Disaster Management Courses

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The following are 25 courses that one could pursue to be prepared for disasters and emergencies that may strike in the future. These courses will help any individual right from students, policymakers, environmentalists better understand disasters and emergencies and be prepared for them. However, before we delve deeper, it is highly essential that we first understand the difference between disasters and emergencies.

Disasters are sudden calamitous events that cause severe damages to human, material, economic, and environmental losses. These events most often disrupt routine life and cause losses that economies cannot shoulder on their own. Such disasters are most often natural but some can have human origins as well.

Emergencies on the other hand are sudden events that may cause varying levels of damage to life, property, environment, or the economy. While the scale of the events may not be as vast as disasters, emergencies require immediate attention as well. Emergencies may also be of different types like health-related, man-made, natural, or events like fires and chemical spills.

These courses will help students understand the difference better and learn about different approaches to tackle, mitigate, and be better prepared for each of these.

Natural Disasters

This is an introductory course in Physics that will help students understand the scientific causes behind disasters and how we can or cannot control them. This course is being offered by the McGill University and can be completed in 11 weeks. During the course, students will learn in-depth about the ongoing conflict between humans and nature. They will also be able to understand the global impact of natural disasters and what can be done to mitigate them.

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 1

This introductory course looks at the effects that disasters have on public health and analyzes the effects on factors like sanitation, water, nutrition, shelter, etc. This course is being offered to students by the Johns Hopkins University and can be completed in approximately 16 hours. In this course, students will learn about how humanitarian crises affect the health and livelihood of people, how people get displaced and struggle for shelter, the introduction of diseases due to change in living conditions, and how lack of proper food at such times leads to malnutrition. This course aims at trying to develop interventions to mitigate these effects of disasters. The course is a combination of theoretical knowledge and real-life examples.

Public Health in Humanitarian Crises 2

This course is a follow-up course to the one mentioned above and is offered by the Johns Hopkins University. The previous course dealt with the changes in the lives of people affected by disasters and this course examines what different intervention strategies could look like to mitigate these effects. In this course, students will study different topics like detecting disease outbreaks in times of disasters, managing maternal and newborn health, and the importance of disaster epidemiology and surveillance. Students will also learn about core humanitarian principles, the role of ethics, when an emergency gets classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and the planning cycle used during humanitarian crises. The course can be completed in approximately 12 hours.

Disaster Risk Management and Korean Policies

This intermediate course about disaster management aims at helping create a road map to deal with disasters. The course focuses on how Korea learned and evolved in terms of disaster management and how developing countries can learn from their journey. The course is being offered by Yonsei University and can be completed in approximately 19 hours. Students will learn about the major disaster management policies in place by the Korean government, how geospatial information technology can be utilized to estimate damages and the different factors that must be considered to build disaster-resilient nations.

Bushfires: Response, Relief and Resilience

This online course in disaster management is relevant to anyone who may be interested in understanding the causes and impacts of bushfires, communities living in vulnerable areas, and those employed as support personnel. The course is being offered by the University of Newcastle, Australia, and can be completed in about 3 weeks. In this course, students will learn about what drives bushfires, the different ways in which they attack, and their multi-dimensional impacts. Students will learn about community-led recovery efforts, how to become resilient to bushfires, and identify different strategies for coping.

Disaster Preparedness

This online course in disaster management is meant for anyone who wants to develop the core competencies of disaster readiness and survival planning. This introductory course is being offered by the University of Pittsburgh and can be completed in approximately 13 hours. In this course, students will learn about several survival techniques to protect themselves and their families if they are hit by a disaster or live in a disaster-prone area. Students will be introduced to the Disaster Cycle and will create a survival plan for such times when basic means of living may be absent. The course will also help you to look within and maintain a balanced outlook in such situations.

Researching Risk, Disaster and Emergencies

This online course is meant for anyone interested in researching about risk, emergency, crisis, disaster and resilience disciplines. The course is being offered by Coventry University and can be completed in approximately 2 weeks. In this course, students will learn how to research disasters and be prepared to be able to help people in times of crisis. Students will learn the wider research process in detail all in the context of disaster management.

