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Fundamentals of Emergency Preparedness (PREP 1101)Fundamentals of Emergency Preparedness (PREP 1101)

This online course uses the Columbia University developed emergency preparedness competencies to educate the public health workforce about the preparation for and response to disasters and other public health emergencies. It includes a self-study online learning component, while also requiring learners to demonstrate individual competencies within their public health occupational role. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a completion.

Please note that this course was formerly known as "Basic Emergency Preparedness for All Public Health Workers."  A few features have changed in this new version. For instance, it is no longer required for the learner's supervisor to submit an email indicating that the competency checklist has been reviewed. Instead, the learner and the supervisor are encouraged to discuss and verify the form together, and then move on to the satisfaction survey. 
Upon successful completion of all the course content, you can obtain your certificate by clicking on the "My Account" link available at the top of this page.
Estimated Length: 2 hour(s)


Name View Schedule
Online Lesson1. Pre Test -
Online Lesson2. Course Material - Fundamentals of Emergency Preparedness -
Online Lesson3. Competency Checklist -
Online Lesson4. Post Test -
Online Lesson5. Satisfaction Survey -


Course Objective:

The purpose of this course is to:

  • Provide a basic understanding of what every individual who works in public health needs to know in order to respond to emergency situations, based on Emergency Preparedness Core Competencies for All Public Health Workers

Key Messages:

  • Emergency response is a public health workforce responsibility
  • Public health workers must be prepared to respond to all types of emergencies
  • Emergency response plans are critical to being well-prepared


Public Health Emergency Preparedness Capabilities:

  • Community Recovery, Medical Countermeasure Dispensing, Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation
  • Medical Surge
  • Responder Safety and Health, Community Preparedness
  • Medical Supplies Management and Distribution
  • Information Sharing
  • Mass Care
  • Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
  • Fatality Management


Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center (CDC):

  • 1.1 Solve problems under emergency conditions.
  • 1.3 Facilitate collaboration with internal and external emergency response partners.
  • 1.4 Maintain situational awareness
  • 2.1 Manage information related to an emergency.
  • 2.2 Use principles of crisis and risk communication.
  • 2.3 Report information potentially relevant to the identification and control of an emergency through the chain of command.
  • 2.5 Manage the recording and/or transcription of data according to protocol.
  • 3.2 Contribute expertise to the development of emergency plans.
  • 2.4 Collect data according to protocol.
  • 3.3 Participate in improving the organization's capacities (including, but not limited to program, plans, policies, laws, and workforce
  • 3.4 Refer matters outside of one's scope of legal authority through the chain of command.
  • 4.1 Maintain personal/family emergency preparedness plans.

Learning Objectives:

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the role of public health in emergency preparedness 
  • Identify and explain the relevance of each of the 7 core system capacities for public health preparedness 
  • Define and summarize the similarities and differences between an emergency and a disaster 
  • Summarize the purpose and importance of an emergency response plan 
  • Describe the utility of an incident command system in emergency response and identify where you fit within your organization’s chain of command
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