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FEATURES

January 2014

EMI Uses "the Cloud" to Expand Training

Those who are familiar with the latest video teleconferencing (VTC) technology understand that a reference to "the cloud" is not a reference about weather forecasting or day dreaming. FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is now using "the technology cloud" as a way to deliver cost- effective training to larger communities to help them prepare for disasters.

Even though VTC technology is not new, the innovative approach to leveraging technology for the discussion-based Virtual Table Top Exercise (VTTX) is new. EMI launched its inaugural VTTX event in September 2012 and, since that time participation around the country has grown exponentially. EMI has partnered with over 200 federal, state, local and tribal communities this past year to train nearly 3,500 participants through the VTTX program. This cost-effective EMI program leverages technology to reach larger training audiences by using more efficient platforms for emergency management training to stretch their training dollars.

The EMI Virtual training team, led by Al Fluman of the Integrated Emergency Management Branch, sets the conditions for critical thought and idea sharing that flow from the virtual forum, resulting in improved capability to prepare for and recover from disasters and hazard incidents.

The VTTX process involves key personnel from the emergency management community who review a pre-packaged set of exercise materials and then convene for a four-hour table top exercise to discuss a simulated disaster scenario with 10 to 15 remote sites. The event allows the connected sites to assess current policies, plans, procedures and resources while learning from other connected sites as they provide their perspective and practices facing a similar situation.

EMI has kicked off its second year of VTTX events. For a complete list of all the Fiscal Year 2014 VTTX dates and scenarios, click on the following link: http://training.fema.gov/EMIGrams/2013/973%20-%20Training%20Opportunity%20-%20FY14%20EMI%20VTTX%20General%20Program%20Announcement%20May%202013.pdf

For more information on the VTTX series, contact Todd Wheeler, EMI Training Specialist, at: (301) 447-1101 or todd.wheeler@fema.dhs.gov.

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EMI Uses Video Teleconference Technology to Train For Mass Casualty Scenarios

Emmitsburg, Md., June 26, 2013 -- Virginia Department of Health in Winchester, Va., is one of the 30 communities participating in the 10th in a monthly...
Photo by Nick Smallwood
Emmitsburg, Md., June 26, 2013 -- Virginia Department of Health in Winchester, Va., is one of the 30 communities participating in the 10th in a monthly…

FEMA's EMI continues to reach across the nation to train key emergency management personnel to help them prepare for possible mass casualty disasters within their communities through its video teleconferencing forums.

EMI recently hosted the 10th in a monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX), using a video teleconferencing forum to reach disaster management training audiences nationwide.

The 10th event was built around a mass casualty incident that involved a school bus crash to set conditions for local communities to begin thinking about preparation for such an event. The VTTX process involved key personnel from the emergency management community reviewing pre-packaged exercise materials, then convening for a four-hour table top exercise to discuss a simulated disaster scenario.

The event allows the connected sites to assess current plans, policies and procedures while learning from the other connected sites as they provide their perspective and practices facing a similar situation. The VTTX exercises were held on June 25-27, 2013, and involved more than 500 personnel from 30 different federal, state and local emergency management organizations.

"The VTTX format totally represents the reason why FEMA created the National Incident Management System structure," said Ron Enders, of the Lawrence County (Kansas) Health Department. "(It's) a better way to represent this paradigm than to have representatives from sites all across the nation sharing information about compelling issues that face emergency preparedness and by utilizing the sound foundation already established by FEMA. Through diversity comes growth and, while everyone shared the basic framework for response, each organization contributed yet a little more to the overall recipe for a successful performance. As challenging as the logistics might be to set up these exercises, the rewards are immeasurable," said Enders.

Emmitsburg, Md., June 26, 2013 -- Tompkins County, NY, staff participate in the 10th in a monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX) that focused...
Photo by Nick Smallwood
Emmitsburg, Md., June 26, 2013 -- Tompkins County, NY, staff participate in the 10th in a monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX) that focused…

The Tompkins County, NY community gathered a diverse group of emergency management stakeholders from the community to work on the mass casualty scenario and to share ideas with the other sites participating in the VTTX.

