Are Your Emergency Operations Plans Realistic?
A Group Discussion on Planning Assumptions

Lucien G. Canton CEM®, CPP, CBCP
Emergency Management Consultant and Author
San Francisco, California

February 13, 2013

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Webinar Recording (MP4)
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Discussion Questions

Related Web Resources:
Emergency Management Magazine Blog Post "How Realistic is Your Planning?"
White Paper Paper Plans and Fantasy Documents
Canton on Emergency Management Blog
Lu's Newletter

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4 star rating 33 Ratings Submitted

5 Stars 10 (30%) Academia 6 (18%)

4 Stars 17 (52%) Business 5 (15%)

3 Stars 5 (15%) Government 16 (49%)

2 Stars 1 (3%) Volunteers 1 (3%)

1 Star 0 (0%) Other 5 (15%)
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"Great presentation and presenter very insightful. Enjoyed thoroughly and look forward to replay and transcript. Thank you."
Cedric Corpuz
Navy Medicine West

"Great review and insights!!!"

"It was very helpful and enjoyable as a college student I want to thank you for the opportunity to learn."
Brian Travis
Edmonds Community College

"We are using Mr. Canton's textbook at JSU this semester and he is now wonderful to listen to after having read the textbook for school."

"I am from Canada but found the information useful."
Allan Galambos
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

"Really enjoyed Lucien's perspectives.Really resonated with me and my thinking about the direction my regional EM program is moving."
Kirby Felts
Charlottesville-UVA-Albemarle (VA) Office of Emergency

"Mr. Canton's views and perspectives are refreshing and challenge the conventional wisdom on emergency preparedness and planning.  Thank you for pulling together an interesting and informative session."
Patrick Sheehan

"Confirmation of the misfocused well intentioned government emergency response planning, crisis management, etc."
Geary Sikich
Logical Management Systems, Corp.

"Use of polling was good with results displayed for all to see."

"Great information discussed. The polls were eye-opening."
P. Pulsifer

"You were preaching to the choir.  The individuals needed to hear this are never attending."

"Very well put together and kudos for being succinct!!  The content was excellent and the pace was ideal for busy professionals."
Jim Murray

"Thankful that Lucein Canton took the time to discuss the reality of plans and the process.  Excellent discussion and I really liked the polling features."
Dee Beaugez
VIPlanning - working with TX school district

"Liked the discussion. Some good points."
Mar Marchbank
Virginia Beach OEM

"The speaker made a number very intelligent and creative points. It will definitely cause me to think in different ways in future emergency management planning. Big thanks!"

"Pretty ho-hum. Nothing new but it is good to go over the basics now and again."

"I felt the forum was very informative and lessened concerns about the present planning process that we have in place. This forum strengthened the direction we are going in with our planning and will be beneficial in addressing any concerns raised about why we use the format we use."

"Good info, enjoyed it. Thanks."
John Carey

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  1. For local communities, whose priorities SHOULD drive planning?
    1. Local
    2. Regional
    3. State
    4. Federal
  2. For local communities, whose priorities ACTUALLY drive planning?
    1. Local
    2. Regional
    3. State
    4. Federal
  3. Which hazards should local communities plan to respond to?
    1. Those that have historically occurred
    2. Unlikely threats
    3. Future climate trends
    4. “All Hazards” approach
  4. What are the essential response capabilities for “All Hazards” response planning?
    1. Continuity of operations
    2. Warning
    3. Evacuation
    4. Communications
    5. Resource management
    6. Other
  5. Where will additional response resources come from?
    1. Mutual Aid
    2. State resources
    3. Federal resources
    4. Non-governmental organizations
    5. Other
  6. In a widespread disaster, will these resources actually be immediately available to your community?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  7. Do your plans assume the public will do what you expect?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  8. Do your drills and exercises reflect the contents of your plan and are they based on accurate assumptions?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  9. Are your plans ACTUALLY reviewed and updated following a major event to reflect experience and incorporate lessons learned?
    1. Yes
    2. No
    3. Don’t know
  10. To what extent should the “whole community” be engaged in the planning process?
    1. Not at all
    2. Public review and comment
    3. Advisory group
    4. Other
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Lucien G. Canton, CEM, CPP CBCP has over 30 years experience in hazard and risk analysis, loss reduction, and emergency planning.  As the Director of Emergency Services for the City of San Francisco from 1996 to 2004, he was responsible for coordinating the City's emergency management program and served as a policy advisor on emergency management and Homeland Security issues to Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. Under his direction, the City increased its overall response capabilities through modernization of the emergency operations center and the institution of an aggressive exercise program. Mr. Canton was instrumental in the development of the City's terrorism response capability and coordinated major response plans for the millennium and the electrical energy crisis. A strong supporter of volunteerism, he expanded the role of volunteers under the City's emergency plan by developing mutual support linkages among various programs and adding key agencies to the Disaster Council. During his tenure with San Francisco, Mr. Canton successfully lobbied for the adoption of national standards for the City’s emergency management program and revised the City’s Administrative Code to incorporate the Standardized Emergency Management System. His commitment to professional standards transformed the Office of Emergency Services into a highly credible organization and a leading player in regional emergency planning.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Canton served as an Emergency Management Specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency from 1990 to 1996. He assisted in the development of Federal disaster response capability, to include tactical and strategic planning, inter-agency coordination, and field operations. In addition to his duties as a planner, Mr. Canton served as a senior staff officer on all major disasters in Region IX including the Loma Prieta earthquake, Hurricane Iniki, the Northridge earthquake, the Southern California Wildfires, and the California Winter Storms of 1995. His experience includes extensive deployment on typhoon relief operations in the Pacific Trust Territories and the Caribbean and assignment to an elite National Emergency Response Team. Mr. Canton also served as the Chief of the Hazard Mitigation Branch for Region IX with responsibility for administering post-disaster mitigation programs. Because of his extensive disaster experience, Mr. Canton served on national task forces and working groups developing the Federal Response Plan and is the co-author of key components of the Federal disaster intelligence system.
Mr. Canton served with the US Army in Germany from 1975 to 1980 and held a variety of positions in the US and abroad in the private security industry from 1980 to 1990. His credentials include certification by the International Association of Emergency Managers as a Certified Emergency Manager, designation as a Certified Protection Professional by the American Society for Industrial Security, International, and recognition by the Disaster Recovery Institute, International as a Certified Business Continuity Professional. He is also a certified assessor for the Emergency Management Accreditation Program. Mr. Canton is the author of Emergency Management: Concepts and Strategies for Effective Programs and of numerous articles on emergency management and security issues. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Business Administration in International Management degree from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.

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