A community can improve its ability to prepare for and respond to storm events by taking advantage of available training for municipal officials. The following is a list of some of the best sources for (generally free) training.
Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training
The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training educates professional audiences and coastal communities across each of the five Gulf States using shared information and technology. From coastal community resilience to habitat conservation, topics covered in Gulf of Mexico Coastal Training workshops address priority issues and promote activities that improve the health of the Gulf of Mexico. Check out their site here.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Emergency Management Institute
FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute offers training for local officials, ranging from free online classes to multi-day classes at their campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Depending on the course, FEMA may cover airfare, housing, and tuition for local government employees. Participants may receive professional or college credit. Emergency Management Institute courses include:
- Independent study (online)
- Disaster Basics
- A Citizen’s Guide to Disaster Assistance
- Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures
- Introduction to Residential Coastal Construction
- Introduction to Hazard Mitigation
- Protecting Your Home or Small Business from Disaster
- On-site (Emmitsburg, Maryland) training
- Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts
- National Flood Insurance Program/Community Rating System (NFIP/CRS)
- Residential Coastal Construction
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center
The Coastal Services Center, which is part of NOAA, offers training options either at their home office in Charleston, South Carolina, or wherever they’re requested (so long as a minimum number of people can be assembled). Available courses include technical training on various computer programs (they specialize in Geographic Information Systems), coastal hazard management, project design and evaluation, and conflict management. See the NOAA Coastal Services Center training website for more information.
State of Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA)
The State of Alabama Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) offers various courses on disaster management for local officials and citizen preparedness. Class and event schedules are located on their calendar (click on the “calendar” tab on their homepage).
Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency
The Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency offers Community Emergency Response Team training, local emergency planning and steering meetings, and other training opportunities as available.
- The Governor’s Division of Emergency Management (DEM), offer various courses on disaster management for local officials.
- The Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve offers various courses, including GIS training that can help officials understand how to make good decisions based on maps and other spatial data. See the Mission-Aransas NERR site for information on current classes.