Emergency Management Solutions Newsletter

Volume 15 No. 9

September 2023

Hello Lucien,

Welcome to the September edition of Emergency Management Solutions.

The recent earthquake in Syria and outpouring of aid from all over the world serves as a reminder that emergency managers are not alone but in many ways we are bound together by a commitment to serving those in need. It is also a reminder of the importance of pre-disaster mitigation and why cannot devote ourselves exclusively to response planning.

In this month's featured articles, Tim Riecker offers a guest post that may prove useful in your public education programs and offers some thoughts on the mechanics of crisis management. My own article builds on my discussion of last month on emergency management qualifications and offers some thoughts on the touchy subject of whether an undergraduate degree should be one.

Be well!

Lucien Canton
Featured Articles
L. Canton Photo 2013

Canton on Emergency Management

By Lucien G. Canton, CEM

EM Qualifications:

Who Needs A Degree?

Want to start an argument among emergency managers? Just raise the question about whether an undergraduate degree should be one of the qualifications for the job and stand back and watch the sparks fly. The discussion usually degenerates into two categories. Those with degrees can’t see why it would be a problem and those without argue that they have had successful careers without ever needing one.

Get over it, people. It’s not about you, it’s about the future of emergency management. Stop thinking about yourself and your career experience and look at how things have changed and continue to change.

Last month I wrote about the problem of deciding what qualifies someone to be an emergency manager by focusing on the recent fires in Hawaii and the resignation of the local emergency manager following questions about his qualifications for his position. My point was that is hard to judge qualifications when you haven’t agreed on specific qualifications and have no way of measuring how well a candidate meets those them.

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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

Why Being Prepared for Natural Disasters Is More Important Than Ever

Guest post!

I’m happy to have Carla Lopez return as a guest blogger, reminding us of the info we should be communicating to everyone about preparedness.

About Carla – Carla Lopez kept her entrepreneurial spirit even after retiring a couple years ago. She created Boomerbig.org for retirees who still desire to work and achieve – a site that offers business resources for people in their golden years.


Natural disasters can strike at any time, leaving communities devastated and struggling to recover. While it’s impossible to prevent these events from happening, there are steps you can take to minimize their impact on your life. Being prepared for a natural disaster can help you stay safe, protect your property, and recover more quickly. Emergency Preparedness Solutions shares some of the benefits of being prepared.

Investing in Flood Insurance

One of the most important steps you can take to prepare for a natural disaster is to purchase insurance. This is especially true if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. Floods can cause significant damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure, and without insurance, it can be difficult to recover. If you live in a flood-prone area, make sure you have flood insurance to protect your property.

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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

The Mechanics of Effective Crisis Management: Navigating Challenges with Precision

Navigating Challenges with Precision

Effective crisis management operates like a well-oiled machine, allowing you to successfully take on unforeseen challenges. Let’s delve into the mechanics behind this process and how it empowers organizations to navigate complexities with precision.

Understanding Crisis Management: A Methodical Approach

At its core, crisis management is a methodical approach to preventing, addressing, and mitigating impact from disruptions. It involves a systematic series of steps aimed at minimizing damage, safeguarding reputation, and restoring normalcy.

Preparedness as the Foundation: Crafting the Blueprint

Effective crisis management begins long before a crisis arises. It involves laying down the groundwork through detailed crisis communication plans. These blueprints outline procedures, roles, and communication strategies, ensuring that everyone is on the same page when adversity strikes.

Click here to read the rest of this article
© 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

How Hurricanes Form And Why They're Getting Stronger

Hurricanes are becoming more intense and costly as Category 4 or 5 storms have nearly doubled over the decades. Scientists say climate change and warmer oceans are fueling them.

Professional Development


Looting or Community Solidarity? Reconciling Post-Hurricane Media Coverage 

In the aftermath of disaster, looting and crime are often perceived as a common response. This article explores how pro-social behavior was more prevalent. 

Public Health in Rural Communities: A Simulation Tool for Disaster Preparedness

Rural communities with limited resources can be overwhelmed in disasters. Learn how a computer simulation can improve disaster planning and increase preparedness.

FEMA releases Information Sharing Guide for Private-Public Partnerships

The Information Sharing Guide for Private-Public Partnerships provides recommendations and resources for any private-public partnership (P3) to develop, conduct, and improve the capability to share information for resilience and all response and recovery.

Professional Development Opportunities

DRJ Fall 2023 Focus on Resiliency

September 10 - 13, 2023

Phoenix AZ

Sessions are designed to provide the information you need to manage a crisis, build resilience, and be better prepared to manage risk in today’s uncertain landscape.

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/

Currently UAPP has an open call for presentations, inviting all relevant research from related fields of study to submit proposals for consideration. Selectees will present at the summit. More details on the call for presentations, and UAPP overall can be found on the website.

From The Bookshelf

Disasters: A Sociological Approach

by Kathleen Tierney

Disasters kill, maim, and generate increasingly large economic losses. But they do not wreak their damage equally across populations, and every disaster has social dimensions at its very core. This important book sheds light on the social conditions and on the global, national, and local processes that produce disasters.

Topics covered include the social roots of disaster vulnerability, exposure to natural hazards such as hurricanes and tsunamis as a form of environmental injustice, and emerging threats. Written by a leading expert in the field, this book provides the necessary frameworks for understanding hazards and disasters, exploring the contributions of very different social science fields to disaster research and showing how these ideas have evolved over time. Bringing the social aspects of recent devastating disasters to the forefront, Tierney discusses the challenges of conducting research in the aftermath of disasters and critiques the concept of disaster resilience, which has come to be seen as a key to disaster risk reduction.

Peppered with case studies, research examples, and insights from very different disciplines, this rich introduction is an invaluable resource to students and scholars interested in the social nature of disasters and their relation to broader social forces.

About the Author

Dr. Kathleen Tierney is Professor Emerita of Sociology and the former Director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on hazards, disasters, and risk, with an emphasis on the political economy of disasters. She is an expert in qualitative research methods, including quick-response field research following disasters, in-depth interviewing, qualitative evaluation research, and focus group methods.

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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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