Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter
Volume 14 No. 11
November 2022
L. Canton Photo 2013

Welcome to the November edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

November is a special month. In the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving, a tradition harkening back to the harvest feasts celebrated by many countries for generations. For many of us, it is a time to enjoy celebrating with family and friends. I particularly enjoy this holiday because of the lack the gift-giving pressures that have come to symbolize the upcoming holiday season.

In addition to being thankful the many blessings we have received, I think it is also appropriate as emergency managers to remember those who have had to deal with the aftermath of disaster, both the victims and those of us who provide assistance. Indeed, many of my friends and colleagues are working through the holidays to help those less fortunate.

In our featured articles this month, Tim Riecker takes on one of my pet peeves, the confusion over certificates and certifications and Erik Bernstein talks about the importance of educating your staff on good crisis management practices. This month I've been reading Amanda Ripley's latest book which describes her research on conflict management and my article attempts to summarize some of her key messages.

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

Canton on Emergency Management

By Lucien G. Canton, CEM

Conflict Management: A Neglected Skill
One of the most important leadership practices required of an emergency manager is the need to inspire a shared vision. Our principal job is bringing disparate agencies and groups together to achieve a common goal. However, each agency or group has its own set of priorities and operating culture that are sometimes at odds with what we’re trying to achieve. This inevitably leads to conflict. Unfortunately, conflict management is a skill often neglected in emergency management curricula.

Conflict is not inherently bad. Indeed, it is an important part of the planning process. We solve problems by being open to alternative approaches and understanding different perspectives. However, when conflict descends into an us-versus-them situation, it can have dire consequences and lead to a complete stalemate.
© 2022 - Lucien G. Canton

Lucien Canton is a 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

Certificates and Certifications

There seem to be regular misunderstandings between words and their meanings. The words ‘certified’, ‘certificate’, and ‘certification’ are words I see regularly misused, especially in requests for proposals, LinkedIn profiles, and resumes. Unfortunately, as with so much in the English language, there are no easy boxes to put these in, but the differences are really important.

One of the things I regularly see is in reference to something like the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP). Far too often, RFPs request personnel who are ‘HSEEP certified’. There is no certification for HSEEP. To be certified, according to Oxford, means that someone is ‘officially recognized as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards’. People who complete HSEEP training are provided with a certificate of completion. A certificate of completion is simply documentation given by a training provider indicating that someone has completed the requirements of a course (attendance, participation, maybe an exam), but is not intended to speak to their qualifications, therefore it is not a certification

© 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
Why It Pays to Educate Employees on Crisis Management

Every employee in your organization — and I’m really talking every employee — has a role to play in crisis prevention and management. While their levels of involvement will vary, you need everyone to understand what’s expected of them, from crisis prevention through response and recovery.

Having a well-prepared staff is key to avoiding crises where you can … and responding effectively where you can’t. So, I’m going to explain why it pays to have every employee receive some level of crisis management education.

1. Problems are spotted before a full-blown crisis hits.
Today’s social media monitoring technology is amazing, but it still can’t beat a team of real, live human beings. That’s why you want your team participating in communities both online and off – to look for mentions of things you’re doing well, what you might focus on more, and signs of issues on the horizon. This includes negative posts in niche areas of the internet like private Facebook groups and Nextdoor, or even folks venting grievances during conversations in the grocery store. Educating your team members on how valuable this info is, and how helpful it is for them to share it with you when detected, can help you stop issues from becoming full-blown crises.
© 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
Introduction to High Conflict with Amanda Ripley

In her book High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out, investigative journalist Amanda Ripley examines the inner workings of ugly, unproductive, “high” conflict on social media, in politics, and more. She then lays out crucial steps for moving toward “good” conflict, where both sides are heard, and problems get solved.
Professional Development
FEMA, Argonne National Laboratory and AT&T Collaborate to Release New Climate Projections

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) and AT&T announced the launch of the Climate Risk and Resilience Portal (ClimRR) to provide free access to cutting-edge science for climate projections to help improve America’s preparedness for future climate extremes.

Using climate science modeling that is among the most sophisticated methodologies worldwide, ClimRR gives state, local, tribal and territorial emergency managers and community leaders free access to localized data about future climate risks that can be used to explore strategies for resilience. Initial hazards included in ClimRR are temperature, precipitation, wind and drought conditions. Additional risks, such as wildfire and flooding, will be added in the coming months.

Climate projections from ClimRR can be overlayed with community and infrastructure information sourced from the Resilience Analysis and Planning Tool (RAPT). Combining data from ClimRR and RAPT allows users to understand local-scale climate risks in the context of existing community demographics and infrastructure, including the location of vulnerable populations and critical infrastructure.

Visit www.fema.gov/rapt to start using ClimRR and RAPT today.

IS0066 Preparing the Nation for Space Weather Events
Course Description: Space weather is a natural hazard that can significantly affect critical infrastructure essential to the economy, social wellbeing, and national security, such as electrical power, water supply, healthcare, and transportation. This course provides participants with an overview of space weather and information on how to better prepare for, protect against, and mitigate the effects of space weather events.

Professional Development Opportunities
Virtual Option Available
Orlando Florida
March 12-15, 2023
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. The tools you gain at DRJ Events will help you reduce downtime, increase safety, secure your data, and reduce your overall risk.

National Emergency Training Center (NETC) Emmitsburg, Maryland
June 5-7, 2023
Connecting our Past with our Future: Celebrating Community Impact through 25 Years of the FEMA Higher Education Symposium
From The Bookshelf
High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out
by Amanda Ripley

When we are baffled by the insanity of the “other side”—in our politics, at work, or at home—it’s because we aren’t seeing how the conflict itself has taken over.

That’s what “high conflict” does. It’s the invisible hand of our time. And it’s different from the useful friction of healthy conflict. That’s good conflict, and it’s a necessary force that pushes us to be better people.

High conflict is what happens when discord distills into a good-versus-evil kind of feud, the kind with an us and a them. In this state, the brain behaves differently. We feel increasingly certain of our own superiority, and everything we do to try to end the conflict, usually makes it worse. Eventually, we can start to mimic the behavior of our adversaries, harming what we hold most dear.

In this “compulsively readable” (Evan Osnos, National Book Award-winning author) book, New York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Amanda Ripley investigates how good people get captured by high conflict—and how they break free.

Our journey begins in California, where a world-renowned conflict expert struggles to extract himself from a political feud. Then we meet a Chicago gang leader who dedicates his life to a vendetta—only to realize, years later, that the story he’d told himself about the conflict was not quite true. Next, we travel to Colombia, to find out whether thousands of people can be nudged out of high conflict at scale. Finally, we return to America to see what happens when a group of liberal Manhattan Jews and conservative Michigan corrections officers choose to stay in each other’s homes in order to understand one another better, even as they continue to disagree.

All these people, in dramatically different situations, were drawn into high conflict by similar forces, including conflict entrepreneurs, humiliation, and false binaries. But ultimately, all of them found ways to transform high conflict into good conflict, the kind that made them better people. They rehumanized and recatego­rized their opponents, and they revived curiosity and wonder, even as they continued to fight for what they knew was right.

People do escape high conflict. Individuals—even entire communities—can short-circuit the feedback loops of outrage and blame, if they want to. This is an “insightful and enthralling” (The New York Times Book Review) book—and a mind-opening new way to think about conflict that will transform how we move through the world.
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