“There is Too Much: Let Me Sum Up” – Emergency Management Once Removed 2020
By Jim Mullen
Emergency Management, Once Removed
January: “Government’s Trust Deficit: A Possible Antidote” proposed that emergency managers “devise exercises in which the public can participate, to “penetrate the divisive “white noise” that makes essential government messaging difficult to transmit in normal times and potentially impossible during emergencies…” Hmm-mm!
February: “It’s Dusk in America” foresaw a dark (short-term) future. Though things seemed “normal” on the surface, I felt unease that darkness might soon fall (little did I know!). My optimistic assertion that the NCAA’s “March Madness” would occur as scheduled was off the mark; “Official March Madness” replaced it in the form of the federal government’s failure to respond honestly and appropriately to COVID.
March: “Resilience: Bending Without Breaking” argued disasters we cannot prevent can still be mitigated in advance by local/state actions without overly depending on federal support. Known hazards should be addressed before they become a reality.
April: “Leaders R’ Us” stressed that absent national leadership, each of us has a personal responsibility to model responsible behavior in addressing the pandemic.
May: “The Wisdom of Yogi” (Berra) cautioned, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably wind up somewhere else” – suggesting that planning for COVID recovery should occur during the pandemic, concluding “We need to define what recovery will look like. In doing so, we will define what we look like in the future.”
June: Excerpting from a 2016 post (“Reconciliation Versus Resistance, Which Will Win?”) I discussed the increasing tendency of election “losers” to undermine democratic principles, followed by: “Paranoia Strikes Deep” where I wrote ”the reactions to the pandemic and the protective measures that responsible government officials have taken has ripped the Band-Aid off an even more diabolical threat to the stability of our country… asking “how huge a leap is it from refusing to honor and enforce existing laws to threatening to take up arms against the state or national government to refusing to accept election results?
July: “Walls or Bridges?” not so subtly highlighted our shared challenge to find common ground. The walls most difficult to breach are not physical but ideological.
August: “In the Wrong Hands” reprised my 2019 lament over the Department of Homeland Security drift into activities that seemed directed toward oppression and authoritarianism.
September: “Whither Emergency Management?” suggested that organizational placement of emergency management within government merited special attention from decision-makers. Prompted by City of Seattle budget actions (Note: Seattle got it right this time).
October: “About Us” noted the increase in white supremacist behavior, prompting the observation that until we confront some festering national issues, that “more perfect union” will elude us.
November: “A Word to Emergency Managers” counseled that emergency managers must tend to their personal health during seemingly endless turmoil and tension. “In Other News” heralded the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s proposal to create a state Resilience Office to engage the public to prepare for and recover from future disasters.
Bring on 2021!
*(from “The Princess Bride”)
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