Thriving in Crisis, Essential Skills for Emergency Managers
By: Robert Gerlach
The most elite performers in any profession including Military special operations are elite simply because they have mastered a few essential skills or the basics. The basics lay the foundation for skills to grow from and the strength of the foundation determines how much growth can happen. The foundation needs to be nurtured throughout the growth process. This month's book takes us back to the basics of Emergency Management. Robert Gerlach does a good job explaining the essential foundational skills Emergency Managers need to learn coming into the career field and continuously refine as we progress through our careers. As I was reading this book, I couldn’t help but think that this would be good supplemental reading for an Emergency Management 100-level class (college, FEMA, etc.) because it gives such a macro view of the career field, I will be adding it to my recommended reading list for those I mentor trying to get into the profession. I appreciate how Robert breaks down the Community Lifelines and their interdependencies in a way that even the newest practitioners can understand. Understanding these lifelines will help practitioners prioritize their efforts appropriately.
Overall, this was a good read I would recommend for EM practitioners new and seasoned written from the viewpoint of a fellow practitioner still in the trenches as a local Emergency Manager.
It is essential to get and stay sharp on the essential skills of Emergency Management and along the way sprinkle in some modern technology or techniques.
An Emergency Manager needs to be both a good leader and a good manager and constantly slide between the management/ leadership pendulum applying the proper skills needed at the time.
Emergency Managers need to be technology savvy, willing, and able to incorporate tech to improve gaps. This will come to light real soon with the emergence of AI in the EM career field.
Our career field is only going to get more complicated moving forward with increasing threats of climate change, technological advancements, social upheaval, threat complexity, and resource constraints. It is imperative that we master these essential skills and develop creative new skills and technology to lead our communities through this increasingly challenging landscape. This profession is not for the faint-hearted.