Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 15 No. 10

October 2023

Hello Lucien,

Welcome to the October edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

While everyone's focus at this writing seems to be on the war between Hamas and Israel,

I had hoped to see many friends and colleagues at the International Association of Emergency Managers conference this week but life intruded. However, if you're a fan of my book, I'm happy to announce that I have agreed to do a third edition. Feel free to drop me a note if you have suggestions.

In this month's featured articles, Tim Riecker shares another guest post from Carla Lopez on some simple steps a small business owner can take to prepare for crisis and Erik Bernstein discusses reputation management, a topic I feel is often neglected by emergency managers. My own article addresses issues of income inequality in disaster relief.

Be well!

Lucien Canton
Featured Articles
L. Canton Photo 2013

Canton on Emergency Management

By Lucien G. Canton, CEM

Do We Really Assist Everyone?

It is widely held that emergency managers provide services to anyone affected by a crisis. This belief carries with it the expectation that emergency managers will put aside their personal biases and prejudices and provide necessary aid regardless of the status of the victims. However, reality often falls short of this laudable goal and research suggests that our current system is skewed against those most in need. In a time when equity and diversity are receiving increased attention a re-examination of how we provide services is long overdue.

The fault does not actually lie with emergency managers but has its roots in society at large. Stanford law professor Michele Landis Dauber has coined the phrase "moral blamelessness” to describe the bias that affects the provision of disaster relief. The concept of moral blamelessness suggests that victims must prove themselves worthy of relief before they can receive it. The corollary to this is that there are victims who are not worthy of relief.

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© 2023 - 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

Ready for Anything: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Crisis-Proofing Your Enterprise

As I’ve been swamped with work and life, I’m happy to welcome another guest post from Carla Lopez. Carla has posted on preparedness topics in the past. Please be sure to check out Boomerbig.org, a site she created for retirees who still desire to work and achieve, offering business resources for people in their golden years.


The importance of emergency planning for small business owners can hardly be overstated. Many businesses focus on growth and profit, neglecting to prepare for unexpected crises that could severely disrupt operations or even force closure. Being prepared for the unexpected is not just a precaution; it is a necessity for business continuity. In this article shared below by Emergency Preparedness Solutions, we outline the crucial steps that can help small business owners prepare for a multitude of emergencies.

Recognize the Hazards

It’s essential to identify the unique risks that could potentially impact your business. These could range from natural disasters like floods and hurricanes to human-induced emergencies such as cyber-attacks or fire. Understanding these vulnerabilities helps you formulate targeted measures for each type of crisis. It also helps in resource allocation, ensuring you invest in the most critical protective measures for your specific business model.

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© 2023 - 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

Brand Crisis Management: Protecting Your Reputation

In today’s competitive market, where a brand’s reputation can be its most significant asset or its Achilles’ heel, mastering brand crisis management is more crucial than ever. Brands that prioritize effective crisis management strategies are not only better equipped to navigate challenges but also stand to enhance their reputation in the process.

The Essence of Crisis Brand Management

Brand crisis management extends beyond the simplistic notion of navigating negative scenarios. At its core, it’s about crafting and executing a holistic strategy that aligns with a brand’s core values and message. This means not only having a game plan for when things go awry but also adopting measures that preemptively mitigate risks. Such proactive approaches could involve consistent brand audits, thorough media training for spokespeople, and establishing open channels of communication with stakeholders.

However, even with the best preventative measures in place, unforeseen situations can arise. This is where the power of adept reactive responses comes into play. Rather than mere damage control, a well-executed reactive strategy can help reshape narratives and even bolster brand loyalty. For instance, in the right circumstances acknowledging mistakes, taking swift corrective actions, and ensuring affected parties are cared for can showcase a brand’s commitment to integrity and its consumers.

Moreover, a strategic approach to brand crisis management also leverages these moments as learning experiences. By analyzing what went wrong, implementing improved protocols, and sharing these enhancements with appropriate audiences, brands can transform challenges into compelling narratives of growth and dedication. In this manner, brand crisis management is not just a defensive tool but a catalyst for continuous evolution and deeper consumer connections.

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© 2023 - 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

Afghanistan earthquake: A tough winter lurks ahead

Four large earthquakes measuring Mww 6.3 each and their aftershocks affected Herat Province in western Afghanistan in early October 2023. The first two earthquakes occurred on 7 October at 11:11 AFT and 11:42 AFT near the city of Herat, followed by many aftershocks. On 11 and 15 October, two other magnitude 6.3 earthquakes struck the same area. The World Health Organization estimated 1,482 fatalities, 2,100 injuries, 43,400 people affected and 114,000 people requiring humanitarian aid. The 11, 15 and 28 October earthquakes caused a combined seven deaths and 344 injuries.

The earthquakes struck Afghanistan during an ongoing humanitarian crisis following the Taliban takeover in 2021, and existing aid groups were experiencing a lack of funds prior to the disaster. Some aid agencies including UNICEF and the Red Cross appealed for donations in response to the earthquakes. Many international organizations and countries participated in rescue and relief efforts. Hospitals were overwhelmed by the number of injured and lack of proper equipment. Additional thousands were made homeless as the country enters the winter.

