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Our goal is to ensure you are prepared for natural and man-made disasters, before, during and after they occur.
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It usually does no good to go witch-hunting when things go wrong. Adult people take responsibility for their actions, and a mature adult ‘fesses up when they mess things up. Blame only creates hard feelings, anger and words that create a tense environment.

Before you point your finger at someone not performing up to your expectations, take a close look at yourself. Ask yourself these questions. Have I given this person all the training that is available for this task? Have I selected a good instructor who can clearly impart the knowledge to the trainee? Has every effort been made to ensure that this trainee had been given the job to complete in their own way without supervisory interference? If you answer NO to any question, then you as a leader have failed your people by not taking care of them.

For every finger pointed, there are 3 fingers pointing you. For the ego-centric leader, this is a hard pill to swallow. But, swallow it you must. Anything else is abuse of your authority. It is far easier to get people to follow you when you are firm, but fair. Punishment is better left to a group decision than an "edict from on high". You have to live and survive with all these people. You all have a vested interest in being there.

There are "goof-offs" in every group of 2 or more people. Of all the jobs a leader has, getting people motivated to WANT to help is one of the hardest tasks there is. Yelling does NO GOOD AT ALL.

One of the items I snuck into the area of Housing and Shelter (Director/Boss) was Recreational Director. I can't emphasize this too much. You cannot maintain a high level of work and security without something breaking down. People need to relax at the end of the day or end of the shift. Kids have more excess energy than adults so any activity you can find for them to burn off that energy is good for the whole group. Relaxation rests both the mind and the body. Everyone needs a day off.

This "free time" is hard to come by in a survival situation. Somebody has to be on duty "minding the store" while everyone else plays around. Rotating that duty is the only fair way to make sure the duty person isn't always stuck on duty while his or her friends relax. "It's not fair" a very valid complaint. If you schedule like that, you are again violating rule #1 about taking care of your people.

Mr. or Ms. Leader - that means you too. "Brain Saturation" is the same as "Overload". After a constant barrage of problem-solving, the boss needs to relax too. Go fishing, run laps, swim laps, or go cry quietly in a dark room. Whatever system you need to relieve the burden of leadership. Some people cannot handle the constant strain of leadership. Being ultimately responsibility for the lives of a lot of people scares the heck out of most sane people.


When I first moved to the Sarasota, Florida area, I had to change my driver's license from New Jersey to Florida. Hidden in this procedure was to get put on a list for jury duty. I got summoned for jury duty within 6 weeks. It was a murder trial. In the jury room, one lady (a mother of 3) was wringing her hands about how she didn't want to be responsible for the life of another person.

That really surprised me. She has given birth and raised 3 children for years, and has been ultimately responsible for their lives since before they were born. When I tried to point this out to her, she said, "No, its just not the same." What she meant was, "I don't want to be responsible for the lives of strangers."

I then pointed out that she does this on a daily basis just driving a car. She didn't want to hear that either. (P.S. The man was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. She cried all through the sentencing.) She then got in her car, drove home and took care of her kids. She never believed me that she held the lives of her fellow drivers - as well as the lives of her family - in her hand. It's the same responsibility only in a different setting.