Located near the 1863 battlefield of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the college for emergency managers in USA, the Emergency Management Institute, was established at Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1979 in connection with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. People at all levels of experience and from many countries come to the campus to increase their abilities. The courses taught online for the Independent Study program have little or no cost and are open to non-professionals, too.
Looking at the online course catalog, there are about 200 titles. According to the website about 1.9 million people study the online courses each year. New developments for emergency management, such as social media for disasters, only have a few courses. There are seven GIS (Geographic Information System) courses for Emergency Management uses. And other topics have many more courses (Incident Command System: especially for schools, for hospitals, for law enforcement, for universities, and so on). Each self-paced online course includes several chapters, each one with slides or video to illustrate some of the ideas. There are also quizzes leading up to the test at the end. People who pass the test can receive a document to show their passing score, although it is not necessary for students to document their progress if they only want to browse the content of the course subject. Since there is no face-to-face dialog, the Independent Study student can proceed freely at the pace that suits their own schedule.
Experts can refresh their knowledge or add new information to their expertise. And non-professionals can also learn more about the many parts of emergency management and the wider field of Disaster Risk Reduction (boosting the resilience of a community or a company).
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