The record no one wants

The record no one wants

The State Emergency Operations Center in the State of Minnesota had a record-breaking 475-day activation for COVID - plus other events and emergencies layered on top. This was a scenario playing out in emergency operation centers across North America.

I was determined not to lose our newer staff who have had a tough start – their only experience of emergency management being 400 plus days of activation in the emergency operations center for COVID.” - Director of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Kristi Rollwagen

This length of activation requires a superhuman effort and as much as we’d like to be, no one is superhuman. So naturally the team who stepped up in service of their community were not untouched by the pressure and relentless demand involved. And emergencies don’t stop, so they continue to serve their state each and every day.  

The director recognized the strain on the team and Hummingly stepped in to provide much-needed support. Their aim was to connect leaders and teams with insights and lessons from disaster responses worldwide, helping them sustain resilience and performance under extreme stress.

Delivering two workshops, Hummingly was able to link leaders and the wider team with resilience practices from disasters around the globe to sustain leadership and performance under pressure. The sessions – a masterclass for leaders and a whole team workshop – were designed to help the team reset, build resilience and ready themselves for the continued challenge of disaster events.

Like any Hummingly workshops, these were not ‘one and done’ sessions. The frameworks, practices, tools and resources will sustain teams and support team members throughout their careers. Every team member left with a set of the Doing Well cards, ensuring that learning and resilience practices are an ongoing process.


This was highlighted from the feedback from team members:
“I really enjoyed the workshop. It left me with so many ideas and realizations. I plan to use your ‘tools’ to help me grow and change some things in my life for the better. Thank you for so much!”

“I loved the perspective and learning how to look at things in a way I have never done before.”

“The activities were great and how they intersect with our work lives. I enjoyed how the workshop made me think about how I personally handle stress and tough decisions, not only at work but also in my everyday life.”

“I found the approach with the Doing Well cards was great - not a ‘once and done’ learning experience.”

“This was a great acknowledgement of the stressors of our work and the tools that were shared will help us stay mentally healthy. Much needed, greatly appreciated! Thank you!”

Hummingly is helping other local municipal and State emergency operations teams across North America as this situation has played out in many ways in many places.

With disasters becoming more frequent, complex and severe, it is crucial that organizations and leaders prioritize efforts to sustain those working in emergencies. The future of the sector, the communities served and the great people involved in this work depends on it.

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