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Disaster Zone Podcast: ‘Leading in a Crisis’

Are you ready for the unthinkable?

If you are someone who has to respond to emergencies and disasters, I’m sure you have contemplated how you will respond. There are the basic “life support” issues. I told my wife that with a big earthquake that impacted King County, I would not be home for perhaps many weeks. There is no commuting 35 miles when bridges are out. I figured it would take me about a day to walk to work and then we also had a “helicopter pickup plan” for key staff and leadership. That’s the mechanics of planning.

Then there is the issue of leading in a crisis. Perhaps a crisis that is so big, it was unthinkable when you contemplated what could happen. That is the topic of this Disaster Zone podcast: “Leading in a Crisis.”

Pete Gaynor, the immediate past Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) national administrator, talks about leadership in a crisis and a new two-hour course he has put together for senior leaders in government or business on leading in a crisis — that was perhaps “unthinkable” and then it happened! That was his personal experience with COVID-19.

I believe you will enjoy listening to Pete, and doing so also might help you to align your thinking on how you will behave in a future unthinkable disaster.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.