A required course in the Specialized Studies Program in Emergency Management and Disaster Recovery.
The purpose of this course is to uncover the principles that promote effective disaster response and recovery operations after disasters. To achieve this goal, the course will examine the nature of disasters as well as the roles and responsibilities of various actors involved in emergency management. The course will review popular myths and realities regarding human behavior in catastrophic events in addition to divergent approaches for disaster management. The importance of addressing the needs of the affected population will be discussed, and will include recommendations to fulfill a variety of important functions (e.g. implementing the emergency operations plan, warning, evacuation, search and rescue, emergency medical care/mass casualties, mass fatalities, sheltering and mass care, donations management, damage assessment, the disaster declaration process, media relations/public information, individual and public assistance, and critical incident stress debriefing). Various problems associated with response and recovery operations will be identified (e.g. inadequate preparedness measures, safety and site security, politics, communications, coordination and record keeping, etc.). The role of technology and the importance of communications and coordination will be emphasized along with the incident command system, emergency operations centers, the National Incident Management System and the National Response Plan. Each student will be expected to gain a solid comprehension of common post-disaster problems and how first responders and the emergency manager may overcome those challenges now and in the future.