Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter
Volume 14 No. 2
February 2022
L. Canton Photo 2013

Welcome to the February edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

During my army days, the military had set dates for when you rolled your sleeves up or down, completely independent of the actual weather. Here in Ireland, I'm told that spring official starts on February 1st. This week we were struck by a storm that included 80 MPH gusts, rain, and sleet and knocked out power in many places. We even had a touch of snow here in Dublin. There was one fatality. The Irish government takes weather seriously and schools were closed and emergency teams activated. Never take the weather for granted!

This month Tim Riecker provides insight into mutual aid planning while Erik Bernstein discusses the importance of crisis management planning and the need for training and exercises. My article this month tackles the conflict I often find in the private sector between emergency management and business continuity.

Be well!
Lucien Canton
Featured Articles
Canton on Emergency Management
Who’s In Charge Here? Business Continuity versus Emergency Management

I was speaking recently with a good friend who has taken on the job of building a business continuity program for a major information technology company. Like me, he takes a strategic view of risk management and is experienced in both emergency management and business continuity. His problem at the moment is a common one: the company has separated business continuity and emergency management into separate programs, and he is perceived by the emergency manager as the “new kid” trying to muscle in on his turf.

This separation is not uncommon in my experience. Its root cause is the perception that emergency management and business continuity are discrete functions rather than complimentary components of an enterprise-wide function. The result is frequently a battle over which program should be dominant.

The Emergency Management Accreditation Program’s Emergency Management Standard which provides guidance for public sector emergency managers addresses Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) as essential parts of an emergency management program, suggesting that business continuity is an emergency management. The Professional Practices for Business Continuity Management promulgated by the Disaster Recovery Institute, International (DRII) identifies incident response, crisis communications, and coordination with outside agencies as key practices, all of which are also parts of a good emergency management program.
© 2022 -  Lucien G. Canton

Lucien Canton is management consultant specializing in helping managers lead better in a crisis. He is the former Director of Emergency Services for San Francisco and the author of the best-selling Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs used as a textbook in many higher education courses.
The Contrarian Emergency Manager

By Timothy "Tim" Riecker

Mutual Aid Preparedness

Mutual aid is a great resource. We get help from our neighbors, or even those beyond our neighbors, providing additional numbers, capabilities, or support to aid our response to incidents and disasters. Mutual aid is mentioned in practically every emergency operations plan I’ve read, yet it’s clearly taken for granted. Most jurisdictions simply don’t have a plan for mutual aid, and most that do have a rather poor plan.

The fire service is by far the most frequent user of mutual aid. Most fire service mutual aid is for short-duration incidents, meaning that they’ve only scratched the surface in mutual aid management issues. Most fire departments don’t have their own mutual aid plans in place, instead relying on a county-based or regional plan. These also vary rather wildly in content and quality. It’s largely fine to use and be part of a county or regional plan, so long as SOMEONE is responsible for implementing the plan and all participants are familiar with it. Given issues of liability, there should also be a mutual aid agreement to which members are signatories consenting to the terms and conditions of the agreement as implemented by the plan.

The best mutual aid practitioners I’ve had experience with are utility companies, especially electric utilities. Be it hurricanes, winter storms, wildfires, or other hazards, most electric utility...
© 2022 -  Timothy Riecker, CEDP
Used with Permission

Tim Riecker 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.
Bernstein Crisis Management

By Erik Bernstein

Would you be ready if you needed crisis management today?

When a full 63% of your brand’s market value can be tied directly to how strong its reputation is, a single negative news article or popular social media post bashing its behavior can hit you right where it really hurts — in the bank account!

While we’re seeing more interest in crisis planning and preparedness work than ever, it’s a simple fact that most organizations out there are not prepared to face a fully fledged, all-hands-on-deck, act-now-or-incur-serious-damage, crisis management situation. Some have no formal plan at all and (thankfully) just haven’t run into an overwhelming situation yet, while many more can identify some type of planning or preparedness efforts from the past which are now gathering dust on a shelf somewhere because there’s been no modern revision or related crisis training. Once in a blue moon you may get the luckiest break and have bigger news eclipse your story, or even knock it out of the news rotation entirely, but that’s tremendously rare event. In most cases you’ll have to face the music, and I think you’d agree it’s better to do that prepared.

So, will this be the year of crisis preparedness for your brand?
© 2022 - Erik Bernstein
Used with permission

Erik Bernstein is President of Bernstein Crisis Management, a specialized firm dedicated to providing holistic strategies for managing crisis situations.
Featured Video
Disability Training for Emergency Planners: Serving People with Disabilities

This video, produced by Ohio State University in 2014 is a bit dated but it still provides a lot of useful information for emergency planners. The purpose of this training is to provide emergency planners with information and best practices that will ensure the safety of people with disabilities during emergency events. Special consideration is given to the importance of including people with disabilities and disability organizations in the planning process.  

