If you are just starting in Emergency Management, have been doing it for a while, or are just interested in reading about how to lead during a disaster then this book is for you. I wish I had this book when I started working for FEMA in 2004.
Ed Conley lays out in clear and concise words (which is no surprise since he has made his career out of using words wisely), ideas and philosophies how to be the best Emergency Manager you can be in whatever capacity your might be operating. Ed and I were both working in External Affairs for FEMA; he as a Public Information Officer and External Affairs Director and me as a Governmental Affairs Manager and Assistant External Affairs Officer. But the guidelines he lays out in this book will also apply to someone working in Individual Assistance or Public Assistance for FEMA as well as someone serving as a city, county, parish or state Emergency Manager.
Drawing on his years of experience with FEMA, Ed shares relevant and applicable experiences that prove his points. His recollections are both/ educational and entertaining. I especially enjoyed reading about his interactions with several of my former colleagues like Megan Floyd, Ricardo “Zuni” Zuniga, and Barb Sturner, as well as Brian Hvinden, Holly Stephens Jerry DeFelice and so many others that I had the honor and pleasure of working with during my 17 years with the agency.
As I said in my first paragraph; I wish I had this book when I started working for FEMA. I was fortunate and had some excellent mentors, trainers and supervisors such as Susan Pederson, the late Miss Betty Roberson, Sue Loftin and all of the people I mentioned in the previous paragraph who taught me valuable lessons in my Emergency Management career. But I also had some of those people Ed mentions who didn’t embody all the best qualities of an Emergency Manager and his words in this book would have been such a help to a “newbie” like myself to sort out the best from the not so good. So, I say again, this book is for those just starting as well as those farther along in their life as Emergency Managers.
Unsurprisingly, I give this book 5 stars for Ed’s advice, wisdom, encouragement and thoughtful writing on how to lead during disasters.
Get it, read it, live it.