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CESA Professional Reading List

A course of personal study and contemplation is an essential component for the individual development of every Emergency Management professional. Each of us faces busy schedules every day and finding time to read and think is a recurring challenge. But even as we train EOC staff and assorted response partners, we must improve our minds through reading and critical thinking. In order to properly prepare for and recover from assorted disasters each of us must improve our knowledge of not only response capabilities, but economics, politics, and even international affairs. We must know how to train for new types of missions, how other regions and countries respond/responded to assorted disasters, and how to pursue innovation and change while preserving local core capabilities in an era of fiscal constraint. The books on this list can sharpen our understanding of legal authorities and responsibilities, the indispensable role of ethical leadership, and the extraordinary demands of disaster response. We challenge each of you to read these books and to discuss, debate, and think critically about the ideas they contain. As we read and study our profession, we create new opportunities to serve our communities today and in the years ahead.


About the Program


 The CESA Professional Reading List is divided into three categories:


1.    Laws, Regulations, & Studies

2.    Past & Present Events

3.    The Emergency Management Professional


The books included in this list offer assorted views of the Emergency Management Profession. They are provided as selected works that can help assorted classifications of employees, local leaders, and anyone interested in learning more about the dynamic profession of Emergency Management. This reading list is intended to service as a guide to the many topics worthy of professional consideration, contemplation, and serious discussion. The appearance of a title on this reading list does not imply that CESA endorses the author’s views or interpretations. Nevertheless, these books contain thought-provoking ideas and viewpoints relevant to our profession.


Laws, Regulations, & Studies


ACCG, Model Emergency Management: Ordinances and Agreements 4th Edition; ACCG 2016

Odus V. Elliott, The Tools of Government: A Guide to the New Governance; Oxford University Press Inc. 2002

National Research Council, Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions; National Academies Press, 2006


Past & Present Events


Geoff Williams, Washed Away; Pegasus Books, 2014

Kelly McKinney, Moment of Truth; Post Hill Press, 2018

Stephen Flynn, The Edge of Disaster: Rebuilding a Resilient Nation; Random House, 2007


The Emergency Management Professional


Wess Roberts, PH.D., Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun; Warner Books, 1985

Rutherford H. Platt, Disaster and Democracy: The Politics of Extreme Natural Events; Island Press, 1999

Steven Fink, Crisis Communications: The Definitive Guide to Managing the Message; McGraw Hill Professional, 2013