Disaster Medicine and Management

Course Objectives:

After completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the rationale for disaster drills, simulations and exercises
  2. Identify and describe the components of a disaster drill or exercise
  3. Identify what constituencies and agencies should participate in an agency disaster drill or exercise
  4. Contrast tabletop exercises, control post exercises and field exercises, and describe the components, advantages, disadvantages and appropriate utilization of each (Emphasis on Building Block approach)
  5. Describe the post-exercise assessment process
  6. Identify how often disaster drills and exercises should be repeated, incorporating educational learning strategies and assessments.
  7. Using a team approach, develop a disaster simulation drill/ exercise that could be used by an agency or institution.
  8. Describe real world experience including the September 2015 Papal visit and the 2015 Amtrak derailment after hearing from people who were directly involved.
  9. Discuss the basics of his/her capstone project.

Grading & Evaluation:

Weekly Assignment DB Postings (6):                    18 points (3/wk)
Planning Documents  – Seminar& TTX                25 points
Final Drill Project (AAR, IP)                                   15 points

IS-120,130,775                                                    12 points (4 points each, one point deduction   for each submission after posted deadline under Assignments; no credit if submitted >10 days after deadline)Chats (2)                                                       15 points (7.5 each)       Participation:                                                                    15 points
Total:                                                                           100 points

Grade: A= 93-100, A- =90-92, B+ = 87 – 89, B = 83-86, B- = 80-82, C+=77-79, C = 73-76,          C- = 70-72, F = < 70
Weekly Assignment Postings: Students will complete the weekly assigned readings and lectures, and answer the assigned questions.  The answers should be at least 150 words in total for all questions in that Discussion Board and should be posted in the appropriate weekly module area.  You must respond to at least twoof your classmate’s postings on the Discussion Board each week; this should be relevant and at least 75 words.  Credit for the week’s Discussion Board requires both personal responses to Discussion Board questions and response to classmates’ postings.

Note also that you should review your entire thread before the deadline for the week.  You must make sure that you have read every response to your post.  Specifically, you MUST answer any question posed by faculty.  There will be a deduction for failure to answer.

Faculty will assign students to Alpha Group and Bravo Group.  Each group will be assigned specific DB questions. All members of each group will answer questions assigned to their group.  However, each member of the group will respond to the DB postings of the members of the other group.  This will allow each of you to delve more deeply into your specific questions as well as benefit from the work done by others.

Answers to each week’s Discussion Board questions must be posted no later than 2359 of the Friday of the respective week.  Responses to postings by at least twodifferent classmates must be posted by 2359 of the Sunday for that week.  All Discussion Board grades are based on a published rubric posted under Course Documents.

You will notice that beginning in Week 2, you will be working with “Exercise Simulation System Document” (AKA Liberty County) documents.  Although the Discussion Board questions are limited to specific IS 139 Units, all students are expected to communicate regularly with group members regarding group work assignments.  That may be done via email, Facetime, Skype, Adobe Connect etc.*NOTE – The grade for this project is based on individual participation.  That includes group chat attendance and assistance in development of the exercises.  Each group will have a faculty member who will serve as a mentor / advisor.  That mentor should be part of the discussions whenever possible.

*Many students type their answers in Word so they may retain a permanent file.  If you choose to do that, please copy and paste your response into the discussion board rather than attach the file.

*Please also note that the professors serve not only as educators but also as facilitators.  As such we direct you to resources and provide feedback.  However, it is critically important that you also read your classmates’ postings.  You will learn much from their efforts and analysis of data.

Complete IS 120a, IS 130, and IS 775. Each unit requires approximately several hoursof work on your part. You should be able to complete the three courses in less than 12 hours.  Additionally, all students must take the final exams for IS 120A, IS 130, and IS 775 posted on the FEMA site.  These certificates should become part of your emergency management portfolio.

Please Note -Eachcourse is a specific assignment. You must complete IS 120 before beginning course work in week 1.  IS 130 and IS 775 should be done by the end of week 1. There is a deadline for each in the Syllabus; there is a 1 point penalty for missing that deadline. Email PDFs of certificates to Dr. Parrillo.

We will use IS 139 for much of the course work.  This IS course is no longer available, but the Syllabus is in Course Documents.

