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Emergency Management

Emergency Management is a field of study where people coordinate disaster response or crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural (e.g. hurricanes, floods, earthquakes), wartime, or technological (e.g., nuclear power plant emergencies, hazardous materials spills) disasters or hostage situations.

Although most training in the past was on the job, increasingly formal academic programs are being organized to provide trained individuals in this growing field.

The program will provide the student with many national certifications from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

This 100% online, 8-course certificate program provides the student with a solid background in the basics for emergency management through coursework and practical experiences in the field. Program participants will gain an understanding of problems facing response teams, learn to write emergency plans according to state and federal guidelines, and build communications skills as crisis advisors. This certificate can be earned on its own, or the credits may apply toward the Fire Science AS degree program.

Why Study Emergency Management?

Emergency Management affects everyone. According to the FL website, "almost 40% of small businesses that close due to a disaster event never re-open." What would you do? Are you prepared? Where would you relocate if your building was destroyed? Do you have the correct resources, databases, and contact information to adapt? Start now! Being prepared will help ensure your business is ready to survive during unexpected and difficult times!

Types of Disasters:

  • Heat
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Tsunami
  • Chemical
  • Hurricanes
  • Landslides
  • Tornado
  • Nuclear
  • Terrorism
  • Earthquakes
  • Hazardous materials
  • Hostage situations
  • Volcano Wartime

This Program is Designed For:

  • Professionals seeking to broaden their education in coping with daily emergencies and major disasters.
  • Emergency professionals needing additional skills to prepare for management opportunities.
  • Risk managers in private and public sectors (including volunteer agencies)
  • Emergency planners who must design procedures, buy equipment and - in some cases - predict possible disasters.
  • Emergency professionals relied upon to protect the public in the event of a major emergency - including firefighters, police officers, emergency medical workers, public works officials and private industrial safety managers.

What Businesses Hire Emergency Managers?

  • Police and Fire departments; County, State, and Municipal Governments
  • Utility Companies (electric, water, gas, sewer, etc.); FEMA (Federal Government)
  • Large colleges and universities; Large corporations (WalMart, Office Depot, etc.)
  • Hospitals and many large private corporations and organizations

FFP 1820 Basic Emergency Planning Concepts
This course introduces students to basic emergency planning concepts for federal, state, local governments and businesses. The course also demonstrates the importance of all hazard risk assessments and exercising plans for refinement.

FFP 1822 Emergency Management Systems Principles & Practices
This course discusses the evolution of emergency management. It provides an insight of emergency management systems including: function; phases of emergency management; relationships between local, state, federal agencies; career opportunities; emergency manager responsibilities. The course also examines modern approaches to disaster management based on theory, legal requirements and community expectations. This course is the first of eight courses that lead to the completer receiving a College Credit Certificate in “Emergency Services Management."

FFP 1830 Hazards Analysis & Impacts
This course provides an overview for all hazards and disaster dynamics. Impact on population, infrastructure and economy will also be examined. The course includes the disaster management cycle and hazard monitoring systems.

FFP 1841 Business Contingency Planning
This course focuses on business contingency plans and survivability of disaster impacts. Course work will spotlight the importance of local business recovery and its impact on community recovery. Students will examine methods used by business to continue service to its clients and will develop a contingency plan for a small business.

FFP 1882 Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Operations & Design
This course discusses the operational philosophies and the importance of an emergency operations center. The course will discuss EOC staffing, activation levels, logistics, and will allow students to participate in designing the “Perfect EOC"

FFP 2840 Emergency Response & Recovery Operations
This course takes a theoretical examination and practical application of post event management activities. Discussions and course work will include public health, sheltering, evacuation, human behavior, damage assessment, debris removal, individual and public assistance and media relations. Students will play various EOC roles which will develop decision making skills.

FFP 2842 Defending Communities, Bridging Disaster Preparedness, Recovery, Mitigation
This course takes a theoretical examination and practical application of pre-disaster management and planning. The integration of mitigation, preparedness, and recovery activities is critical to protecting communities from major impacts. Students will discuss strategies for effective planning that gains political and public support. Professional networking is heavily encouraged.

FFP 2880 Emergency Management Public Policy, Relations & Education
This course will provide knowledge of establishing and executing public policy in emergency management. It will also examine how disasters have shaped political processes at all levels of government, nationally and internationally. The course also examines a variety of public education methodologies used to educate and execute public policy.

Applicants that reside off shore of the United States and seek to enroll in Emergency Management courses must complete an Application for Admissions and meet the following educational requirements:

  • Standard high school diploma (which is determined by the requirements to enter post secondary education in the applicable country educational system.) Example: CXE exam criteria in Caribbean or GCE exam in the Bahamas

  • An original document from the educational system indicating the appropriate educational level submitted to the Admission Processing Center, 4200 Congress Ave. MS#13, Lake Worth, FL 33461 USA.

  • Students seeking General Education classes as defined in the Palm Beach State College catalog must have appropriate SAT or ACT test scores.

  • Applicants whose primary language is other than English must submit TOEFL scores as defined in the College catalog for admissions into credit classes.

  • All classes are distance learning only and admission to on-campus College courses requires an F-1 Visa obtained through the International Admissions Office.

Fire inspector Amy Kimberly
First Emergency Management Certificate graduate


When disaster strikes, it is hard for people and organizations to deal with the chaos that has been created. That is why Palm Beach State College created the emergency management college credit certificate program to train professionals on how to deal with emergencies and major disasters.

This completely online course load teaches students how to coordinate disaster response or crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes), wartime, or technological (nuclear power plant emergencies, hazardous materials spills) disasters or hostage situations.

Many firefighters, police officers, emergency medical workers, public work officials and private industrial safety managers are signing up for this certificate program. Amy Kimberly, former fire fighter with the city of Riviera Beach and current fire inspector with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, is the first graduate of the Emergency Management College Credit Certificate program.

"I thought this would be a good transition from fire service to the emergency system," Kimberly said. "Something to expand my service."

amy kimberly

As a fire inspector, Kimberly goes into businesses to ensure fire prevention and safety inspecting extinguishers and buildings. Since finishing her courses in emergency management, she became certified with the Florida Emergency Preparedness Association (FEPA), an organization of emergency management professionals to advance emergency management programs within Florida.

"Amy was a great student and has proven to be a leader," said emergency management instructor Everette Vaughan. "Several students still in the program contact and meet with her regularly for her help with their papers and assignments."

The emergency management certificate can be earned in one year and completely online.

Contact Info

Kerry Weiss, Interim Director   |  561-868-3833

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