Fundamentals of Emergency Preparedness MGMNT: X 408:802
Winter 2013: January 8 – April 1
Emergency preparedness is the principle discipline that incorporates and harmonizes the
disciplines of emergency management, homeland security, risk and threat assessment, and
emergency preparedness planning, testing, training, and exercise. This course is designed to
provide a basic understanding of the role and function of emergency preparedness in the context
of business, corporate, and government structure. The course also provides the fundamentals of
how to develop an emergency preparedness program including executive “buy-in”, identification
of business needs through assessments, performance and utilization of threat and risk
assessments, and development of intra- and inter-organizational support systems. Fundamentals
of Emergency Preparedness is a required course in the Homeland Security and Emergency
Management Certificate Program.
Students must take the X 408.801 Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security: An
Overview course prior to taking the Fundamentals of Emergency Preparedness course. However,
the courses may be taken concurrently.
Goals & Objectives
The goal of this course is to provide the student with a fundamental understanding of emergency
preparedness principles which will enable him/her to support the student’s organization or
department in its efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.
Through an understanding of the Incident Command System, threat and risk assessments, the
development of emergency preparedness plans, and the ability to identify and focus efforts in
emergency preparedness, the student should be able to apply the principles in order to define the
essential services of their organization or department. This knowledge will be demonstrated
through class assignments.
At the completion of this course the student should have a clear understanding of the
interrelationships of the various types of emergency plans; how to build a program within the
student’s organization or department; the use and purposes of threat and risk assessments; and
the availability of resources to facilitate completion of preparedness activities. This course will
prepare students for participation in further courses in the Homeland Security and Emergency
Management Certificate Program and, after successful completion of FEMA online courses,
they will be awarded a Professional Development Series Certificate of Completion by FEMA.
Welcome from the Instructor
Welcome to the course! The Fundamentals of Emergency Preparedness course is not only
informative and practical, but the skills you learn may one day help you save lives in an
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2. emergency situation. I know you’ll enjoy the material and collaboration with your fellow
students and me.
To start, please go to the Syllabus folder (in the Blackboard menu on the left of the screen) and
read the whole syllabus. Next, you should go to the Discussion Board and find the first message
from me. Reply to my posting by posting a brief bio of yourself.
You will find all the course materials organized in each of the week’s folders (for example, the
materials for the first week are in the folder “Week 1”). While each week’s folder is visible in
Blackboard, the assignments within those folders will only become visible at the beginning of
each new week (for example, even though you can now see the Week 2 folder, the assignments
within that folder will only be visible at the beginning of the second week).
I’m currently Save the Children’s lead for the Domestic Emergencies Unit in
California. Even though I have some state- and national-level responsibilities,
my focus is on helping Los Angeles get better prepared to meet the needs of
children in disasters.
Previously, I worked at various levels within the American Red Cross,
including being the educational and technical lead for the Preparedness
department at the National Headquarters and a Director of Emergency
Services. I also served as a police constable in London’s Scotland
Yard/Metropolitan Police Service, where I worked on several counter-
terrorism operations. Some of the specific projects I’ve been involved with
that relate to this course are writing a Concept of Operations (ConOps) and
Dormitory Annex on non-traditional sheltering for the City of Los Angeles,
advising the Red Cross on catastrophic planning, and creating emergency
plans for business.
Before serving in various emergency management positions, I graduated from UC Santa Barbara
with a PhD in Communication where my research focused on mass-media persuasion in the
context of disaster relief, health threats and counter-terrorism. I have several academic and
professional publications in areas of law-enforcement and counter-terrorism and I’m currently
conducting research into messaging after nuclear incidents. For more information on my
professional background, you can see my profile by “connecting” on LinkedIn. My profile can
be found at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/359paul
I was born in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and I’m half South African and half English. I was
raised primarily in England and came to the United States after being seriously injured in the line
of duty as a police officer. I now live in Los Angeles County with my wife and baby daughter.
Office hours: Usually available 9:00am – 5:00pm PST or by appointment.
I'm looking forward to working with you, learning about your background and what you’re
currently doing, and how you plan on using this course in your career.
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3. Adult learners are generally appreciative when their online instructor is clear and direct with
them about expectations for course requirements and procedures. So, here are a few expectations
I would like you to know as we begin this course. First I want you to be yourself! All of us have
unique backgrounds, skills, and experiences and each of you will have different needs,
expectations, concerns and agendas. I will be better able to meet your needs if you communicate
them with me both directly and sincerely. I hope you’ll feel comfortable communicating with me
and I hope you’ll find me responsive and supportive.
You will read and complete free online FEMA Independent Study courses. If you have taken the
FEMA training recently, please contact me about possible alternative assignments. There are also
some articles to read which are posted on or linked from Blackboard.
Lindell, Michael K., C. Prater, & R. Perry (2006). “Building an Effective Emergency
Management Organization.” Fundamentals of Emergency Management. FEMA. Emergency
Management Institute. Emmitsburg, MD. [Available online for free at
Assignments will be graded based on points. I will make every attempt to grade homework
within a few days of the due date. Further information about Discussions, assignments, and other
course components is provided in the appropriate weekly folders.
