The hurricanes also showed us the value of partnering well. Judge Eckels pointed to the cooperation among his state's mayors, the governor, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and how well it served the rescue effort. The lesson? The time and effort you invest in your partnerships are well worth it.
Finally, be proactive in creating your image and defining your product, your company and the industry — before someone else does it for you, and does it to your detriment. Before it even stopped raining in New Orleans, some elements of the American press and society quickly painted the federal government as uncaring when it came to the cities most affected by the storms. Had the government been proactive in reporting its true efforts before, during and after Katrina hit, including facts generally unknown to the public such as a President cannot "trump" a governor until a certain point during an emergency, the President wouldn't be fighting an uphill battle now in the public opinion polls. The lesson? Don't let the press and the public beat you to the punch when it comes to your image.(Please visit http://www.usafreedomcorps.com/ to offer your special talents — not just dollars — to the hurricane relief effort.)
Carol L. Fisher, Editor in Chief