The curriculum for the Community Preparedness and Disaster Management Certificate Program consists of three online 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. There is no requirement for time on campus. 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
Community and Public Health Security–Disasters, Terrorism, and Emergency Management Systems (HPM 420)
Module 1 – Local Organizations: First Response / State Organization: The Emergency Management System
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.
Module 2 – National Organization: Homeland Defense, FEMA, Federal Structures and the CDC / Health Care Systems in Disasters , SNS Overview
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.
Module 3 – Manmade Disasters – Terrorism / Natural Disasters
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.
Module 4 – Leadership
Management practices that once were effective now hamper organizations’ ability to adapt to rapidly changing environments. Leadership coaches contend that many organizations are ineffective because they continue to manage according to traditional models of leadership—models based on formalized power, authority, and employee controls. Today’s organizations need leaders who can capitalize on the self-leadership capabilities of their subordinates. Traditional models of leadership support the position that employees require external direction in order to be successful and productive. However, our leadership module will suggest that people are self-leading (internally controlled).
CROSS COURSE: 9/11 After Action Review and 9/11 Commission Report / Local Emergency Management System Assessment
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.
Emergency Management I–Analytic Methods (HPM 422)
Module 1 – Hospital and Syndromic Surveillance Systems / Environmental Health Surveillance
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.
Module 2 – Program Evaluation Methods / Grant Writing
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. The third unit provides an introduction to principles of effective disaster management. The grant writing overview introduces the student to the idea of analyzing a grant opportunity, how to structure a proposal, and the submission process. Grant follow-up and maintenance requires the identification of all actual resources used and all actual benefits received from the perspective grant chosen. Actual resources and actual benefits must be valued using the fair market value rule to assign dollar amounts to them. Comparing the total costs to the total benefits of the grant will give guidance on the most desirable course of action to take in measuring the grants outcomes.
Module 3 – Emergency Management Law and Liability / Disaster Response Ethics
With all the planning and preparing for disasters of consequence, many emergency managers do not have the time to think about the legal consequences of their actions, especially in the immediate aftermath of a disaster event. The law can be quite complex, and with the constant updates to legislation, changes in policies and procedures, and the ever expanding definition of who a “first responder” is, it is apparent why many emergency managers have asked for guidance on potential legal risks and liabilities. This module gives an overview of the liability and immunity laws that apply to emergency management in North Carolina, and provides guidance on where answers to specific questions can be found. While this module provides a broad overview of the general areas of liability law, the answers to specific questions often times turn on the facts of a particular situation or scenario. The module ends with an equally important review of disaster management ethics and conflicts of interest.
Module 4 – Political Savvy / Crisis Communications
This module will assist students in identifying the internal and external partners that impact the work of the organization. Further tools will be discussed that will educate each student on team dynamics, inter-office personalities and how to increase personal awareness in a political culture. 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.
CROSS COURSE: Disease Outbreak Investigations – Food Borne Outbreak
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
Emergency Management II–Disaster Management (HPM 423)
Module 1 – International Crisis Response / Crisis Response Agencies
This module will look at disaster response outside of the United States. Disasters, armed conflicts and crisis events take place weekly around the world. Students will learn the basics of the international response system, the United Nations Cluster Approach, and the prevalence of camps and individual displaced persons in the aftermath of these events. International response agencies, both governmental and non-governmental will be reviewed. Finally, students will also discuss the United States roles in international response and review current and past international disaster events.
Module 2 – Military’s Role in Disaster Management / Volunteer Organizations (VOAD)
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.
Module 4 – Personal Branding / Reputation Management
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 branding techniques that will enhance their program’s sustainability while assuring citizens and politicians of their viability and need. At the same time, good reputation management techniques will keep your online footprint positive and represent your best practices and personal strengths.
CROSS COURSE: Exercise Design
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.