Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter
Volume 14 No. 3
March 2022
L. Canton Photo 2013

Welcome to the March edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

One of the most difficult things about being an emergency manager is being able to divorce yourself from the "disaster of the month" and to keep your focus on the big picture. We need to anticipate and prepare for potential future crises while dealing with a current one.

I believe this is the case with the war in Ukraine. The conflict dominates the news and many multi-national corporations are rushing to deal with the current crisis. But what may come next? Can we move beyond today's immediate problem and consider what the future might hold? This is the topic I address in this month's featured article.

Tim Riecker keeps us grounded in reality by considering how we prepare for the most vulnerable, those who are often neglected in disasters because they are hidden behind the walls of care facilities. Erik Bernstein provides an example of how corporations can risk their reputations by hesitating to make timely decisions.

And here in Ireland, we're getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a four day holiday.

Lucien Canton
Featured Articles
Canton on Emergency Management
Why Emergency Managers Should Care About the War in Ukraine

As I have mentioned many times before, emergency managers tend to have an inward focus on their communities. Geopolitical events, such as the war in Ukraine, are generally not considered something that has any relevance to local communities. This is understandable as our specific charge is the safeguarding of the communities we serve. However, one of the fundamental concepts in emergency management is that events have ripple effects, and those effects can be wide-ranging. This is certainly true of the current conflict in Ukraine and emergency managers would be wise to anticipate possible consequences.

On the surface, a conflict thousands of miles away would seem to have minimal impact on local communities. However, we must consider how the extended impact of the conflict may affect our communities. Here are just a few examples :

  • Cyber warfare – Should the conflict escalate further, one of the quickest and cheapest ways for Putin to escalate the war would be through cyber warfare. Russia has an extensive cyber warfare capability and has not been shy about using it. There are rumors that Putin is recruiting hackers to augment this capability and that he may legalize software piracy as a potential threat to the global economy. Disruptive attacks on infrastructure, most of which is privately held in the United States, are also a possibility as are attacks affecting the economy, such as denial of service or ransomware attacks. This is also an election year in the United States and there is credible evidence that Russia has attempted to influence past elections and will continue to do so in 2022. We must also consider the potential impact on public opinion the dissemination of misinformation through social media and the use of state-sponsored teams targeting political blogs, something that is ongoing.
© 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

Vulnerable Populations Behind Walls

There is finally meaningful and productive discussion and actions in emergency management circles about vulnerable and under-served populations. It’s a step in the right direction, though still has a long way to go, with many concerns yet found in regulation and bias which must be identified, assessed, and changed. There are, however, other vulnerable populations which are rarely spoken of – those behind walls. These are persons incarcerated in prisons and jails, those receiving mental health treatments at in-patient facilities, and those with physical and cognitive disabilities in group residential settings. Hospitals and nursing homes also have vulnerable populations in this regard, and while concerns still exist and progress must yet be made, these facilities seem largely to have made more progress than others when it comes to disaster preparedness for their facilities and those in their care.

Populations behind walls are often forgotten during disasters, either because it is assumed they are someone else’s responsibility, or because the facility itself seems to be overlooked as a part of the community. People also tend to have biases toward the populations of these facilities – especially jails and prisons; though plenty of bias also exists against those receiving mental health treatment and those with physical and cognitive disability. We also likely have subconscious impressions of the facilities themselves, especially larger jails and prisons, being physically formidable and resilient, therefore having less vulnerability to certain disasters. While that may be true for some hazards, it’s certainly not true for all. Rarely do we find these facilities identified in emergency operations plans, much less addressing the potential needs of their residents during disasters. These facilities, and their residents, are still part of your community.
© 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

When the people speak, corporations listen

Shell has joined a long list of companies being forced by public pressure into crisis management over not taking the hint to back out of business ventures with Russia as the invasion of Ukraine escalated. Thought it didn’t violate any official Western sanctions, Shell’s March 4 purchase of 100,000 metric tons of flagship Urals crude from Russia (at a reported record discount) did not go unnoticed by consumers, politicians, and influencers, many of whom headed online to take the company to task. Shell was helped to quickly see the error of its ways by these not-so-friendly critics, and issues this statement shortly after serious pressure began to mount:

LONDON, March 8, 2022 — Shell plc (Shell) today announced its intent to withdraw from its involvement in all Russian hydrocarbons, including crude oil, petroleum products, gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a phased manner, aligned with new government guidance. As an immediate first step, the company will stop all spot purchases of Russian crude oil. It will also shut its service stations, aviation fuels and lubricants operations in Russia.

