Recommended Reading

Top Picks as Read By Our Team

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Moment of Truth

Kelly McKinney

From a global pandemic to social unrest to election messes to murder hornets, 2020 and beyond has been a time of maximum chaos. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Because, there are professionals inside and outside of government who are responsible for keeping us prepared for these things.

This is not a book about disasters. Instead, Moment of Truth will tell you what these genuine threats mean for society as a whole, as well as for your region or town—or you. All we have to do is open our eyes and look beyond the “brick wall of hope” that clouds our vision in collective denial.

In addition to advice for government, Moment of Truth contains practical steps that you can take now to keep you and your family safe in the face of the next catastrophe. Because it may come down to just you.

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Multilevel Governance and Emergency Management in Canadian Municipalities

Daniel Henstra

Whether it is wildfires in Alberta, widespread flooding in Newfoundland, or massive snowstorms in Nova Scotia, Canadian governments must be prepared to manage a range of emergencies. Many organizations and resources have to be coordinated in emergency management, and the quality of emergency planning has a direct impact on the effectiveness of disaster response. Municipalities have primary responsibility, but emergency management requires authority and resources from all levels of government as well as collaboration with stakeholders from the private and voluntary sectors.

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Never Split the Difference / Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It

Chris Voss

Former FBI Hostage Negotiator Chris Voss has few equals when it comes to high stakes negotiations. Whether for your business or your personal life, his techniques work.” (Joe Navarro, FBI Special Agent (Ret.) and author of the international bestseller, What Every Body is Saying.)^Emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence without sacrificing deal-making power. From a former hostage negotiator - someone who couldn’t take no for an answer - which makes it fascinating reading. But it’s also eminently practical. In these pages, you will find the techniques for getting the deal you want. 

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You're It

David Gergen

Today, in an instant, leaders can find themselves face-to-face with crisis. An active shooter. A media controversy. A data breach. In You're It, the faculty of the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard University takes you to the front lines of some of the toughest decisions facing our nation's leaders-from how to mobilize during a hurricane or in the aftermath of a bombing to halting a raging pandemic. They also take readers through the tough decision-making inside the world's largest companies, hottest startups, and leading nonprofits.

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Five Days At Memorial

Sherri Fink

In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are for the impact of large-scale disasters—and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis

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The Unthinkable

Amanda Ripley

Amanda Ripley, an award-winning journalist for Time magazine who has covered some of the most devastating disasters of our age, set out to discover what lies beyond fear and speculation.

 

In this magnificent work of investigative journalism, Ripley retraces the human response to some of history’s epic disasters, from the explosion of the Mont Blanc munitions ship in 1917–one of the biggest explosions before the invention of the atomic bomb–to a plane crash in England in 1985 that mystified investigators for years, to the journeys of the 15,000 people who found their way out of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

 

Then, to understand the science behind the stories, Ripley turns to leading brain scientists, trauma psychologists, and other disaster experts, formal and informal, from a Holocaust survivor who studies heroism to a master gunfighter who learned to overcome the effects of extreme fear.

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Extreme Ownership: How U.S Navy Seals Lead and Win

Jocko Willink & Leif Babin

Combat, the most intense and dynamic environment imaginable, teaches the toughest leadership lessons, with absolutely everything at stake. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin learned this reality first-hand on the most violent and dangerous battlefield in Iraq. In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership―at every level―is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails. 

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Disaster By Choice

Ilan Kelman

An earthquake shatters Haiti and a hurricane slices through Texas. We hear that nature runs rampant, seeking to destroy us through these "natural disasters". Science recounts a different story, however: disasters are not the consequence of natural causes; they are the consequence of human choices and decisions. we put ourselves in harm's way; we fail to take measures which we know would prevent disasters, no matter what the environment does.

This book explores stories of some of our worst disasters to show how we can and should act to stop people dying when nature unleashes its energies. But we can combat this, as Kelman shows, describing inspiring examples of effective human action that limits damage, such as managing flooding in Toronto and villages in Bangladesh, or wildfire in Colorado. 

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The Return of the Spanish Lady: The 1918 Influenza Virus is Back

Alain Normand

Josh Stuart is a family man with firm principles and strong values. But when a stranger rides into the quiet town of Lakedge bringing fear, division and death, Josh, his family, indeed the whole town are forever changed.

 

They eventually realise that this Spanish Lady has remained hidden for almost a century. The last time she was out in 1918, she rampaged through the world taking more than 20 million lives. Now she is out of hibernation, she is on the hunt, she is hungry for blood. Her next stop just happened to be. Lakedge.

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The Objective Leader

Elizabeth R. Thornton

We are all subjective―it's human nature. We overreact to situations; we judge people too quickly and unfairly; we take something personally when it was not really meant that way. As a result, we lose relationships, reputation, money, and peace of mind. And in our ever-more-complex world, leaders must make decisions faster and with more conflicting information; widespread insecurity makes people territorial and risk-averse; and the consequences of every action are played out on a disproportionately large stage. Imagine how much more prepared Mitt Romney could have been for his landslide loss on election night, if his advisors had acknowledged the facts staring them in the face.