Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter
Volume 14 No. 6
June 2022
L. Canton Photo 2013

Welcome to the June edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

We like to think of summer in the northern hemisphere as a time for relaxation and spending time with our families. Unfortunately, there's no such thing for emergency managers. June 1 marked the beginning of hurricane season in the Caribbean. High temperatures and drought have already marked the start of fire season in California, with 10 fires in May alone. The recent US Supreme Court rulings on abortion, Miranda rights, and concealed carry of firearms have sparked demonstrations and concerns over potential civil unrests. Here in Europe, the war in Ukraine and the resultant flood of refugees continues to be a major issue. It does seem as if there will not be much relaxing for emergency managers this summer.

This month, Tim Reicker makes the case for bringing back Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) as a fundamental concept in the National Incident Management System (NIMS), an idea with which I heartily agree. Ever find yourself on the receiving end of a bad press story? Erik Bernstein recommends five things you should not do in responding. My own article looks at the pros and cons of using the Incident Command System in the private sector.

Be well!
Lucien Canton
Featured Articles
L. Canton Photo 2013

Canton on Emergency Management

By Lucien G. Canton, CEM

Does The Private Sector Really Need ICS?

Since its development in the California wildfires in the 1970’s, the Incident Command System (ICS) has emerged as the default mechanism for managing crises. Mandated for use in the public sector under the National Incident Management System (NIMS), ICS has seen growing application in the private sector. However, while ICS has been relatively successful in the public sector where organizations tend to be hierarchical, is it really the best choice for the private sector?

To be sure, ICS has an impressive track record as an incident management system. It has been applied in small local incidents up to Presidentially Declared Disasters. It has been adapted to unusual situations such as organizing recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina. But even in the public sector, we find problems. In a 2014 paper, The United States’ Experience with the Incident Command System: What We Think We Know and What We Need to Know More About, researchers Jessica Jensen and William L. Waugh Jr. suggested that, despite what we may believe, ICS is not applied consistently among jurisdictions. While ICS has often been used as designed, it has just as often been ignored, partially used, underused, misused, and used in organizations and jurisdictions in ways that are not necessarily compatible with the way the system is used in other organizations and jurisdictions.
© 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

Bring MAC Back

Multi Agency Coordination, or MAC, is a concept most frequently applied to incident management. MAC Groups are the most commonly defined, being a collection of executives from various agencies, organizations, and/or jurisdictions who may commit the resources of their respective agencies, and often provide high-level decision-making and policy coordination to support an incident. Multi Agency Coordination Systems (MACS) have also been commonly defined, essentially as the combination of resources assembled to support the implementation of multi-agency coordination. Multi agency coordination, as a concept, however, transcends MAC Groups and MAC Systems. In incident response we see multi agency coordination occur at the field level and in emergency operations centers (EOCs), the latter of which is generally viewed as an operational extension of the MAC Group. We even see the concept of multi-agency coordination specifically extended into Joint Information Systems and Joint Information Centers. Multi agency coordination can and often does also exist across all phases and mission areas associated with emergency management. This is simply a reinforcement that emergency management is a team sport, requiring the participation and input of multiple organizations before, during, and after a disaster as well as in steady-state operations. MAC can be applied in many effective ways to support all of this.
© 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
5 Things You Should Never Do When You Get A Bad Review

We see a lot of advice shared about the things you SHOULD do when you get a bad review, but how about a bit of crisis prevention focused advice to match? A key part of handling any negative situations online is making sure you don’t worsen the situation while trying to fix it, and that’s why today we’re going to talk about the 5 thing you should NEVER do when you get a bad review.

  1. To borrow a timeless phrase from author Douglas Adams and his Hitchhiker’s Guide, “Don’t panic”. While Mr. Adams may have been addressing that advice to intergalactic space travelers, it applies to you too. Seeing a negative review roll in isn’t fun, but it’s not the end of the world either. Finish what you’re doing, take a deep breath, then work to determine how big a deal this truly is, whether there’s an actual mistake made, and similar.
  2. Don’t reply angry. Our brains are built to have a knee-jerk reaction when someone questions our integrity or professional performance. It’s natural, but coming off as a raging bully in a review response is one of the fastest ways to ensure anyone on the fence about whether to believe the negative claims will absolutely take them as 100%. true If you just can’t shake the emotions, let someone else take first pass at the reply.
© 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
The Essential Emergency Manager

One of our greatest challenges as emergency managers is proving our value to elected officials, the tax paying public and even to each other. When we get that quizzical look from the budget people and the pointed question from public leaders, "What does the office of emergency management do. . . exactly?" we are abysmally bad at responding effectively.
The complication is that emergency management is like insurance with an associated daily cost that no one wants to pay up front but whose value becomes apparent only when really bad things happen. Worse yet, because our primary mission is to enable effective action by OTHERS, it's precisely when we are doing our jobs well that we are almost invisible!
This short graphic video is the NY-NJ-CT-PA Regional Catastrophic Planning Team's shot at explaining what we do and how we do it. The script is by Kelly McKinney, this month's feature author.
Professional Development
This playbook—created by the United States Climate Alliance—includes a twelve-step guide for achieving state-level climate resilience. These steps are flexible so they can be applied to each state, helping leaders make climate resilience practical.

This new website was designed by the Association of State Floodplain Managers to help flood-prone communities prevent and mitigate property damage caused by flooding. It includes sections for homeowners and buyers, renters, and government officials the will help them know their specific risks and develop personalized and comprehensive flood management plans.
Professional Development Opportunities
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.

Free Webinar
Aug 18, 11:00 PM PST
Climate and disaster work are inextricably linked.
Disasters do not happen in isolation from one another. The research does not suggest that the number of disasters we now face is an outlier, but rather just the beginning of what is to come as the consequences of the climate crisis begin to manifest. We must address not only our nation’s readiness to manage but also our capacity to manage multiple threats at once. Understanding the strain that emergency management is currently under can address the changes we need to make in anticipation of our increasing risk.

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.

 Virtual and On-demand Options Available
Toronto, Canada
The Ontario Disaster & Emergency Management Conference brings together emergency management professionals to share best practices and critical lessons learned. Continuity & Resilience Today brings together a diverse group of continuity management professionals to facilitate new conversations and to share critical lessons learned. The conferences co-located sharing the same space over the same dates - meaning delegates have access to BOTH Programs!
From The Bookshelf
Moment of Truth:
the Nature of Catastrophes and How to Prepare for Them
by kelly McKinney

"Miami Beach Devastated by Monster Category 5 Hurricane" "Times Square Incinerated by Homemade Nuclear Bomb" "Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake Reduces Downtown Seattle to Rubble" These aren't actual headlines-but they could be. Even though they sound like next summer's blockbuster movies, each of these worst-case scenarios is a real threat-a threat for which America is hugely underprepared. But it doesn't have to be that way. This is not a book about disasters. Instead, Moment of Truth will tell you what these genuine threats mean for society as a whole, as well as for your region or town-or you. All we have to do is open our eyes and look beyond the "brick wall of hope" that clouds our vision in collective denial.

Kelly McKinney has had a leadership role in every major disaster in New York City for more than fifteen years, from the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to the present day. As Deputy Commissioner at the New York City Office of Emergency Management, he led the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy and rebuilt the city’s disaster planning program.
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