Emergencies and Disasters: Trends and Issues

This course is mainly aimed at those who are currently working or are looking to work in emergency management in the private or the public sector. The course is being offered by Coventry University and can be completed in approximately 2 weeks. In this course, students will learn about the trends in disasters and emergencies and the characteristics that make them challenging. Students will also learn about the presumptions of responsibility during such times, challenges faced by policymakers, and how the events are portrayed in front of the public.

Resilience: The art of coping with disasters

This course revolves around the word resilience which is the buzz word when it comes to discussions about disasters and crises. This course is being offered to students by IsraelX and can be completed in approximately 8 weeks. In this course, students will learn about resilience, its role in disaster situations, and how one can improve resilience. The course also examines the effect of crises on individuals and communities, the role of media during disasters, and how communities and individuals can become resilient in the pragmatic applied sense.

Tsunamis and Storm surges

This course is meant for emergency management officials, city developers, engineering students, or anyone residing in coastal disaster-prone areas. The course is aimed at improving disaster preparedness and management throughout the world. The course is being offered by the Waseda University and can be completed in approximately 6 weeks. In this course, students will learn about coastal disasters, how coastal areas are attacked, and the manner in which human lives are lost. Students will also understand the mechanisms behind coastal disasters. The course will introduce students to disaster prevention concepts and methods like coastal dikes and evacuation plans.

Disaster Management and Accountability

This course is ideal for students, policymakers, and those working in humanitarian disaster management as well as those who just want to understand the role of accountability in disaster management. The course is being offered to students by Coventry University and can be completed in about 2 weeks. In this course, students will learn about the key elements of accountability, its importance, and the evolution of accountability in disasters. Students will also look at accountability from different perspectives and evaluate it at global and local levels.

Health in Humanitarian Crises

This online is particularly relevant to health practitioners and NGO staff especially in countries prone to disasters and armed conflicts. The course is being offered to students by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and can be completed in approximately 3 weeks. In this course, students will learn about how conflicts and disasters cause disease outbreaks and ill-health worldwide. Students will learn about different topics like health needs and challenges, cross-cutting health issues, sector-specific health interventions, and current innovations in humanitarian action.

Humanitarian Action, Response, and Relief

This course in disaster risk preparedness is meant for anyone who works in the humanitarian sector. The course is being offered by Coventry University and can be completed in 2 weeks. Students will learn about the theoretical and practical aspects of humanitarian response. Some of the topics that will be covered in the course include the humanitarian origin in the Red Cross Movement, the Geneva Convention, Hague Conventions, and UDHR. Students will also learn about ethics, concepts, and terminologies all in terms of humanitarian action and will also study humanitarian space, protection, and the major actors involved. This course will help students develop the skills and knowledge required for working in humanitarian crises.

Drones and Autonomous Systems 2: Applications in Emergency Management

This course looks at the role that technology plays when it comes to reducing the risks and damages associated with disasters. It specifically discusses the place of unmanned aerial systems in terms of their applications and risks in terms of privacy and safety. This course is being offered to students by the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland Global Campus and can be completed in 6 weeks. The broad topics that the course will cover include disasters, hazards, global and manmade disasters and drone applications.

When Disaster Meets Conflict

This course is disaster risk reduction and response talks about developing high quality, ethical responses to disasters in conflict-affected areas. The course is being offered to students by the Erasmus University Rotterdam and can be completed in approximately 9 hours. In this course, students will learn about disaster risk reduction and response in high, low, and post-conflict scenarios. Students will also learn about some common ethical dilemmas that may be faced while working in this field and how to analyze the disaster response programs in such conflict-affected regions. Practitioners as well as students will benefit immensely from this course.