Everyone must register for IS 300 before registering for 639.  The course must be complete before the on-campus week that begins on July 16.That FEMA course is intensive and is not available online.  DMM faculty will provide a review of 300 during the on-campus week.

Participation: Participation in all aspects of the on-campus seminars, tabletop and field exercises ismandatory to pass the course. Points will be awarded based on the level of involvement and contribution to the daily activities.

Accountability during on-campus week:  Everyone will be responsible to complete IS Form 214 each day of the week.  One person will complete a FEMA sign-in sheet for the class.  This process replicates what would happen in a real-life situation.  The form must be turned into the faculty each morning for the previous day’s activities.  On the last day, the form must be turned in at 5PM.

Demonstrations of competency – During the semester, faculty will require that all students demonstrate competency in the following areas:

  • Development and use of an HVA
  • Development of a discussion-based exercise – Seminar
  • Development of a Tabletop Exercise
  • Development of an after action report (AAR) and improvement plan (IP)
  • Adult education principles
  • Development and use of an incident action plan (IAP)
  • Use of standard IS forms
  • Use of the ICS structure
  • Understanding FEMA’s role in emergency management
  • Networking with disaster professionals
  • Use of the HSEEP toolkit and LLIS resources

Disaster Exercise Project: Students will be assigned to groups.  All students will get an electronic copy of FEMA’s Exercise Simulation System Document.  Group leaders / facilitatorswill coordinate assignments based on the various pieces within that document.  That project will be a “work in progress” during the first six online weeks and will be discussed and evaluated regularly.  Liberty County documents (found in Resource Room / Course documents) contain the inventory of all resources available to you. Use only the resources found within Liberty County.  There will be designated submission times during the 8 weeks prior to arriving on campus.  This project will be graded.

Note – There are two parts to this assignment.  Each group will develop both a seminar and a tabletop exercise.  Each group facilitator will coordinate assignments and follow progress.  However, everyone MUST do the assignment designated.  It is not the facilitator’s job to all parts of the exercises.

Specifics for the assignment are in Topics of Study.  Each group has individualized instructions.

Final Project – Following the on-campus week, all students will prepare and submitboth an AAR (After Action Report) and an IP (Improvement Plan) for the exercise that their group developed and conducted.  Follow the guidelines in IS 139 and the HSEEP Toolkit.  Use HSEEP forms for the AAR and IP.

Deadline Summary – See week to week Organizer for due dates.







Discussion Board Etiquette

In order to be educational to the entire group, please share from the perspective of providing details of your experience that has led to the critical thought process you have reached.   A dialogue is helpful – the learning process encourages challenging thinking based on literature and critical review. In order to do this, allow others to share their thoughts and to ask questions.


Professionalism needs to be maintained – respect needs to be conveyed in your postings.  Bickering is not acceptable – in fact drains the value of the discussion.


Academic Integrity

Academic Dishonestysuch as cheating on an examination or plagiarism will result in the grade of “F” for the course, and may also result in further disciplinary action such as referral to the University Student Conduct Committee and possible program or university dismissal as outlined in the PhiladelphiaUniversityStudent Handbook and the DM&M Student Manual.


The Gutman Library

The home page of the Gutman Library provides students with a variety of information resources, including databases and research guides.  Librarians are available online and in person at the information desk to help students with research.  www.philau.edu/library


The Learning and Advising Center

The Learning and AdvisingCenter provides one-on-one tutoring assistance for writing, study strategies, test taking, and specific PhiladelphiaUniversity courses. To make a tutoring appointment, students should stop by the Learning and AdvisingCenter in Haggar Hall or call (215) 951-2799. Academic resources, including information on citation and documentation, note taking, and study strategies are available on the Center’s website. http://philau.edu/learning/index.htm


Technology Assistance

For assistance with technology issues, students should contact the TechnologyHelp Desk at (215) 951-4648 or send an email to http://philau.edu/oit/helpdesk/contact.htm.  General purpose computing facilities are available in Search Hall and Gutman Library.

http://www.philau.edu/OIT/ Access “Atomic Learning” to do tutorials on software you are not familiar.


Digital Media Resources

Material for the online portion of the class will be found in Blackboard with numerous links to additional online resources and organizations.  Certain material will be placed as PDF files to ensure access by all students.  ERES will also be utilized for access to articles.

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