Course grades will be based on participation and completion of assignments as follows:
Number of assignments Points per assignment Total points available
FEMA Independent Study Courses 11 5 55
Blackboard discussions 21 2 42
Interview report 1 25 25
Reading The Dark Side of Web 2.0 1 5 3
Final paper 1 25 25
Total Points 150
Policies about Deadlines and Late Work
You will receive full points for your assignment if your work is submitted during the week it is
due. If the work from one week is submitted late during the next week, you’ll lose ten percent for
each day it is late. I usually don’t accept work that is more than a week late. Also, as your fellow
students rely on your Discussion Board postings to make a response, please make every effort to
make your discussion post before the due date. Discussion postings that are late will not be
assessed and will earn zero points. I will grade your first week’s discussion postings within a
few days of the due date. After that I will grade them every three weeks.
I understand how busy life can get with family and work commitments. This is especially true
for those working in emergency management where individuals may be required to respond to a
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4. disaster or emergency situation at short notice. If you believe you will submit an assignment late
because of a family or work emergency, please contact me before the due date. I may be able to
give you an extension for the assignment. However, there are no extensions for the class. All
work must be turned in by the last day of class.
The interim grade “Incomplete” may be assigned when a student’s work is of passing quality, but
a small portion of the course requirements is incomplete for good cause (e.g. illness or other
serious problem). The student has the responsibility to discuss with me the possibility of
receiving an “I” grade as opposed to a non-passing grade. The student is entitled to replace this
grade by a passing grade and to receive unit credit, provided they complete the remaining
coursework satisfactorily under the supervision of and in a time frame determined by me, but in
no case later than the end of the next academic quarter. At that time, the Registrar will cause all
remaining Incompletes to lapse to the grade “F”. Note: Receiving an “I” does not entitle a
student to retake all or any part of the course at a later date.
A= 90 – 100%
B= 80 – 89%
C= 70 – 79%
D= 60 – 69%*
F= 50 – 59%*
*PLEASE BE AWARE THAT SOME CERTIFICATES REQUIRE A FINAL
CUMMULATIVE GRADE OF B- IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THE CERTIFICATE.
ALL COURSE GRADES ARE FINAL
Academic Honesty Policy
Academic dishonesty covers behavior in cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication of information.
These behaviors are not tolerated. Citations and references should be provided following a
formatting standard such as the APA 6th Edition. Students are encouraged to familiarize
themselves with the UCLA Student Conduct Code and the official statements regarding cheating
and plagiarism. These and other relevant documents are available on the Dean of Students Office
Posting to Discussion Boards
The discussion forums are located in the “Discussion Board” folder in the Blackboard menu.
There is also a direct link in each weekly folder. They both go to the same place. Each week
there is at least one discussion question that has to do with the week’s topic. Your posts should
be substantive and feature good writing, correct spelling and mechanics. Communication should
be professional and use good etiquette.
Your postings should incorporate responses to your fellow students, your opinions, and examples
from personal experience. You should also refer to relevant information from that week’s
readings. Your responses to others’ postings should include more than phrases such as “I agree”,
“Great comment!” or “The Queen would be proud!” The rubric on the next page will be used to
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5. assess the quality of your participation in the discussions. Please use this tool as a guide when
constructing your postings.
Unsatisfactory Basic Proficient Distinguished
Mechanics Uses incomplete Uses complete Uses complete Uses complete
of the sentences, is sentences and the sentences, sentences,
Posting unstructured in its posting is organization is organization is clear
organization, and comprehensible. evident, and the and thoughtful, the
includes frequent or The organization posting includes no posting is
consistent errors in could be improved more than one grammatically correct,
mechanics to present a more mechanical error and free of spelling
(grammar, spelling, coherent argument, (grammar, spelling, errors. The tone is
usage) in each statement, or usage) per clear and respectful.
paragraph. The question. Includes paragraph. The tone
posting is 2-3 mechanical is clear and respectful
unreadable and errors grammar,
there is a distinct spelling, usage) per
lack of tone. paragraph. The
tone is respectful.
Participation Provides minimal Provides comments, Provides comments, Provides comments,
in the comments and and some new discussion, questions, discussion, questions,
Discussion information to other information on a and new information and new information
participants in the sporadic basis. on a fairly regular on a regular, active,
forum. Interacts with only basis. Interacts with a and weekly basis.
1-2 participants in few participants in the Shows a high degree
the forum. forum. of interaction with
other participants in
Content of Writes a general or Demonstrates a Demonstrates an Demonstrates a solid
Posting superficial posting restricted adequate understanding of the
that is unrelated to understanding of understanding of the concepts, topics, and
the discussion at the concepts, concepts, topics, and ideas as evidenced by
hand and/or posts topics, and ideas as ideas as evidenced thoughtful responses
no comments. evidenced by by posting superficial, and questions that
posting information or general statements show a clear
that could be in the forum. Includes connection (are
derived from prior a few details in the integrated) with the
posts and/or posting. course material at
including highly hand. The posting
general comments. shows depth, and
Critical Provides no Indicates agreement Indicates agreement Demonstrates a critical
Thinking evidence of or disagreement or disagreement with analysis of an existing
Evidenced agreement or with an existing an existing discussion posted idea or
by Posting disagreement with discussion but including a limited introduces a different
an existing provides no explanation or interpretation to an
discussion. justification or justification. Provides existing concept or
explanation for comments, idea. Includes
comments. discussion, and comments, discussion,
questions without a and questions that
clear connection to have a clear
the course material at connection (are
hand. integrated) with the
course material at
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6. Instructor’s Responses
I will be online at least five days a week and probably every day. I will respond to questions
within 24 hours; if I can’t answer your question immediately, I will reply and tell you when I
will be able to give you a more thoughtful response.