Captain Little of the New York State Police, Troop C, commented, "We found the training to be very valuable. We were able to bring in several of our partners in the community to work through key issues like communication…It is much better to meet and get to know those partners in advance of a real emergency, so we know what to expect in a real emergency."

"Today's exercise was a valuable tool for us to continue to work with our community partners, so that we can respond to a scenario like we exercised today," said Kevin Carpenter, Emergency Services Manager with the American Red Cross in New York.

"The VTTX was a very rewarding experience. We had a chance to talk to our community partners; we formed some new relationships…we found some things we are good at and some areas we need to improve (on) based on our experience today," said Frank Griffin, the Public Health Director for Tompkins County, NY.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Safety also commented they were pleased to participate in the EMI VTTX exercise on June 26. The virtual technology provides an excellent opportunity for many of its staff and representatives from partner agencies to come together in a low pressure, no fault exercise without having to incur travel costs, time and extra logistics to attend a formal training center location.

The VTTX technology allows agencies from across the nation to brief on actions and develop crisis solutions that are really beneficial. The exercise provides ideas, tips, lessons learned and, most importantly, a wide variety of perspective.

The Cumberland County Department of Public Safety also commented that the scenario was well-developed and each of the questions in the exercise posed great discussion points on key issues for the participants. Comments on the VTTX from participants said they appreciated the opportunity to participate and that they look forward to taking part in future FEMA VTTX exercises.

The VTTX event also drew several observation sites who listened into the VTTX to provide a preview of the program and process. David Vignolo, Senior Program Manager of the State Office Readiness Program of the United States Senate, Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms, heard about EMI's VTTX program and asked to observe the innovative approach in leveraging technology and reaching a large training audience. They plan to use the VTTX approach, structure and some of the VTTX exercise documents to reach and train their multitude of offices around the country.

EMI reached 30 whole community groups and trained 529 participants during the three VTTX exercises. Future VTTX's will feature different scenarios to engage and challenge organizations and communities to work together in a whole community fashion.

On June 25, 2013, participants in the EMI VTTX exercise included 215 personnel representing 11 different federal, state, and local emergency management organizations from Alaska, Alabama, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma and Washington state.

The June 26, 2013, VTTX exercise participants included 192 personnel representing 11 different federal, state and local emergency management organizations from California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.

Participants in the June 27, 2013, VTTX included 122 personnel representing eight different federal, state and local emergency management organizations from Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Idaho, Missouri, Virginia and North Dakota.

EMI continues to share this innovative approach to training that leverages technology and reaches a greater training audience at no cost other than four hours of time. This is one way communities can efficiently use their community's time and cost effective approach to build and improve capabilities to respond to and recover from hazards that could occur in their community.

The 2014 VTTX season will include some of the traditional hazards as well as seven new scenarios based on feedback from this year's event participants. For questions on EMI's VTTX series, please contact Todd Wheeler, EMI Training Specialist, at (301) 447-1101 or todd.wheeler@fema.dhs.gov or click on:

http://training.fema.gov/EMIGrams/2013/973%20-%20Training%20Opportunity%20-%20FY14%20EMI%20VTTX%20General%20Program%20Announcement%20May%202013.pdf

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EMI Fills Void in Preparing Schools, Institutions of Higher Learning and Houses of Worship for Mass Casualty Incidents

Schools, institutions of higher education and houses of worship need comprehensive training and guidance on how to effectively plan and prepare for emergencies. Many of the plans in place at these critical centers of our communities have not been developed effectively or coordinated with local community partners. Even those organizations that have good plans in place may not have implemented them well.

A 2010 survey found that while 84 percent of public schools had a written response plan in the event of a shooting, only 52 percent had drilled their students on the plan in the past year. Ineffective emergency planning or lack of training on existing plans, may unnecessarily put lives at risk.