“We are acutely aware that our decision last week to purchase a cargo of Russian crude oil to be refined into products like petrol and diesel – despite being made with security of supplies at the forefront of our thinking – was not the right one and we are sorry. As we have already said, we will commit profits from the limited, remaining amounts of Russian oil we will process to a dedicated fund. We will work with aid partners and humanitarian agencies over the coming days and weeks to determine where the monies from this fund are best placed to alleviate the terrible consequences that this war is having on the people of Ukraine,” said Shell Chief Executive Officer, Ben van...
© 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
I Had No Idea...The Shifting Role of Emergency Managers

This IAEM EMVision Talk was filmed at the International Association of Emergency Managers 2018 Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Oct. 19-24, 2018. The presenter is Donald "Doc" Lumpkins, chief financial officer, Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

This brief presentation by Doc Lumpkins, recorded shortly before his untimely death in January 2019, sums up succinctly how the evolving role of emergency managers places increased demands on us. He points out that these demands require more than mere technical competence and instead place a premium on soft skills and personal life balance. This ability to say a lot in just a few words is yet another example of why Doc is sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.
Professional Development
FEMA Seeks Public Feedback on Emergency Operations Center Resource Type

FEMA is seeking public feedback on a Resource Typing Definition document. The 30-day national engagement period engagement period will conclude at 5 p.m. ET on April 1.

  • The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Management Support Team including Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 teams to represent different levels of qualifications.
  • Considerations for the varying EOC organizational structures most commonly used (Incident Command System, Incident Support Model, and Emergency Support Function/Departmental) corresponding with the team’s personnel components.
  • Personal Protective Equipment requirements with hand sanitizer and face masks.
  • And updated references with recently released EOC Skillsets and EOC How-To-Quick Reference Guide.
This resource typing definition document will facilitate the sharing of deployable resource types at all jurisdictional levels.

The national engagement period provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the draft document to ensure that it is relevant for all implementing partners. To provide comments on the draft, complete the feedback form on FEMA.gov and submit the form to fema-nims@fema.dhs.gov no later than 5 p.m. ET on April 1.
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

New Orleans, LA
April 19-21
This 3-day conference will bring the leadership and experience of the nation’s governors, plus a diverse mix of disaster and resilience practitioners to explore profound and powerful topics that impact communities and economies worldwide.

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

Middletown, RI
June 7-8, 2022
The International Crisis Management Conference (ICMC) empowers crisis management professionals to be fully prepared to respond to and successfully manage crises. Now in its seventh year, the conference provides a forum for attendees to share their own experiences while enhancing their professional development from presentations given by some of today’s foremost crisis experts.

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
Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do
by Irwin Redlener

This important book by one of our leading experts on disaster preparedness offers a compelling narrative about our nation’s inability to properly plan for large-scale disasters and proposes changes that can still be made to assure the safety of its citizens.

Five years after 9/11 and one year after Hurricane Katrina, it is painfully clear that the government’s emergency response capacity is plagued by incompetence and a paralyzing bureaucracy. Irwin Redlener, who founded and directs the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, brings his years of experience with disasters and health care crises, national and international, to an incisive analysis of why our health care system, our infrastructure, and our overall approach to disaster readiness have left the nation vulnerable, virtually unable to respond effectively to catastrophic events. He has had frank, and sometimes shocking, conversations about the failure of systems during and after disasters with a broad spectrum of people—from hospital workers and FEMA officials to Washington policy makers and military leaders. And he also analyzes the role of nongovernmental organizations, such as the American Red Cross in the aftermath of Katrina.

Redlener points out how a government with a track record of over-the-top cronyism and a stunning disregard for accountability has spent billions on “random acts of preparedness,” with very little to show for it—other than an ever-growing bureaucracy. As a doctor, Redlener is especially concerned about America’s increasingly dysfunctional and expensive health care system, incapable of handling a large-scale public health emergency, such as pandemic flu or widespread bioterrorism. And he also looks at the serious problem of a disengaged, uninformed citizenry—one of the most important obstacles to assuring optimal readiness for any major crisis.

Redlener describes five natural and man-made disaster scenarios as a way to imagine what we might face, what our current systems would and would not prepare us for, and what would constitute optimal planning—for government and the public—in each situation. To see what could be learned from others, he points up some of the more effective ways countries in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have dealt with various disasters. And he concludes with a real prescription: a nine-point proposal for how America can be better prepared as well as an addendum of what citizens themselves can do.
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.
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ISSN: 2334-590X