Source: Wikipedia

Professional Development


Special Issue - Turkey and Syria Earthquakes of February 2023

The Journal of Emergency Management (JEM) Editorial Review Board invites the submission of original research, papers, and case studies supporting a special issue titled: “Analysis of Pre- and Post-Disaster Management and Recovery for the Turkey and Syria Earthquakes of February 2023.” This special issue is led by Dr. Derin Ural, Disaster Researcher, Professor in Practice, and Associate Dean of Student Affairs, College of Engineering, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida and our Editor-in-Chief, Dr. William L. Waugh, Jr.

Special Issue - Leaving Nobody Behind: Emergency Management in an Inclusive Way

The Journal of Emergency Management (JEM) Editorial Review Board invites the submission of original research, papers, and case studies supporting a special issue titled: Leaving Nobody Behind: Emergency Management in an Inclusive Way. The special issue will be led by guest editor Sonny S. Patel, MPH, MPhil, who has extensive experience as an emergency management and disaster risk reduction practitioner. 

Special Issue - Climate Change and Sustainability in Emergency Management

The Journal of Emergency Management (JEM) Editorial Review Board invites the submission of original research, papers, and case studies supporting a special issue titled: Emergency Management, Climate Change and Sustainability – Integrating New Research to Mitigate Disasters and Protect the Planet. The special issue will focus on the intersection of Emergency Management and Climate Change as well as the trend toward integrating new, leading edge, sustainability research and practice into pre-disaster planning and mitigation and post-disaster reconstruction. The special issue will be led by guest editor, Professor Attila J. Hertelendy, PhD, MHA, MS, who has extensive experience as an emergency management and disaster medicine practitioner and an academic researcher with the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health.

Professional Development Opportunities

Mental Health in Emergency Management

Surveying mental health stressors of emergency management professionals: Factors in recruiting and retaining emergency managers in an era of disasters and pandemics

November 1, 2023

1:00 PM Eastern Time (EST)


This 60-minute webinar will address the current state of mental wellness in the emergency management field. Emergency managers (EM) are responsible for managing crises and disasters, and while their work is essential, it can be stressful and impact their mental health and effectiveness as emergency managers. This study aimed to examine the mental health of professional emergency managers and factors associated with their intent to leave the field before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar will present the latest findings from the recent Journal of Emergency Management Stressors and Mental Health Survey and published paper. The webinar will address general and specific stressors and challenges in our profession. The webinar will explore potential changes in how EMs and related fields manage mental health across their disciplines. The webinar will also address organizational culture and other significant factors that affect the recruitment and retention of emergency managers across the field.

International Association of Emergency Managers Conference

November 3-9, 2023

Long Beach, CA

The goal of the IAEM Annual Conference is to improve the knowledge, competency level and collaborative skills of attendee. 

16TH Annual Homeland Defense and Security Summit

November 1-2, 2023

via ZOOM

The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security is pleased to announce the 16th Annual Homeland Defense and Security Education Summit. The theme for this year is Homeland Defense and Security Education at a Crossroads: Innovating for Enduring Value.  Additional information and event registration can be found at: https://www.chds.us/uapp/2023-summit/

DRJ Spring 2024

Unleashing the Power of Resilience

March 17 - 20, 2024

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®

DRJ’s annual spring and fall conferences are the longest-running and best-attended business continuity events in the world. DRJ can help you protect your organization from today’s disruptions and tomorrow’s threats by exposing you to insights from industry leaders and giving you an early look at new BC technologies.

From The Bookshelf

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Beginner’s Guide to Objective Understanding Through a Fact-Based Journey From Past to Present

by Peter Schwartzman

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an enduring issue that has spanned generations, remains unresolved, consistently capturing world attention and fueling passionate debates.

For many Westerners, this contentious topic feels distant, yet understanding its nuances is vital. Without comprehensive knowledge, it's easy to fall prey to misinformation, perpetuate stereotypes, and engage in misinformed discussions.

This lack of clarity not only stifles constructive dialogues but also fans the flames of division.

Imagine a scenario where the conflict intensifies, drawing the world into its vortex. As Israel's staunch ally and an influential figure in Middle Eastern politics, the US stands on the brink of deeper involvement—posing risks to American resources and lives.

Daily, disturbing images from the conflict zone could permeate our screens, raising ethical questions about international responsibilities. Furthermore, this issue has the power to polarize, fracturing American communities and straining interpersonal relationships.

Highlights of this book include:

  • A thorough history and analysis of the conflict, enabling readers to gain a well-rounded understanding and engage in enlightened conversations.
  • Insightful exploration of the geopolitics and possible ramifications, offering guidance on supporting peaceful resolutions.
  • Unveiling the humanitarian aspects, with balanced perspectives from both sides, suggesting avenues for the international community's involvement in upholding human rights.
  • A focus on fostering empathy and mutual respect, ensuring readers can navigate this sensitive topic without adding to the existing divisions.

About the Author

Peter Schwartzman (1978) is a respected journalist and author, renowned for his insights into international relations.

Whilst born in the United States, his life has been deeply intertwined with Europe and the Middle East. This deep connection began during his formative years, accompanying his father on official journeys for an esteemed international trade institute. Later, his academic and career paths further deepened these ties.

Currently making his home in Rome, Peter is a trusted voice for numerous English-language newspapers and online platforms, offering expert commentary on global history and politics.

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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.

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Speaker's Corner
 Looking for a speaker for your conference? I offer keynotes, seminars, workshops, and webinars, either in person or virtually. You can find more details and sample videos on my website.
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©Lucien G. Canton 2023. All rights reserved.
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ISSN: 2334-590X
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