Missoula, Mont., Aug. 16, 2012 -- The Emergency Management Institute conducted the L362 Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools (K-12) Train-the-Trainer course in Missoula, Mont. Aug. 14-16, 2012. Photo by Eric Sorchik. - Location: Missoula, MT
Photo Uploaded by Danielle Duff on Aug 16, 2012
Missoula, Mont., Aug. 16, 2012 -- The Emergency Management Institute conducted the L362 Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools (K-12) Train-the-Trainer course in Missoula, Mont. Aug. 14-16, 2012. Photo by Eric Sorchik. - Location: Missoula, MT

FEMA's EMI developed an Independent Study (IS) course to fill this critical void entitled IS 360: Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for Schools, Higher Education and Houses of Worship.

This free online course provides leading practices and resources to assist elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education and houses of worship in developing emergency plans for preparing for, responding to and recovering from mass casualty incidents.

Over 2,000 people have completed this free three-hour course since its release in June 2013.

The course is available at http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/IS/courseOverview.aspx?code=IS-360.

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EMI Conducts Hazardous Materials Virtual Table Top Exercises

EMI recently hosted its 11th in a monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX), using a video teleconferencing forum to reach disaster management training audiences nationwide. The event was built around a fixed facility hazardous material incident to set conditions for local communities to begin to think about preparedness in case such an event would occur.

Future months will feature different hazard scenarios to engage and challenge organizations and communities to work together in a whole community fashion. The diverse groups listed below provided great perspective and insight to approaches in response to and recovery from a fixed facility hazardous material incident.

Participants in the July 10, 2013, VTTX event included 153 personnel representing 12 different federal, state and local emergency management organizations from: District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and West Virginia. Through this VTTX exercise, EMI trained 3,166 personnel from 186 organizations through this cost effective and far reaching program conducted by video teleconference technology.

The VTTX process involves key personnel from the practicing emergency management community that reviews a pre-packaged set of exercise materials and convenes for a four-hour table top exercise that discusses a simulated disaster scenario. The event allows the connected sites to assess current plans, policies and procedures while learning from the other connected sites as they provide their perspective and practices facing a similar situation.

"The fixed site VTTX was a great opportunity for the Cumberland County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) and Fort Bragg to engage with one another on hazardous materials response," said Gene Booth, the Emergency Management Program Coordinator for Cumberland County, NC. "Often there are barriers between military bases and the local agencies surrounding them. Cumberland County and Fort Bragg are working diligently to improve an already good working relationship," said Booth. "The exercise just gave us a pre-packaged platform to do that on the federal level."

Randy Graham of Christian County, KY said, "The VTTX provided our network of local response agencies and partner agencies such as the Health Department, American Red Cross, LEPC partners and our hospital representatives the opportunity to participate in an exercise that tested our local plans and procedures," he said. "It also provided an opportunity to network and to observe how other communities throughout the country respond and recover from the same type of emergency as portrayed in the exercise scenario."

"This was our first VTTX exercise and although the scenario would not have involved our agency as a primary responder, it gave us the opportunity to communicate our incident investigation role to multiple non-federal agencies," said Mark Razny, Investigator for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in Des Plaines, IL. "I'm looking forward to participating in future exercises such as the biological incident exercise which would directly involve our agency."

EMI's upcoming VTTX exercises will include some of the traditional hazards as well as other new scenarios based on feedback from this year's event participants. For questions concerning the VTTX series, contact Todd Wheeler, EMI Training Specialist, at (301) 447-1101 or todd.wheeler@fema.dhs.gov.

To view the upcoming VTTX schedule for 2013-2014, click on the following link: http://training.fema.gov/EMIGrams/2013/973%20-%20Training%20Opportunity%20-%20FY14%20EMI%20VTTX%20General%20Program%20Announcement%20May%202013.pdf.

