In recent weeks, two topics have been keeping me up at night:
(1) The sheer volume of guidance, reports, documents, directives and the like that are coming from FEMA and other federal agencies responsible for emergency management.
As noted in an earlier posting, there is an inverse relationship between the volume of materials to be read and understood and incorporated into planning in practice and the resources (personnel and money) available at the state and local levels of government. I assume also that the Red Cross and many non-governmental organizations also are feeling the effects of sequester-driven and other budget reductions.
(2) Leadership, primarily lack of. The very agencies who issue the documents noted above are not willing or not able to show the flag and lead the way. Just today, the Wash. Post noted huge cutbacks in the number of meteorologist on staff at the National Weather Service and their ability to perform vital functions n times of weather emergencies are seriously impaired.
Somehow the requirements have to be streamlined and rationalized so that the reduced workforce and resource base can get the most essential tasks and functions done, and at the same time the reports and non-essential paperwork requirements get reduced.
As promised, here is some new material on the topic of leadership:
Two weeks ago the Diva was in London Ontario, participating in an invitational conference on Leaderships held at the University of Western Ontario. The small group of participants was comprised on Canadian and American professionals in the various elements of emergency management. You can see some of the past work of the organization, and in the near future I expect they will post a proceedings of the conference. [(I will feature that fact and provide a URL when it is available.)
One of the documents shared at the conference was the report titled: Leadership on Trial: a Manifesto for Leadership Development (2010). For a preview of the report and ordering info, go to this site. There also is a Webcast of the launch available.