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by Gerald Baron: Crisis and emergency communication strategies

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Recovering from disaster--the Galveston way
September 27, 2010
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On September 12, 2008 Galveston and the Houston region were hit with one of the most severe and destructive hurricanes in history--Ike. Many comments have been made, including by me, that reflect high admiration for the people, government leaders and responders who had to deal with this event. They showed remarkable strength and resilience.

But now Galvestonians are leading the way with showing us that resilience includes knowing how to recover. And that means celebrating your survival, endurance, strength and resilience. Here's the official video of the Galveston Flash Mob .

Now this kind of thing doesn't happen without some leadership and leadership is the key to resilience. Kitty Allen, a valued client, provided the spark needed to get this going. Here's what she wrote in an email about how this all came about:

I just thought it might be appropriate for Galvestonians, at least, to stop for about 5 minutes and celebrate how FAR we have actually come in 2 short years! Seems to me folks don't celebrate their successes enough and often choose to dwell on the glass half-empty....which is far from inspiring or motivating. Not being a super-slick, professional dancer routine, we wanted to demonstrate that while we might not all be 'in sync,' we ARE working together, going in the same general direction..and with our own individual style!

So, I emailed the Mayor with a quick "Do you think I'm nutz?" communication, explained the concept and included examples of flash mobs around the world...He "got it" immediately and encouraged me to "go for it"...so we did.

Congratulations Kitty, Mr. Mayor, and all you brave Galvestonians. You not only taught us how to endure an event like this with great courage and strength, now you are teaching us how to recover!


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