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EMI Partners With Dallas County, Alabama, to Develop More Resilient Emergency Management Practices

Selma, Ala., July 15, 2013 -- An Emergency Management Institute (EMI) instructor addresses the participants from the Dallas County, Ala., community during the Integrated Emergency Management Course, in Selma, Ala.. The course focuses on helping community officials prepare to better respond to a tornado event.
Photo by Nick Smallwood on Jul 15, 2013
Selma, Ala., July 15, 2013 -- An Emergency Management Institute (EMI) instructor addresses the participants from the Dallas County, Ala., community during the Integrated Emergency Management Course, in Selma, Ala.. The course focuses on helping community officials prepare to better respond to a tornado event.

How did Dallas County, AL officials learn new skills to help protect its citizens? They participated in an EMI Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) that resulted in a Dallas County Community being better prepared and more proactive in establishing more resilient emergency management policies and practices to support its citizens during emergencies.

EMI delivered the field course in Alabama to a diverse group representing the Dallas County Emergency Management community including officials from the City of Selma, county, state and private sector stakeholders. Dallas County's Emergency Operations Plan was approved in April 2013, and the IEMC provided an opportunity to roll out and test the document.

The IEMC is a four –day, exercise-based training activity that places the Policy Group and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) under realistic crisis situations within a structured learning environment. IEMCs build awareness and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans and procedures in an EOC to protect life and property through applications of sound emergency management principles in all mission areas of emergency management.

"Training of this magnitude provides agencies the opportunity to enhance the coordination and cooperation between local agencies, which allows local agencies to organize actions that promote recovery as well as mitigation," said Rhonda Abbot, Emergency Management Director for Dallas County. "The IEMC brought 20 agencies from all response and support levels into one room creating a complete picture depicting how each agency would respond during a disaster.

Each agency or department needs each other to work effectively following a disaster at the local level. It was an honor for Dallas County to have the opportunity to be selected by FEMA to receive this level of training."

Selma, Ala., July 17, 2013 -- Members of the Dallas County, Ala., community participate in the Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) conducted July 15-18, 2013, at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center. This group represents the Policy Group during a table top exercise. The IEMC builds awareness and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans and procedures in an Emergency Operations Center to protect life and property.
Photo by Nick Smallwood on Jul 17, 2013
Selma, Ala., July 17, 2013 -- Members of the Dallas County, Ala., community participate in the Integrated Emergency Management Course (IEMC) conducted July 15-18, 2013, at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center. This group represents the Policy Group during a table top exercise. The IEMC builds awareness and skills needed to develop and implement policies, plans and procedures in an Emergency Operations Center to protect life and property.

Selma Fire Chief Michael E. Stokes said, "The wealth of knowledge brought to Selma by the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA EMI, have far exceeded my expectations. The community specific exercise presented by FEMA not only allowed us to practice our plan, it gave us vision of what needed to be reorganized within our plan. The city of Selma and Dallas County first responders have more tools to add to the toolbox as a result of this training."

Selma, Ala., July 17, 2013 -- Emergency Management Institute instructors conduct a Table Top Exercise (TTX) with members of the Dallas County community in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Dallas County EOC discussed a tornado event.
Photo by Nick Smallwood on Jul 17, 2013
Selma, Ala., July 17, 2013 -- Emergency Management Institute instructors conduct a Table Top Exercise (TTX) with members of the Dallas County community in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Dallas County EOC discussed a tornado event.

"I really liked the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) portion of the exercise," said Bradley Cooper, Environmental Protection Environmentalist for Area 7, Alabama Department of Public Health. "I have participated in numerous exercises in this area but this one was the first to include a fully developed EOC component. This was very helpful to those of us whose role is to support emergency response from the EOC and I'd like to see more exercises like this. I know it's about first responders. I understand that. But first responders will be at their best only when those who support them are proficient at mobilizing the community's resources in an efficient, timely manner."