Community Preparedness, Recovery, and Resilience: An Introduction

This online course looks at disaster response in terms of communities. The course establishes a link between communities, disasters, and sustainable development. It is being offered by Coventry University and can be completed in approximately 2 weeks. In this course, students will learn about how communities respond, recover, and cope with disasters, the different approaches that build community resilience, and how positive development is encouraged within such communities.

Emergency Planning and Preparedness

This online course in emergency planning is meant for anyone with an interest in learning about emergency planning and preparedness. The course is being offered to students by Coventry University and can be completed in 2 weeks. During this course, students will begin by understanding the terminology associated with emergencies and the different types. Students will also learn how the type of emergency determines the type of response plan, the emergency planning cycle, and how to prepare an emergency plan.

Communicating During Global Emergencies

This intermediate online course discusses the importance of communication during global emergencies and how messages must be adapted to the needs of the population during such crises. The course is being offered by Emory University and can be completed in approximately 8 hours. Students will explore the CERC framework, function of risk communications, and crisis communication plans. Students will also use a fictional scenario to learn about the four components of risk communication by the International Health Regulations.

Emergency Care: Pregnancy, Infants and Children

This online course is a part of the Become an EMT specialization by the University of Colorado and can be completed in approximately 16 hours. The course focuses on how to manage the highest-stress patient populations that are pregnant women and kids. In this course students will learn right from handling an emergency delivery, caring for the newborn to dealing with different diseases that the pediatric population may most commonly face. Students will also learn about hazmat situations, extricating patients from tight spots, and writing a note for patient care.

Managing Asthma, Allergies, Diabetes, and Seizures in School

This course is a part of the School Health for Children and Adolescents Specialization by the University of Colorado and can be completed in approximately 14 hours. The course will help students understand how to support school students when they face such common problems. Students will learn about each of these conditions and how to tackle them. They will also learn how nurses provide support to students and staff.

Epidemics, Pandemics and Outbreaks

This online course focuses on how to prevent diseases from becoming epidemics and pandemics. The course is being offered to students by the University of Pittsburgh and can be completed in approximately 6 hours. In this course, students will learn about infectious diseases, legal and public health response strategies to outbreaks and Global Health Security. Students will also understand what legal interventions are available to states and local public health practitioners to combat epidemics, pandemics and outbreaks.

Medical Emergencies: Airway, Breathing, and Circulation

This course is aimed at equipping students with the knowledge needed to be able to stabilize certain types of patients for transport. The course is being offered by the University of Colorado and can be completed in approximately 12 hours. In this course, students will learn about the different medical emergencies like respiratory, endocrine, neurological, and cardiovascular emergencies and how to identify, assess, and stabilize such a patient for transport. Students will also learn about airway physiology, assessment of airway, and available interventions along with general pharmaceutical principles and skills associated with medical administration.

Emergency Management: Risk, Incidents and Leadership

This online course is meant for practitioners in emergency management in any discipline in any country. The course is being offered by Coventry University and can be completed in approximately 2 weeks. In this course, students will learn how to effectively manage risks during the emergency phase of any incident. After completion of this course, students will understand the relationship between leadership and followership, to describe the importance of leadership during emergencies and why the handling of emergency incidents go wrong.

Emergency and Disaster Training and Exercising: An Introduction

This course is for people with roles in emergency and disaster planning and response. The course establishes the link between training and exercising and risk management and emergency preparedness. The course is being offered by Coventry University and can be completed in approximately 2 weeks. During this course, students will understand the challenges in exercise design, the various types and scales of training and exercising, and the fact that training is a cyclic and continuous on-going process.

Disaster Medicine Training

This introductory course is an offering by the Stanford Emergency Medicine Program for Emergency Response and can be completed in 8 weeks. This course aims at providing the basic medical knowledge that any practitioner in disaster management should have. Any person who may be deployed to manage disaster situations will also benefit immensely from this course.

The language of instruction for all of these courses is English. Students can audit these courses for free but to earn a professional certificate on completion, a fee may be required. Financial aid may also be available for certain courses for eligible students.