I am positive that there are many more examples of poor leadership when it comes to elected leaders buying into what emergency management can do for their jurisdiction than there are those who make a positive difference. But, in this case we have an example of a leader recognized for what he did before a disaster and after a disaster to make a difference.
See Building a Championship Team which recognizes the Mayor of Tuscaloosa Alabama, Walter Maddox as a national leader in building a top notch emergency management team and for his leadership before and after the devastating tornado that hit his city in April 2011.
Probably by accident he stumbled upon emergency management and disaster readiness as a way to build a team, build community and also become better prepared. When you read the story you will see it was not a one-shot deal with a news release and then off to the next endeavor. He stayed the course after coming back from an Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) and saw the fruits of his dedication play out when the storm and tornado hit his town. The recovery period has only brought out the best in his team.
I always say the difference is always about leadership. Find a good organization and you will find a good leader.