EMI's Community Specific IEMC course was conducted in Alabama July 15-18, 2013, at the Alabama Criminal Justice Training Center in historic Selma, AL.

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Don't Wait Until the Shaking Begins--Is Your Community Prepared for an Earthquake? EMI Training Can Help

Emmitsburg, Md., September 17, 2013 -- Bonneville Power Administration of Portland, Ore., is one of the 27 communities participating in the monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX) focusing on an earthquake scenario. The September 17, 2013, VTTX set conditions for local communities to begin thinking about preparing for such an event.
Photo by Nick Smallwood on Jul 17, 2013
Emmitsburg, Md., September 17, 2013 -- Bonneville Power Administration of Portland, Ore., is one of the 27 communities participating in the monthly series of Virtual Table Top Exercises (VTTX) focusing on an earthquake scenario. The September 17, 2013, VTTX set conditions for local communities to begin thinking about preparing for such an event.

When the earth begins to move and shake under your feet, that's not the time to worry whether or not your community is prepared to cope with a potential disaster such as an earthquake. EMI is training whole communities to coordinate response and recovery through its VTTXs.

Modern technology allows communities that are connected to the VTTX sites to assess their current plans, policies and procedures while learning from other connected sites as they provide their perspectives and practices when facing a similar situation.

The first event of EMI's second fiscal year of the VTTX series held on September 17-18, 2013, was built around an earthquake incident to set conditions for local communities to begin to think about preparation for such an event. Future months will feature different hazard scenarios to engage and challenge organizations and communities to work together in a whole community fashion.

The VTTX process involves key personnel from the practicing emergency management community that reviews a pre-packaged set of exercise materials and convening for a four-hour table top exercise to discuss a simulated disaster scenario. For the first time, a FEMA Joint Field Office in Minnesota, currently in operation, took part in the earthquake VTTX event.

Federal Coordinating Officer for the Minnesota Joint Field Office, Suzann Cowie was impressed with the earthquake event VTTX training. "It gave us the opportunity to participate with a number of diverse players and, with the current budget constraints this was an excellent way to effectively train a large audience."

Mary Jo Flynn from the city of Anaheim commented, "The VTTX opened up new opportunities for our team to communicate based on plausible disasters that might affect our agency. Our team appreciated the chance to discuss and refresh their training on actions they would take as the scenario unfolded. There was comfort and value in knowing that we're doing things right and our team could see their training and the standards we adhere to reflected in the responses from other teams throughout the nation."

EMI's VTTX on earthquakes reached 27 whole community groups and trained 226 exercise participants in the two offerings on September 17 and 18, 2013. The diverse groups who participated in the VTTX provided great perspective and insight to approaches in response to and recovery from an earthquake.

On September 17, 2013, participants included 126 personnel representing twelve different federal, state and local emergency management organizations including from: California – : FEMA Region IX, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Long Beach, city of Anaheim, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pacific District; Minnesota – FEMA Region 5 Joint Field Office; Georgia – Robins Air Force Base; New Mexico – New Mexico State Department of Health; Oregon – city of Portland and Yamhill County; Utah – State Department of Emergency Management and DHS Transit Security Administration Salt Lake.

Participants in the September 18, 2013, event included 100 personnel representing 15 different federal, state and local emergency management organizations from: California – Sonoma County, Military Ocean Terminal Concord, North Kern Prison, Los Angeles School Police Department; Georgia: FEMA Region IV; Idaho – Idaho State University; Missouri – National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; Oregon – Bonneville Power Administration; North Carolina – Fort Bragg; South Carolina – State Office of Emergency Management; Washington – Washington State Island County; Virginia – Fairfax County, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and DHS Management.

For more information on the VTTX series, contact Todd Wheeler, EMI Training Specialist, at (301) 447-1101 or todd.wheeler@fema.dhs.gov.

