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Notice: Independent Study Exams now require a FEMA Student Identification (SID) Number. If you do not yet have a SID, register for one today: Please do not contact the Independent Study program office as they are unable to provide assistance with these requests.

If you have an inquiry regarding the FEMA Independent Study Program, NIMS or other Emergency Management Institute (EMI) related requests such as: requests for certificates, transcripts, online test scores/results, please contact the FEMA Independent Study program office at 301-447-1200 or email for further assistance. Please do not contact the FEMA SID Help Desk as they are unable to provide assistance with these requests.

IS-156: Building Design for Homeland Security for Continuity of Operations

Course Date


Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to provide guidance to the building sciences community working for public and private institutions, including Continuity of Operations (COOP) planners/managers, building officials, etc. It presents tools to help decision-makers assess the performance of their buildings against terrorist threats and to rank recommendations. It is up to the decision-makers to decide which types of threats they wish to protect against and to determine their level of risk against each threat. Those decision makers who consider their buildings to be at high risk can use this guidance as necessary

Course Objectives:

  • Define the basic components of the assessment methodology
  • Define the resiliency concepts presented in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP)
  • Perform an assessment for a building by identifying and prioritizing threats, consequences, and vulnerabilities, and calculating relative risk
  • Identify available mitigation measures applicable to the site and building envelope
  • Define the technology limitations and application details of mitigation measures for terrorist tactics and technological accidents
  • Perform an assessment for a given building by identifying vulnerabilities using the Building Vulnerability Assessment Checklist in FEMA 426
  • Identify applicable mitigation measures and prioritize them based upon the final assessment risk values
  • Appreciate that designing a building to mitigate terrorist attacks can create conflicts with other design requirements
  • Understand the differences in assessing a facility for vulnerabilities to threats and how that impacts selection of that site as a COOP facility





Course Length:

8 hours
Take This Course
Take Final Exam
  • Test questions are scrambled to protect test integrity
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