Please put my name in the title of Discussion Board postings to me (E.g., “To Paul Myers”) and
do the same for responses to other students. No messages are private.
Below is the course outline that details the topic for each week, the assignments, and when those
assignments are due. Each week of the course begins on Tuesday and ends on the following
Monday. Due dates are shown in the outline to aid you in balancing your work load.
Readings are shown in green font, discussion topics are red, video to watch is purple, other
assignments are dark red, and activities you may want to prepare for but aren’t due immediately
are dark orange (okay, so the color looks more like a brown—I know!). Assignments that are
underlined hyperlink to a website.
Date/Topic Assignments Due Date
Week One Discuss: Autobiography 1/11/13
1/8/13 – 1/14/13 Read: IS-241.a Decision Making and Problem 1/14/13
Introductions and learning Discuss: Response to posts 1/14/13
how to effectively solve
problems Prepare: Identify emergency manager
Prepare: Familiarize yourself with creating
presentations on Screencast-o-matic.com
Week Two Read: IS-230.b Fundamentals of Emergency 1/18/13
1/15/13 – 1/21/13 Management
Discuss: Key components of emergency 1/18/13
Introduction to emergency management
management principles Read: “Introduction to Emergency Management” 1/21/13
Discuss: Response to posts 1/21/13
Week Three Discuss: Questions to ask an emergency 1/25/13
1/22/13 – 1/28/13 management professional
Read: IS-100.b Introduction to Incident Command 1/28/13
Introduction to Incident System, ICS-100 1/28/13
Command System Read: IS-200.b ICS for Single Resources and Initial
Action Events 1/28/13
Read: “From Forest Fires to Hurricane Katrina…” 1/28/13
Discuss: Response to posts
Week Four Read: Readability Testing section in “Making 2/1/13
1/29/13 – 2/4/13 Health Communication Programs Work”
Respond: Find and analyze disaster message 2/1/13
The role of effective Discuss: Post the website of your message and 2/1/13
communication in discuss
emergency management Read: IS-242.a Effective Communication 2/4/13
Watch: “Crisis and Emergency Risk 2/4/13
Discuss: Response to posts 2/4/13
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7. Week Five Read: IS-240.a Leadership & Influence 2/8/13
2/5/13 – 2/11/13 Discuss: Lessons learned about leadership 2/8/13
Discuss: Response to posts 2/11/13
Leadership and influence Respond: Conduct interview with emergency 2/11/13
Week Six Respond: Create report about your interview with 2/15/13
2/12/13 – 2/15/13 emergency management professional on
Lessons learned from Discuss: Post report 2/15/13
emergency management Discuss: Response to posts 2/18/13
professional Respond: Mid-Quarter Course Evaluation 2/18/13
Week Seven Read: IS-235.b Emergency Planning 2/22/13
2/19/13 – 2/25/13 Discuss: Organization’s planning efforts 2/25/13
Components of an
Week Eight Read: IS-906 Workplace Security Awareness 3/1/13
2/26/13 – 3/4/13 Discuss: Threats to organization/business 3/1/13
Read: “The Dark Side of Web 2.0” 3/4/13
Preparing a Threat and Risk Discuss: Response to posts 3/4/13
Week Nine Read: IS-547.a Introduction to Continuity of 3/8/13
3/5/13 – 3/11/13 Operations
Discuss: TBD 3/11/13
The benefits of volunteers in
Week Ten Read: IS-244.a Developing and Managing 3/15/13
3/12/13 – 3/18/13 Volunteers
Discuss: Disaster volunteers in the workplace 3/18/13
The benefits of volunteers in
Week Ten Read: IS-120.a An Introduction to Exercises 3/22/13
3/19/13 – 3/25/13 Discuss: Organization/department exercise 3/22/13
Discuss: Response to posts 3/25/13
Introduction to Testing,
Training, and Exercise
Week Eleven Discuss: Lessons learned from the class and 3/29/13
3/26/13 – 4/1/13 moving forward 4/1/13
Respond: Write a final paper of an outline of a
Submission of final paper proposed emergency preparedness plan for your
Discuss: Lessons learned from the final paper
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8. Got Questions?
If you need clarification on how to complete an assignment, please first ask your fellow students
for help in the “Questions about the Course” Discussion Board. This allows for other students,
who may also need clarification, to also find the answer. Another student may be able to answer
the question before I next visit the Discussion Board.
For technical problems, please contact technical support. For personal issues, feel free to contact
me by email or for complex issues, by phone.
I hope you have a great learning experience!
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