FY14 VTTX dates and scenarios, click on the following: http://training.fema.gov/EMIGrams/2013/973%20-%20Training%20Opportunity%20-%20FY14%20EMI%20VTTX%20General%20Program%20Announcement%20May%202013.pdf

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Tribal Communities Continue to Demonstrate Resilience During the Government Shutdown

Tribal communities are faced with many challenges but even the recent government shutdown did not stop tribal communities from learning about the importance of emergency management. Officials at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) pulled out their back-up plan for training by using resources and knowledgeable FEMA officials to instruct EMI's training on emergency management.

Since its initial delivery in Portland, Oregon, in 2011, the four-hour L583 Emergency Management Overview for Tribal Leaders course has become a regular pre-conference training event at the NCAI Annual Convention and Mid-Year Meeting. However, this year, the delivery of the L583 training course at the October 2013 NCAI Annual Convention in Tulsa, OK was in jeopardy because the government shutdown prevented course materials from being shipped. The shutdown also prevented the usual course instructor, Richard Flores, the FEMA Special Advisor for National Tribal Affairs, from traveling to attend the NCAI conference.

Just before the shutdown, NCAI Deputy Director, Robert Holden, coordinated with EMI staff and proposed a back-up plan in the event that there would be a government shutdown. The plan included using extra manuals from a June 2013 L583 course delivery and asking an equally qualified instructor, Steve Golubic, the recently retired DHS Director of Tribal Affairs, to instruct the course. Golubic was attending the NCAI conference as the new Executive Director of the National Tribal Emergency Management Council.

"Robert (Holden) and I felt that just because the federal government shut down, that was no excuse (not to conduct the training)." "Delivering this training – was the right thing to do. The information in this course is too important and tribal leaders need to understand how an emergency management program can benefit their tribal communities," said Golubic. "Tribal Emergency Managers can take the excellent training in the EMI Tribal Curriculum but, when they return home, nothing positive will happen if the tribal leadership doesn't understand and support emergency management."

Holden downloaded blank application forms from the EMI web page and the course was successfully delivered to 17 tribal leaders in attendance at the convention with 13 submitting applications for credit.

The L583 course also became an annual pre-conference course for the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) starting with this year's Annual Meeting in Cherokee, NC on October 27. Both NCAI and USET were instrumental in the design of the L583 course.

For additional information on FEMA's tribal course curriculum, contact Katie Hirt, EMI Training Specialist, at (301) 447-1164 or katie.hirt@fema.dhs.gov.

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First Train-the-Trainer Course Taught to Support EMI's National Emergency Management Academy

In a constantly changing world, protecting the population is a primary responsibility of government. Fulfilling this awesome responsibility depends on the skills and abilities of emergency personnel and how they respond in a timely and proficient manner when disaster strikes.

EMI supports the goals of the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA by improving the core competencies and career-long training of emergency management officials including federal, state, local, tribal, volunteer, public, and private sector officials. To support the professionalism of emergency management, EMI developed the Emergency Management Professional Program consisting of three separate academies (National Emergency Management Academy, National Emergency Management Leaders Academy and the National Emergency Management Executive Academy). The National Emergency Management Academy courses consist of:

  • E101 Foundations of Emergency Management
  • E102 Science of Disaster
  • E103 Planning: Emergency Operations
  • E104 Exercise Design
  • E105 Public Information and Warning

There has been an overwhelming response to the E101 Foundations of Emergency Management Course. In an effort to reach a larger population, EMI has developed a train-the-trainer (TTT) course to support additional deliveries of E101. The TTT course mirrors the course materials for the given course but it also includes instructional techniques. To participate in the Foundations Course TTT, you must have first attended E101 Foundations of Emergency Management.

The first group to complete the Foundations Course TTT graduated from EMI on September 19, 2013. Sixteen qualified instructors are now prepared for their future roles as lead or assistant instructors for E101 Foundations of Emergency Management.

EMI is also developing a TTT course to cover the remaining courses in the National Emergency Management Academy.

