The Naval Postgraduate School & The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Navigating the Unknown: A Guide for 21st Century Emergency Managers

Patrick Lagadec of the French École Polytechnique has recently released a new book on emergency management entitled, "Navigating the Unknown: A Practical Lifeline for Decision-Makers in the Dark." Seeking to challenge the normative step-by-step 'crisis management handbooks,' Lagadec's book is designed to provide emergency managers with the necessary tools to confront a new range of threats in the  21st century. Essentially, the kit hopes to answer one essential question during this era of incertitude: how to navigate the unknown.

"This operational kit, which condenses years of research and field experience in the management and piloting of 'out-of-the-box' crises, is not only designed for leaders but also for citizens eager to rethink their own perspectives, visions, and paths. It has been designed around a series of imperatives: anticipating, detecting, reacting, inventing and mobilizing. Each of these imperatives is explored according to three dimensions: 'challenges', obliging us to redefine the stakes; 'pitfalls', when confronted with shock and the unknown; and lastly 'leads', which can hopefully provide crisis management today with a new grammar of practice."

The formula-based structure of the book, or "practical lifeline" according to Lagadec, provides emergency managers with a simple guide to handling complex situations.

The original French version of the book, "Piloter en univers inconnu", can also be purchased from the Groupe Préventique website.