On June 16, 2008, FEMA’S Citizen Corps and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) formed a partnership to address these needs. The Deputy Administrator of the National Preparedness Directorate of FEMA, Dennis Schrader, announced the newly-formed affiliation to help promote and improve community emergency preparedness, disaster response training for the public and volunteer service. Co-signing the Statement of Affiliation was Dr. George R. Boggs, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges.
Citizen Corps and AACC each view community safety and emergency preparedness as a top priority for their respective organizations and for the entire country. The partnership formalizes the commitment that community colleges play in homeland security. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, community colleges currently credential approximately 80 percent of first responders and 60 percent of health-care professionals.
“Through this affiliation with Citizen Corps, we are delighted to work with AACC to expand their role in comprehensive community preparedness to include support for emergency planning, education and outreach, and training for the general public,” said Dennis Schrader.
With over 2,200 local Citizen Corps Councils nationwide, Citizen Corps is FEMA’S nationwide grass-roots effort to encourage community and government leaders to come together to involve community members and organizations in all-hazards emergency preparedness, planning, mitigation, response, and recovery.
The Need – Analysis of Community Preparedness
The need to improve the readiness of U.S. citizens is well documented. For example, a 2007 American Red Cross study shows that 93% of Americans are not prepared for a natural disaster or pandemic event. If it were made easy, another 82% would like to be better prepared. The target audiences for the training are the community college students, faculty, employees and their families. In addition, local businesses, community organizations and governments served by the local community college, will be targeted.
3CP2 will make them aware of their responsibility to be prepared for a natural, man-made or technological event since emergency personnel will likely be delayed in responding. 3CP2 will address the information and training resources available to help citizens prepare their homes and families, including Ready.gov and Citizencorps.gov, and will refer them to opportunities for further involvement.
The training needs analysis is based on well documented assessments from federal state, local, private and non-profit sources and federal emergency management plans that reveal the critical need for improving citizen preparedness. The Citizen Preparedness Review’s Quarterly Review of Citizen Preparedness (2007) reported on five national studies that indicated Hurricane Katrina has not increased the level of citizen preparedness. The Journal of Emergency Medical Services (2004) reported that while citizens rely on emergency responders, less than one percent of the U.S. population is a first responder, indicating citizens will need to learn to survive until first responders can reach them. USA Today (2007) reported that 41% of people do not have a stockpile of food and water, 27% do not have an extra supply of medication, and 40% have not selected a contact person for emergencies. Additionally, USA Today (2006) reported that special populations are particularly under-prepared. The article cites the Council for Excellence in Government report indicating language barriers and education levels as significant gauges of limited preparedness.
Train-the-Trainer: Citizen Preparedness and Program Sustainability
The two-day Train-the-Trainer program will enroll a minimum 80 college staff from 40 colleges each year (125 colleges total) that are committed to the goal of building a sustainable program to prepare their students and community for a disaster. The program will deliver a community college business model that stresses responsibility to the community and nation.
Community preparedness training will be based on the 8 Key Scenario Sets and 15 National Planning Scenarios, putting emphasis on local priorities through the local college’s existing collaborative partnerships with local first responders and their needs assessments of the region.
The training will enable HUB colleges to:
¨ Assess local needs using the defined DHS sets and scenarios
¨ Review the communities capabilities
¨ Develop partnerships with Citizen Corps Councils, Red Cross, Emergency Management Organizations and any other organization involved in community preparedness
¨ Produce sustainable model programs and courses
¨ Meet staffing, staff development and equipment requirements through budgeting and resource development
¨ Deliver the two-hour Citizen Preparedness Course, described below
Citizen Preparedness Course
The two-hour blended curriculum will be developed and delivered to a minimum 125 Hub Colleges and 5 Lead Colleges, strategically located throughout the United States with the goal of helping citizens preserve life and minimize injuries sustained in a disaster. Learning objectives:
¨ Threat Awareness and Assessment (30 min)
- Preparedness is everyone’s responsibility
- Defining potential man-made, technical and natural threats
- Assessing local threats
¨ Ways to be Prepared (60 min)
- Creating a plan for home, school and business including personal safety
- Preparing your survival and first aid kit
- Shelter in place
- Hazard considerations
- Communications and practice
- Evacuation planning with consideration for special needs/special populations, domestic animals and livestock
¨ Recovering from a disaster
- Available Information and Training (30 min)
- Online federal, state and local information, training and volunteer opportunities within the local Citizen Corps Council, Red Cross, and community organizations
Curriculum Materials & Blended Delivery
The proposal guidelines ask us the HUB Colleges to identify the number of programs that will be delivered face-to-face and electronically.
In developing the two-hour citizen preparedness program, 3CP2 will use community college experts, subject matter experts, federal agency representatives, and consultants to develop a curriculum drawing upon available research-based curriculum, such as Ready.gov, Citizenscorps.gov, and Red Cross materials.
During Train-the-Trainer, Hub colleges will receive a DVD with the two-hour course modeled by 3CP2 staff and a Curriculum CD with a course overview, course syllabus, course text, Power Points, and student certificates with “field notes.” Upon successful completion of Train-the-Trainer, colleges will receive permission to duplicate materials. Hub colleges will offer classes either face-to-face or electronically, depending on the needs of the particular audience. Community college students will be prepared during college orientation—some colleges offer orientation electronically, others offer it face-to-face. Through college continuing education offerings, community members may enroll in both electronic and face-to-face courses that are advertised on a quarterly basis online and in printed course catalogs.
Impact and Outcomes
¨ 125 strategically-located colleges will know how to implement self-sustaining homeland security programs and offer citizen preparedness courses in cooperation with community-based organizations.
¨ A minimum 500,000 citizens will know how to: avoid death/ injury resulting from disaster, and recover from a disaster. The intent is to have many of these citizens l share this information with others and become involved in community preparedness organizations.
A minimum 500,000 students, faculty, staff, associated families, and community members served by 1,173 local community colleges make up the project’s target audience. Priority will be placed on student populations from English for Speakers of Other Languages and their families, families from economically disadvantaged areas, and families of first generation college students. These populations commonly attend community colleges and are documented to be minimally prepared for surviving a natural, man-made or technological disaster.
Students and staff will receive training during orientation in the fall and spring of each year. Mentors will be assigned assist students who have not mastered the English language. These students will be encouraged to translate materials for their families. The community will be invited to participate in no-cost courses offered through continuing education divisions of each college.
There are no course pre-requisites. Participants will receive certificates of course completion with wallet size field notes printed on the back of their certificate for future reference when needed.
Brochures, Forms, Applications are available under the Downloads/Resources tab.