Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter
Volume 13 No. 3
March 2021
L. Canton Photo 2013

Welcome to the March edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

I'm not sure "retirement" is the right word, but I'm definitely making some major life changes over the next few months. At the end of April, my wife and I are moving to Ireland to spend some quality time with our new granddaughter. I still plan to do remote consulting and continue writing and teaching, so I hesitate to use the "R" word. Stay tuned; things will get interesting, I'm sure.

This month Tim Riecker offers some ideas from the All Hazard Incident Management Team Association (AHIMTA) virtual symposium on a new way to build local incident management teams, Jim Dudley expands on the PACE planning strategy he mentioned in last month's article, and Erik Bernstein offers a simple strategy for getting things done. My contribution is some thoughts on significant changes in emergency management that I have seen over the course of my career.
Be well!
Lucien Canton
Featured Articles
L. Canton Photo 2013
Canton On Emergency Management
By Lucien Canton

Thoughts on Emergency Management

Two questions that I am frequently asked these days are what significant changes I have seen in emergency management in my some 40-odd years and what I think the future holds. That’s a little bit of a moving target as one of the things I have enjoyed about emergency management is that it is constantly evolving.

Without a doubt, the most significant change, as Tom Drabek noted in Major Themes in Disaster Preparedness and Response Research has been the increased professionalization of local emergency managers. When I was introduced to the emergency management, we all came with previous experience, primarily military or first responder disciplines. You learned your business on the job, and, in retrospect, we sometimes learned the wrong lessons.

I think that catalyst for change has been twofold: role of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in developing doctrine and best practices but, more importantly, the rise of emergency management as an academic discipline. One of the hallmarks of a profession is a specialized body of knowledge. For a long time, we were content to allow ourselves to be defined by the tasks we coordinated, most of which were performed by others. This technical knowledge was useful and important, but it was hardly unique to emergency management. It wasn’t until we came to recognize and accept the vast amount of research on disaster behavior that we began to truly understand the role we could play in developing strategy and coordinating complex response.

Another significant development, which I believe you can attribute to acceptance of disaster research, was the expansion of the role of the emergency manager beyond response operations. While many of us are still locked into the role of responders, there is a growing awareness that strategic issues such as mitigation and recovery planning...
The Contrarian Emergency Manager
By Timothy "Tim" Riecker

Building Local Incident Management Capability

Just over a year ago I wrote An Alternate Concept of Incident Management Support, identifying the gap that exists in most local communities and areas for improved incident management capability. While I still think that formal Incident Management Teams (IMTs) are the gold standard, not every community or even multi-county region can support a formal IMT, which requires dozens of personnel and rigorous qualification and maintenance. Over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of use of IMTs across the nation, supporting the COVID-19 response and myriad other incidents. Sitting in over the last few days on the All Hazard Incident Management Team Association (AHIMTA) virtual symposium, there is a lot of exciting evolution happening with IMTs as they continue to enhance their capabilities. And while this is great, I feel we are leaving a lot of areas behind. This isn’t on the AHIMTA, but rather on the emergency management community as a whole. That said, there are certainly some intersections, as a lot of the training available to IMT personnel may need to be made more accessible to those who would be part of the Incident Support Quick Response Teams (ISQRTs) as I came to call them in the article I mentioned from last year, and addressing a fundamental need I’ve been espousing for a long time.

As I’ve soaked in a lot of great information from the AHIMTA symposium about IMTs, the need to build local capability in the absence of IMTs is even more apparent. Some may argue that IMTs are available to deploy to any area if requested. Possibly. Obviously there are...
© 2021 -  Timothy Riecker, CEDP
Used with Permission

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.
Under Oath
By James Dudley
Why every PD needs a PACE plan in place before the next protest

Every American has a right under the First Amendment to demonstrate and protest when part of a peaceful assembly. Once the peace is broken and businesses or transit is disrupted, violence introduced, and/or properly crimes ensue, the right to assemble ends.

Tactical teams, Mobile Field Forces and crowd control units are often deployed in response to demonstrations before they turn into riots. Agencies should create a management plan, including contingency plans, before each event.

Having a Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency (PACE) plan in place will help agencies anticipate the unexpected. The PACE plan should be flexible, scalable and achievable. It should be created in the Incident Command System (ICS) structure to identify the mission and execution of plans and include command, control and communications.

