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You Think You Are Busy Responding to Disasters!

Try being the secretary of state.

As emergency managers, we never know when a disaster will strike. Some are predictable, but many just come out of the blue, be it an earthquake, tornado, flash flood, etc.

But, if you think you have it bad, think about being the United States secretary of state! I was thinking about this in the context of the recent Israeli war that is currently ongoing. There was a surprise attack and no prediction or "ramp up" to the war, like we saw before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The issue is that this one instance is repeated time and again all over the world. There are coups, assassinations of political leaders, trade disputes that flare up, shootings and incursions at national borders, on and on. The average tenure of someone in the role of secretary of state is around 18 months. You can see how that demanding job would wear on someone — at any age.

While we have the potential threat of something happening in our jurisdiction, we are not monitoring and responding to worldwide events that happen on a daily basis.
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.