This training is divided into five sections:
1. Introduction to Disability 
2. Communication and Notification
3. Evacuation and Transportation
4. Sheltering and Recovery
5. Inclusive Planning for Disaster Mitigation and Response
Professional Development
FEMA Seeks Public Feedback on Updated Emergency Operations Center How-to Guide
FEMA is seeking public feedback on an updated Emergency Operations Center (EOC) How-to Quick Reference Guide. The 30-day national engagement period will conclude at 5 p.m. ET March 10.

The EOC How-to Quick Reference Guide is a collection of guidance and best practices, which will contribute to developing an EOC that can successfully meet the jurisdiction’s needs. The updates include considerations for virtual and hybrid working environments.

To provide comments on the drafts, complete the feedback form and submit the form to fema-nims@fema.dhs.gov no later than 5 p.m. ET on March 10.

FEMA Offering Assistance through the National Exercise Program
FEMA is accepting requests for exercise support through the National Exercise Program (NEP). State, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) jurisdictions can request no-cost assistance from the NEP for exercise design, development, conduct and evaluation to validate capabilities across all mission areas

Spring 2022 requests for support are due no later than April 1, 2022. To submit a request for exercise support, download the support request form, then email the completed form with supporting documentation to NEP@fema.dhs.gov. Awardees will be notified by May 6, 2022. FEMA will hold additional exercise support rounds in fall 2022 and spring 2023.

ADA National Network
10th March, 2022
This presentation will outline how key principles for inclusive emergency management are being used by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Kern County, and the FREED Center for Independent Living to address whole community needs regarding mass vaccination, evacuation/transportation planning, and Public Safety Power Shutoff events.
Professional Development Opportunities
Lake Buena Vista, FL
March 20-23, 2022
DRJ is the industry’s largest resource for business continuity, disaster recovery, crisis communication, and risk management, reaching a global network of more than 138,000 professionals. DRJ conferences are the world’s largest conferences dedicated to building resiliency. Online Option Available

March 24-25, 2022
The IAEM Virtual Conference includes two days of presentations from more than 20 speakers. Join us for fresh, new ideas being shared on issues relevant to the emergency management community.

Orlando, FL
April 11-14, 2022
The primary goal of the National Hurricane Conference is to improve hurricane preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation in order to save lives and property in the United States and the tropical islands of the Caribbean and Pacific.

Atlanta GA
April 3-7, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced public health professionals across the globe to reevaluate what it means to be prepared for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate disaster response. The theme of the next Preparedness Summit, Reimagining Preparedness in the Era of COVID-19, will provide an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned from current and previous responses, and highlight tools, resources, and learnings that we can apply into the future. Online Option Available

Orlando, FL
May 15-19, 2022
The nation’s largest conference dedicated to all aspects of flooding and floodplain management.
Online Option Available

Virtual Event
July 10-13, 2022
The Workshop brings together federal, state, and local mitigation and emergency management officials and planning professionals; representatives of nonprofit, private sector, and humanitarian organizations; hazards and disaster researchers; and others dedicated to alleviating the impacts of disasters.

DRJ Fall 2022
Phoenix AZ
Sep 11-14, 2022
DRJ is the industry’s largest resource for business continuity, disaster recovery, crisis communication, and risk management, reaching a global network of more than 138,000 professionals. DRJ conferences are the world’s largest conferences dedicated to building resiliency.

Savannah, GA
Nov 11-18, 2022
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
Disasters and Vulnerable Populations: Evidence-Based Practice for the Helping Professions
by Lisa Baker PhD LCSW, Loretta Cormier PhD MA BSN

Vulnerable populations such as children, older adults, and people with disabilities are disproportionately affected by large-scale disasters. This hands-on resource for students and professionals in social work, counseling, nursing, and mental health encompasses the best and most current evidence-based interventions for effectively responding to the needs of vulnerable populations following disasters. Using an all-hazards perspective, the book also provides a dedicated section containing population-specific personal preparedness considerations and discusses the role of preparedness in mitigating negative consequences. The resource is unique in its provision of vital information for locating requisite assessment tools, preparedness checklists, and forms. It also provides a list of mobile applications offered through national organizations.

The resource addresses the specific psychosocial needs of vulnerable populations after a disaster. It delivers best practices for crisis intervention with specific populations including children, older adults, people with disabilities, people with mental health issues, and people with substance abuse issues. The authors present a theoretical foundation for understanding disasters, response systems, common guidelines for preparedness, and basic crisis theory. This is a resource that will be valuable not only to practitioners in a great variety of health disciplines, but also to volunteer professionals and paraprofessionals involved in disaster preparedness and response. Case vignettes are included in each chapter to illustrate issues particular to each population.
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.
Speaker's Corner
 Looking for a speaker for your conference? I offer keynotes, seminars, workshops, and webinars, either in person or online. You can find more details and sample videos on my website.  
©Lucien G. Canton 2022. 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