Primary plan
The primary plan is just that. If a planned event is a repeated, annual and peaceful occurrence, a previous version of a plan may be used as a starting point.

Dates, locations and staffing issues need to be updated by contact with the event organizers. Even then, situational awareness should be maintained through reviewing informational flyers about the event, social media posts, weather reports and current events that may ...
© 2021 - James Dudley
Used with permission

James Dudley is a 32-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, retiring as deputy chief of the Patrol Bureau. As the DC of Special Operations and Liaison to the Department of Emergency Management, he served as Event and Incident Commander for a variety of incidents, operations and emergencies.
Bernstein Crisis Management
By Erik Bernstein

Say What You Mean And Do What You Say

There are two causes for all misunderstandings: not saying what we mean, and not doing what we say.
— Angeles Arrien, author of The Four-Fold Way
While there was a point in the past where you could quiet angry audiences with a few reassuring words, the right color tie, and a friendly face, that day is gone. Today that same effort still works to buy you some time to get things done, but it's not even close to a be-all end-all solution. Instead, you need to (and here's where we lose some people...) actually say what you mean and do what you say.

Say what you mean. This is pretty simple on the surface, but when you factor in editing by committee, legal concerns, and the 'Us vs. Them' thinking that tends to creep into organizations of all kinds, you start to see why so much of the crisis communications-related messaging out there dances around key information or forgets to demonstrate even a drop of empathy. Streamline your team, work to truly understand what audiences are feeling, come up with a plan you can actually accomplish to make them feel better, then tell everyone exactly what you're going to do. This requires some time to pull together, which means that you'll need a strong holding statement and media contact handling structure, both items that should already be included in your general crisis management plans.
© 2021 - Erik Bernstein
Used with permission

Erik Bernstein is Vice President of Bernstein Crisis Management, a specialized firm dedicated to providing holistic strategies for managing crisis situations.
Featured Video
Making a Family Emergency Plan

This short video on family emergency planning offered by the Canadian government packs a surprising amount of information in just over 3 minutes. I was particularly impressed by its use of scenarios to highlight the various elements of a family emergency plan. The video is backed up by an equally impress website at GetPrepared.ca that offers information on a variety of hazards and tools for preparedness. Be sure to check out some of the other videos on the Safety in Canada YouTube channel. They include videos on topics from human trafficking to safe driving.
Professional Development
FEMA to Help Pay Funeral Costs for COVID-19-related Deaths
In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic.
To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states:

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19. 
  • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual. 
  • An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals. 
  • The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. 
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. 
In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation:
  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U. S. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
  • Funeral expense documents(receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.
More information regarding this assistance can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov.
Professional Development Opportunities
2020 IAEM Annual Conference On Demand
It's not too late too enjoy over 40 hours of training sessions from the 2020 IAEM virtual conference. Video sessions are available on demand until April 16 for only $199, $99 for students. Register here.

Imagination, Improvisation, and Innovation in Emergency Management Education
The proceedings of the FEMA Higher Education Symposium are available on line at no charge. This includes videos of the sessions, PDF files of the presentations, and images of the poster session.

June 8-10, 2021
Emergency Management Institute
National Emergency Training Center, Emmitsburg, MD

July 11-14, 2021
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.

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Oct 15-20, 2021
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
Disaster Policy and Politics: Emergency Management and Homeland Security
by Richard Sylves

Disaster Policy and Politics combines evidence-based research with mini-case studies of recent events to demonstrate the fundamental principles of emergency management and to explore the impact that disasters have had on U.S. policy. Paying special attention to the role of key actors―decision makers at the federal, state, and local levels; scientists; engineers; civil and military personnel; and first responders―author Richard Sylves explores how researchers contribute to and engage in disaster policy development and management. The highly anticipated Third Edition explores the radical change in policy and politics after the occurrence of recent disasters such as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria; Hawaii’s false nuclear attack warning; and responses to U.S. wildfires. This book’s comprehensive "all-hazards" approach introduces students to the important public policy, organizational management, and leadership issues they may need as future practitioners and leaders in the field.
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 or on my SpeakerMatch page
©Lucien G. Canton 2021. 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