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5 Important Emergency Preparedness Tips from Popular Holiday Songs

A jolly, slightly ho-ho-hokey guide to the holiday classics

Already getting tired of those same holiday songs playing, everywhere you go? Sure, you’ve heard them so many times you’re putting extra padding in your earmuffs, but maybe it’s just a matter of perspective.

Have you really listened to some of those songs? I mean, do you hear what I hear?

If you do, you’ll see it’s obvious that many of them contain sage wisdom and advice about emergency and critical incident planning and response.

Sing, er… I mean, follow along with me:

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – Rudolph is the ultimate crisis response success story. You also can’t underestimate Santa’s flexibility, capitalizing on a unique, under-utilized resource to accomplish his mission. Using a reindeer with a shiny nose to guide his sleigh? This was new sleigh operations technology, and on “one foggy Christmas eve”, Santa wasn’t afraid to say, “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight.” In other words, he didn’t stubbornly stick to the way it had always been done before. Ostensibly, he had always used 8 tiny reindeer, and that method had always worked before, but in this situation he wasn’t afraid to buck reindeer tradition (buck, get it?) and add one more with a new, useful feature – a bright red, very shiny nose.

Holiday Song Tip #1: Be flexible. Be open to new technology. Even if they won’t let you join in any reindeer games.


Frosty the Snowman – where Rudolph is a win, Frosty is the fundamental incident planning fail. Sure, the gregarious snowman was a “jolly, happy soul” and a lot of fun to be around, but unfortunately he puts his trust in a magic hat and decides to “have some fun before I melt away.” Frosty has to be aware that he was created by one weather event (snow), and it’ll simply take another weather event to bring about his demise (warm temps). But instead of planning for what will be an inevitable weather disaster for snowmen, Frosty is out running through the streets of town and even dissing a traffic cop. Eventually, “he waved goodbye saying don’t you cry, I’ll be back again someday.” Hopefully, he’ll be back with a more detailed plan.

Holiday Song Tip #2: A well thought-out preparedness plan will help you avoid turning into a puddle on the floor, if a critical incident strikes.


Santa Claus is Coming to Town – once again, Santa shows that he is a consummate expert in the planning phase, as he is described as “making a list and checking it twice.” He’s also particularly astute when it comes to situational awareness as seen in the lines “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake; he knows if you’ve been bad or good”, etc. While it’s certainly not a great idea to engage in this kind of invasion of privacy, you have to respect Santa’s real-time Common Operating Picture capabilities. Not to divulge our client list, but you could probably guess that Santa uses WebEOC and Juvare Exchange, because you’re not getting that good a COP with anything else.

Holiday Song Tip #3: Take a cue from Kris Kringle; WebEOC is Santa-approved technology.


Let it Snow! – Obviously another holiday carol from the point of view of a Juvare emergency management solution user. Clearly, there’s a confidence exuded in this song that could only come from an individual who has fully prepared for the unexpected, including bad weather conditions. Even though “the weather outside is frightful” and “it doesn’t show signs of stopping”, the singer of this song is bold, undaunted, and undeterred, exclaiming defiantly, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

Holiday Song Tip #4: Extra credit for not only being prepared, but going to the next level by bringing “some corn for popping” to the EOC.


There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays – This is the hope for most of us, that we’ll be able to spend a warm, happy holiday at home with family. But the reality is, many who work in emergency management or medical/healthcare-related professions will not be home for the holidays.

Holiday Song Tip #5: These are the heroes who forego their holiday comfort to keep people safe and respond quickly when they’re needed for any type of emergency or critical incident.

All of us at Juvare send our appreciation, admiration, and holiday best wishes to all emergency management and health planning/response professionals – we are so privileged to work with you to help you keep people, communities, and organizations safe.

Written by

Akshay Birla

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