The FY 2014 schedule for future Foundations Course TTT is: January 28-30, May 6-8 and July 29-31, 2014. For more information, go to http://www.training.fema.gov/.

EMI contacts for the courses include: linda.choha@fema.dhs.gov for the January and May courses or mark.claveloux@fema.dhs.gov for the July course.

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FEMA Corps Members Learn Emergency Management

EMI conducted several training activities for new FEMA Corps members this past summer. About 600 new FEMA Corps members were taught the basics of emergency management as well as FEMA's structure and doctrine in the L559 FEMA Corps Basics course. The course was delivered at their regional AmeriCorps headquarters in Aberdeen, MD; Vinton, IA and Vicksburg, MS. Members then received specialized training on how to perform their assigned work duties at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, AL and at the Vicksburg regional Americorps headquarters.

These training activities were a team effort between the AmeriCorps leadership staff, EMI staff, the FEMA Corps program staff at FEMA Headquarters and the Incident Workforce Management Division at FEMA Headquarters. The instructors, who are subject matter experts, taught these courses as an auxiliary duty in an effort to share their expertise with the new FEMA Corps members. These training efforts helped to motivate and provide knowledge to FEMA Corps teams who are now prepared for immediate deployment (if needed) to support FEMA's mission.

FEMA Corps helps to establish a new generation of emergency managers as more than 1,600 members will help to provide support for FEMA's disaster workforce. The program, for individuals ages 18-24, will enhance the federal government's disaster capabilities, increase the reliability and diversity of the disaster workforce, promote an ethos of service and expand education and economic opportunity for young people. For more information on FEMA Corps, go to http://www.fema.gov/fema-corps.

For more information on EMI training courses, go to www.training.fema.gov/EMI/

Vicksburg, Miss., September 13, 2012 -- Image from the Induction Ceremony for the inaugural class of FEMA Corps members. FEMA Corps members assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.
Photo by Nick Smallwood on Sep 13, 2012
Vicksburg, Miss., September 13, 2012 -- Image from the Induction Ceremony for the inaugural class of FEMA Corps members. FEMA Corps members assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.

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LOOKING BACK at EMI: A Glance into EMI Training and History

EMI Graduates First Cohort for the National Emergency Management Executive Academy

On August 1, 2013, 27 students from the first cohort of the National Emergency Management Executive Academy graduated at the EMI in Emmitsburg, MD. The keynote speaker at the graduation was the Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness, Timothy Manning, who spoke about his vision for the Executive Academy and its role in the advancement of the emergency management profession and its executive leadership.

The Executive Academy consists of four resident sessions along with outside assignments that instill senior emergency management officials with a deeper understanding of contemporary and emerging issues, debates and public policy. A key benefit of the program is that it provides the opportunity to work collaboratively, share smart practices and participate in exercises with peers facing similar challenges.

EMI partnered with prominent programs at higher education institutions to offer this cutting-edge curriculum.

On May 14−18, 2012, the National Preparedness Leadership Institute from Harvard University taught E0680 Emergency Management – A Leadership Challenge. This first session covered the five dimensions of meta-leadership and practiced skills such as maintaining self-awareness and regulation during times of crisis; leading in complex environments; strategically navigating politics, bureaucracies and social contexts and facilitating interest-based negotiations.

On July 23−26, 2012, the Center of Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School delivered E0682 Emergency Management in the 21st Century. This course explored emergency management leadership in terms of historical, social, economic, legal and ethical perspectives that shape policy and decision–making. To prepare for future challenges, students applied innovative strategies to address drivers of change such as globalization, technological development, demographic shifts, environmental changes and economic uncertainty.

On May 6-10, 2013, the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center at the University of Hawaii taught Integrating Science into Emergency Management Policies and Decisions. This session focused on managing disasters through an understanding of the science and research. The cohort explored resiliency through an appreciation of whole community, structural design and adaptation.

