Hoboken, New Jersey Mayor Dawn Zimmer shows FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino businesses damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Oct. 2012
Disasters Raise Challenges For Even the Most Experienced Leader
We often hear from leaders after a crisis, "I just want to talk to someone who's been through this before." Some have one or two questions. Others want longer term guidance from a peer. So whether you're a mayor or leader of a county or parish looking for advice or a disaster veteran who wants to volunteer your expertise, you're in the right place. Click here to contact LeadersLink.
QUESTIONS ANSWERED - Before, during and after a disaster, issues can arise that have no easy answer. So send that question to LeadersLink. We will share it anonymously with our team of disaster veterans - current and former elected officials who have led their communities successfully through fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters. We will send back to you the answers from leaders of communities large and small about what worked - or didn't - for them.
MENTOR PROGRAM - You may have more than a few questions and prefer a one-on-one relationship with a disaster-experienced peer. We will match you with the current or former leader of a similar-sized community that in recent years experienced a similar disaster.
This is a unique partnership where leaders via phone, email, text, Skype, Facetime or even in person share their first-hand knowledge and give you an idea what might be coming around the corner.
EDUCATION - Because we believe disaster preparedness is so important, click "Resources" above to find wisdom from disaster experts as well as free disaster-related goods and services. That's also where you can access LeadersLink's acclaimed production Leading Through the Storm. The video walks you through the steps Gulf Coast elected officials took as they grappled with the worst natural disaster in U.S. history - Hurricane Katrina. The lessons and insights are timeless and instructive to anyone who might someday be at the helm during a major crisis.
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"It's a great idea. The lessons learned and experiences gained through a disaster are so helpful to instruct or guide people. It's just so valuable that experience, and so helpful. There's an art to this."
Mayor Joe Riley / Charleston, SC
"I would love to have had someone saying 'for the next 3 weeks here's what you need to focus on'. That would have really helped me. There really wasn't a lot of information passed on to us about what was coming in the weeks and months ahead. I remember pulling articles from the Gulf Coast and New Orleans. We did our best to anticipate a lot of issues."
Mayor Walter Maddox / Tuscaloosa, AL
"A website would be really helpful. The ability to link to somebody, talk to somebody in a city of 10,000 or 300,000. There is just some consolation to hearing affirmation. Truthfully, the emotional support means a lot."
Mayor Ted Ellis / Bluffton, IN / Former Pres., National League of Cities
"There's a lot of people sit back and say, 'Oh my God! What am I going to do?' At times, you just need someone to talk to about what you need to be doing next."
Mayor Gregg Kennedy / Smithville, MS
"You're going to get the first call. So you'd better have some answers. You have five minutes! You need to know what you're going to do."
Mayor Harry Lewis / Rayville, LA
"If we keep educating folks - however it needs to be done - but if we can keep educating and letting them know what we know now and wished we had known back then, I think we'll all be better off."
Mayor Eddie Favre / Bay St. Louis, MS
"I think it's very important. It gives us an opportunity to take lessons learned and mistakes made and pass them forward and help people make the right decisions and keep from making the wrong ones."
Mayor Brent Warr / Gulfport, MS
"Anytime you tap on experience, that's a whole lot better a lot of times than a bunch of books. If you have somebody that lived it say, this is what you need to do. Especially if it worked out."