The curriculum for the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management Certificate Program consists of three courses – each taking 16 weeks to complete and comprising a total of 9 credit hours. These courses will be taken over a Spring, Fall, Spring semester time frame. The courses are:
- Community and Public Health Security–Disasters, Terrorism, and Emergency Management Systems
- Emergency Management I–Analytic Methods
- Emergency Management II–Planning and Implementation
The intent of this introductory module is that each student, regardless of background, will obtain the same basic vocabulary when speaking about emergencies and disasters. Students gain insight into common Emergency Management philosophies, the history and function of emergency planning, mitigation, response and recovery systems and learn to challenge the “accepted truths” in order to find innovative and effective ways to deal with a new range of threats. Areas discussed include; defining disasters and emergencies, common response structures like the Incident Command System, and critical analysis of actual responses. Student participation and interaction is a fundamental requirement. An overview of state and federal organizational structures will follow to address all hazards emergency preparedness, to include homeland security; national plans, strategies and resources; mutual aid; interagency coordination; and current public policy issues for state and local governments in a homeland security era.
In Module 2 you will discuss and work towards a better understanding of the Emergency Management (EM) System that is in place in North Carolina. We are fortunate to have a progressive system due to the many lessons learned through our storied disaster past. This system spans State, County and municipal governments to create a comprehensive organization that participates in the 4 phases of Emergency Management; Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. Our first two units will review information on the legislation that created EM in North Carolina, as well as the mission and scope of EM in our State. In the last two units, we will review Emergency operations centers (EOCs), and discuss concerns for our current EM system, as well as emerging trends that are developing across the nation. The second half of the module examines the state, regional and local structures that address health care challenges resulting from disasters. Students will critically review organizational and structural issues, along with the Strategic national Stockpile Plan, with the objective of improved readiness and response.
A systematic look at domestic and foreign terrorist groups to understand their roots, ideological frames of reference, and past actions as a predictor for the future and their potential impact to our Public Health Community. Student research of a foreign or domestic terrorist group and anecdotal presentations on recent or current terrorism around the world will provide a solid frame of reference for students to frame their local threat and mitigation strategies. The natural disasters discussion will frame a study of the organization of the local, state and federal law enforcement assets involved in natural disaster management. Includes an overview of the structure, role and function of law enforcement officials in responding to natural disasters, technical disasters, and attacks with weapons of mass destruction. Examines coordination – and the lack thereof – of law enforcement responses in disaster situations. Challenges participants to propose strategies to improve communication, planning and interagency coordination.
A critical look at the Arlington County response to 9/11 and how the systems in place worked or failed to work. Students utilize the Arlington County AAR to dissect the event and develop strategies to correct deficiencies. Working in a team, students then develop a similar mass-casualty situation in their area and analyze the response capability of emergency services to respond to and overcome a similar type disaster. Each student will also review the emergency management resources and assets in their home county. Based upon these individual county EM reviews, each group will collaboratively identify common barriers and/or problems that would likely arise if an event similar to the Pentagon crash occurred in each member’s county.
Public health surveillance is the systematic assessment of the health of a community based on the collection, interpretation, and dissemination of health data. Surveillance is a core function of public health departments at the local, state, and federal level. This module will review the fundamentals of disease surveillance and outbreak response using primarily infectious disease models. Additionally, in response to the events of the fall of 2001, the national public health system has been charged with preparing the nation against future attacks. Special attention will be given to novel surveillance systems specifically designed to detect outbreaks of acute infectious disease consistent with attacks of bioterrorism. The goal is to provide students with a practical understanding of surveillance that will be useful for those interested in careers in applied public health.