On July 21-24, 2013, EMI and Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) conducted E0686 Exercising Emergency Management Executive Policy and Decision-making. Senior executive-level speakers from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management addressed the course participants. TEEX led discussions on selected case studies. This capstone course also included a challenging series of tabletop and functional exercises that focused on the emergency management challenges and national policy implications involved in dealing with a series of cascading disaster events that affect the nation.

The Executive Academy is designed for emergency management senior executives in federal, state, regional, tribal, territorial and major urban area governments; non-governmental organizations and private sector entities. EMI will be accepting application packages for the next Executive Academy Cohort. Acceptance into the National Emergency Management Executive Academy is competitive.

For information about the next National Emergency Management Executive Academy, go to http://www.training.fema.gov/EMPP/executive.asp.

Emmitsburg, Md., July 24, 2013 -- Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness Timothy Manning joins in the photo with the first cohort of the National Emergency Management Executive Academy. The role of the Academy is to advance the emergency management profession and its executive leadership.
Photo by Nick Smallwood on Jul 24, 2013
Emmitsburg, Md., July 24, 2013 -- Deputy Administrator for Protection and National Preparedness Timothy Manning joins in the photo with the first cohort of the National Emergency Management Executive Academy. The role of the Academy is to advance the emergency management profession and its executive leadership.

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What in the World Has EMI Been Up To?

EMI in the News

2013 International Association of Emergency Managers Recognizes FEMA's Higher Education Program and Conference

The USA Council of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) recently announced the winners of its IAEM-USA 2013 Awards Competition. Receiving IAEM's Academic Recognition Award is the FEMA Higher Education Program and Conference, administered by employees Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard (retired), and Barbara L. Johnson of EMI in Emmitsburg, MD.

In its news release dated July 1, 2013, IAEM-USA stated that "the IAEM-USA Awards and Recognition Committee recognizes these EMI staff members for their work on FEMA's Higher Education Program and Conference and its huge impact on emergency management and higher education. The program has been especially important in changing the way we educate and train future emergency managers, giving a solid basis in theory as well as practical application."

The Academic Recognition Award recognizes a U.S. academic leader or institution that has made a significant contribution to the formal education of students pursuing a career in emergency management or through research and development of paradigms or standards that have helped shape the broader field of emergency and disaster management.

The awards were presented at the IAEM 61st Annual Conference and EMEX October 25-30, 2013, in Reno, NV. Congratulations to Dr. Blanchard and Ms. Johnson on their work leading to this award.

For a look at the news release, click on: http://www.iaem.com/documents/IAEM-USA-Awards-News-Release-2013.pdf

Information on FEMA's Higher Education Program can be found at http://training.fema.gov/emiweb/edu.

Ohio Hosts EMI's Integrating Access and Functional Needs Course

EMI continues to host and to reach out to states to help educate emergency management officials in its pilot course of L197 Integrating Access and Functional Needs into Emergency Management (L197). Recently, the course material was translated into Braille to meet accessibility requirements for students who attended the June 19-20, 2013, course at the Ohio Emergency Operations Center.

EMI sent the course materials in advance to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency who sent it electronically to Ohio State University's Nisonger Center for the Braille translation.

Accommodations for physical, programmatic and effective communications accessibility were made throughout the classroom and the facility to help those students who needed assistance to take the course onsite.

Participants at the course included Ohio county and state emergency management officials, several county health agencies, the Cleveland Airport Fire Department, the Ohio Department of Aging, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, The Governor's Council on People with Disabilities and the Ohio State University Nisonger Center.

The EMI course support team included members of FEMA's Office of Disability Integration and Coordination, EMI Preparedness Branch staff, course reviewers and the course development contractor.

The course instructors were Richard Devylder, Senior Analyst to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, a well-known disability community leader and an expert on disability inclusive emergency management and Jessica Mitchell, the FEMA Region V Disability Integration Specialist. For more information on this course, contact Linda Choha, EMI Training Specialist, at (301) 447-1616 or linda.choha@fema.dhs.gov.

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