9 No. 9                                                                                     September 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
The Allegheny Arsenal Explosion
The Allegheny Arsenal Explosion

On September 17, 1862, a spark, possibly from a horse's shoe, set off a series of black powder explosions that destroyed the Allegheny Arsenal in Pittsburgh, killing 78 workers, most of them young women, some as young as 12.  Fifty four bodies were unidentifiable and were buried together in a mass grave. The actual cause of the explosion is still unknown. A coroner's inquest and a military court of inquiry produced contradictory information when many of the witnesses changed their testimony between the two. The explosion was the worst civilian disaster of the Civil War but it is largely unknown. On the same day, Confederate and Union forces were locked in battle at Antietam in what became the bloodiest single day of the war.
Blog Highlights

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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.

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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.
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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.

Providing assistance to undocumented immigrants requires overcoming numerous barriers.

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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.
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.

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Quick Links
L. Canton Photo 2013  

Welcome to the September edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

This has been an incredible month for disasters. I believe we in the United States have one of the most responsive and effective emergency management systems in the world but this month is testing that system almost to the limit. As I write this, three major response operations are underway, the most difficult being the one in Puerto Rico. Island disasters are unique in that relief supplies have to be transported to the affected area by sea and air. When your ports and airfields are damaged, the task is almost impossible.

And we are not alone. My colleagues in Mexico are dealing with the aftermath of two major earthquakes. Indonesia and Vanuata are bracing for volcanic eruptions.  Over 119,000 people have been affected by floods in South Sudan.

Unfortunately, this is only the beginning. The Atlantic hurricane season continues until November 30, but hurricanes can't read calendars. Winter storms and flooding lie ahead with our unsettled weather patterns. Stay focused, stay safe!


Lucien Canton   
Featured Article

Planning for Extreme Temperatures

Response Problem or Social Problem?

Many of the extreme temperature event plans that I have reviewed are what I call "all or nothing" plans: the event serves as an on\off switch for the plan. However, while we can define the broad parameters of an extreme temperature event, we cannot plan for every possibility. What we need is not an on/off switch but a rheostat. We need to assess the event and decide how the plan should be implemented.

Extreme temperature event plans traditionally use weather forecasts as the trigger for implementing the plan. However, temperature is an indicator, not a measure of risk. A single day of extreme temperatures is not usually a crisis. However, successive days of moderately high temperatures with no night time cooling might be. Similarly, seasonally normal cold temperatures occurring during a shortage of heating oil could pose a risk to vulnerable populations.


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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
Two Tips for Teaching Incident Command

Incident Command System training can sometimes be as exciting as watching paint dry. It doesn't have to be that way if you use some creative thinking.

A colleague recently shared an interesting technique for demonstrating the role of the incident commander. She has the group select a leader and then gives them a simple task: go to a nearby conference room and move all the chairs into the hallway. As soon as the leader touches a chair, he or she is considered a casualty and someone else takes over. It sometimes takes a while but eventually the group begins to understand that the role of the leader is to delegate tasks, not perform them.

Another colleague would enter the classroom wearing a stack of baseball caps labeled with ICS positions. After the laughter died down, he would lead the group through a short tabletop exercise. At key points, he would lead the group to the conclusion that they needed someone to perform a specific task, such as gathering information or managing resources. He would then designate someone to do that and hand them the appropriate hat. By the end of the exercise, he was wearing only the Incident Commander's hat and all other positions had been delegated, highlighting the modular expansion of the team as dictated by the developing situation.

using demonstrations and humor help your audience retain the information you're trying to convey. There's no reason to make ICS training boring and repetitive. All it takes is some creative and the willingness to take a bit of risk.

Professional Development Opportunities

N ovember 10-15, 2017
Long Beach, California

The goal of the IAEM Annual Conference is to improve your knowledge, competency level and collaborative skills. IAEM attracts high-profile speakers to address current topics and practical solutions. The conference draws exhibitors who are the top suppliers to the fields of disaster preparedness and homeland security.
Life Balance
Don't Pass Judgement Too Soon

As I write this, social media is frothing at the mouth over the situation in Puerto Rico. There is the usual finger pointing going on and attempts to fix blame for what appears to be slow and disorganized response.

As always, I caution people I know to avoid snap judgments. There's reason any response must include an after action review and you can bet this response will be dissected and scrutinized for years. While I have not heard yet, I suspect that members of the academic community are already on the ground or will be shortly.

Like many of my colleagues, I have questions about the response to the disaster in Puerto Rico. But I also have the benefit of having participated in disaster relief operations in the Pacific Trust Territories and the Virgin Islands and understand the complexity of providing relief to an island isolated by damage ports and airfields.

There's an old saying, "fix the problem, not the blame" and I believe this should be the case here. Stay focused on the problem and do what you can to help. There'll be time enough for criticism when the needs of disaster victims have been met.
From the Bookshelf
Winning with the News Media: A Self-Defense Manual When You're the Story

By Clarence Jones

As a new emergency manager many years ago, I was handed a copy of Clarence Jones' book,
How To Speak TV. It was one of them most useful books I found in my career and helped guide my relations with the broadcast media during my days in San Francisco. It was straight forward, easy to read, and full of insight.

Over the years, Jones has continued to expand and improve his concepts, resulting in the current book, now in it's ninth edition. The book provides an understanding on how broadcast and print media operate and gives insight into how and why stories are produced. Jones provides practical skills on preparing for interviews, to include webcam interviews, and suggestions on how to develop your media policy. In short, Jones covers everything you need to know to successfully work with print and broadcast media.

The book does not discuss social media, leaving that to more specialized books, but if your job requires you to deal with the print and broadcast media, you'll find this book essential.

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 

Collaborative Sheltering: The San Francisco Experience
International Association
N ovember 10-15, 2017
Long Beach, California

©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