Context of National Disaster Training in the U.S.
Russell Uyeno, Ph.D.
National Disaster Preparedness Training Center
Department of Urban and Regional Planning
University of Hawaii
The institutional and policy framework for emergency management training at the U.S. government level begins with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was formed in 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to address the need for an integrated agency to deal with all threats to U.S. security.
DHS includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), whose mission is to “reduce the loss of life and property and protect our institutions from all hazards by leading and supporting the nation in a comprehensive, risk-based emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.” FEMA’s National Preparedness Goal and National Preparedness System guide its efforts to develop core capabilities across the “whole community” in five key mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. Each of these areas is supported by a Planning Framework, which describes how the whole community can work together towards the Goal, while the National Incident Management System (NIMS) provides stakeholders across the whole community with the shared vocabulary, systems, and processes to successfully deliver the core capabilities.
With respect to training, the National Training and Education System (NTES) constitutes an integrated and systematic approach for building training and education capacity across the whole community and all five mission areas. At the local level this effort is carried out by the National Training and Education Division (NTED) through its training partners, preparing state and local first responders to prevent, protect, respond to, and recover from manmade and natural catastrophic events. NTED training includes courses at the Awareness, Performance, and Management & Planning levels to accommodate different job functions of the first responder community. NTED training partners, which include the members of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), deliver training no cost to the individual or the individual's jurisdiction or agency.
The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) at the University of Hawaii is part of the NDPC, with responsibility for training in the area of natural disasters.