This module is designed to introduce students to basic concepts of program evaluation and how program evaluation methods can be used to improve disaster preparedness planning, response, recovery, and research. The first unit of this module will provide a basic overview of program evaluation and specific concepts in program evaluation in disaster preparedness. Unit 2 is designed to provide students with an in-depth look at rapid health assessment, an evaluative process used at the onset of an incident or disaster. This third unit provides an introduction to principles of effective disaster management. The cost benefit overview introduces the student to the idea of analyzing a retrospective or a prospective course of action by comparing the costs of the action to its benefits. Courses of action in which the value of benefits exceed the value of resources used are desirable. Since costs from one viewpoint are revenues from another, a perspective must be picked for the analysis. Cost benefit analysis requires the identification of all actual resources used and all actual benefits received from the perspective chosen. Actual resources and actual benefits must be valued using the fair market value rule to assign dollar amounts to them. If resource or benefit flows occur over multiple time periods, they must be discounted to the present. If resources or benefit flows have a chance that they will not occur, as with disaster studies, they must be risk adjusted. Comparing the total costs to the total benefits of several courses of action will give guidance on the most desirable course of action to take. Cost benefit analysis is especially useful for the allocation of limited funds to different mitigation and prevention strategies. It is especially helpful in disaster planning.
It is intended to walk the student through an epidemiological food borne outbreak investigation. Students act as the lead investigator and conduct epidemiologic detective work while determining the source of the outbreak By being an active participant in the investigation and making decisions about the direction the investigation will take, students gain the important skills necessary to conduct a epidemiologic investigation, including learning to calculate risk ratios, create epidemic curves, and develop line listings. Overall, the goals of the project are to reinforce the fundamental of epidemiology and encourage students to develop, test, and refine hypotheses and to think creatively and analytically.
This module begins with looking at some of the newspaper headlines in every hurricane season and reviews some of the toughest decisions that were made in regards to “stay or go.” The tools and techniques that are discussed are designed to remove as much ambiguity as possible from the hurricane evacuation decision making process. Communication, either too much or not enough, is the crux of most disaster responses. This module will also focus on the student having a better understanding of the importance of communication before, during, and after a disaster. Also covered will be information on how to critique a government agency’s crisis communication efforts and an understanding of some of the many theories related to crisis communication. And finally, the know-how to develop a crisis communication plan for your organization will be discussed.
This module takes a critical look at the military systems and what emerging roles they play in disaster management and response. Northern Command, National Guard, the US Coast Guard and other military organizations are discussed, as well as how posse comitatus may affect their missions. Emphasis is also placed upon emergency managers to facilitate preparation of all potential responding volunteer agencies in their jurisdiction, ensuring familiarization with each other and assuring that they have the tools to perform during emergencies. Volunteers play more and more of a critical role in disaster response with budget dollars shrinking and volunteer agencies becoming more credentialed.
Module 3 - Issues in Recovery – Issues in Mitigation
The module on recovery starts with the preparedness basics of planning, training, and exercising for a robust recovery after every type of disaster. We then look at the various components of a successful economic and psychological recovery from all emergencies, including cyber attacks and disease epidemics; with standards, audits, and assessments. The latter elements cover the measurable results, inject accountability and cost – benefit analysis. Finally, best practices and lessons learned are examined for instruction for the future and the continuous improvement of our difficult challenge from, and dismal record on, recovery. Why do we keep experiencing such huge losses in disasters? This module looks at methods available now to stem the losses we repeatedly experience across the disaster continuum. In addition to methods of mitigation, we explore the political will (or lack thereof) in creating building codes, ordinances and other regulatory requirements to keep people from building in places we know are prone to disaster.
Too often we are the worst discipline to toot our own horn and publicize our accomplishments. In that vacuum, shortfalls or worse yet, failures in policy, are what citizens read as headlines in the news. Disaster management programs need to learn how to grow their programs through successful marketing and advertising techniques that will enhance their programs sustainability while assuring citizens and politicians of their viability and need.
The cross course project for HPM 423 is building an exercise from the ground up. The student will plan an exercise based on their scenario for their jurisdiction that will be evaluated and discussed at the end of the program. The Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation (HSEEP) program will be reviewed and students will be encouraged to design an exercise for actual use in their current environment.
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