It is fascinating how in so many ways habits and cultures permeates our lives.
A few questions…How would Emergency Managers deal with different cultures in their communities? What are the views of different cultures of emergency preparedness? How do you prepare your community by reaching the whole community not just one set or another? How do you as a participant within a group to help your group/culture assist emergency managers by preparing your group? So many more questions.
But, when you are culturally aware of what is around you not only between groups but between how people function in those groups you get a start to understand habits.
What is a Habit?
According to Dictionary.com a Habit is a Noun which is “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary”. Think of River and Rocks. As the water flows across the rocks it forms a crevice. The habit is the water going over that rock and forming a crack then that water flowing over and over and over making the crack in the Rock grow steadier bigger and bigger.
Emergency Managers need to function the same way as dealing with cultural awareness in Communities. Getting out in your community understanding others in their setting is key. Emergency Management does not happen in a Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Yes, Do not get me wrong you need a EOC as the brains sort of a Disaster. Emergencies/Disasters happen outside to different groups. Being aware of who is in your communities is vital.
Think about it just the like the water of the crack in the rock so do Emergency Managers need to get out in the community and almost embed themselves constantly. If this embedding keeps happening it becomes a Habit. You have hence become accustomed to people understanding you and your job as a Emergency Managers have become accustomed to knowing their community in a different and unique way.
Habits are important in life and in emergency management. We slowly do the same thing over and over and over again and slowly still it becomes normal and if you stop it almost become strange. A Habit, when for the good, is a great addiction. Especially when it is for the growth of a Community.
So now what?
Get out in your Community become that person that forms the Habit of being more then just a talking head. Be the habit that people understand you and be the person people are not afraid to talk to.
What habits have you come accustomed to in your emergency management life? What lessons can be learned from the habits that you have developed?
A awesome book on habits that I read and highly recommend is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg