Healthcare Emergency Disaster Planning and Preparedness

Hospital/Healthcare Emergency Disaster Planning and Preparedness

Please Check This Site Periodically For the Next Offering of HEDP2.


This is a 2 level certificate program (20 contact hours per level) based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in the School of Medicine. This program has been developed to address the need for more individuals with skills focused on addressing emergency management for hospitals and healthcare systems before, during and after disasters.

Faculty will include those from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, visiting instructors, as well as other adjunct faculty.

Download the HEDP2 Brochure (pdf)


Ongoing disasters, new standards by healthcare accreditation and regulatory bodies, and the general sense that emergency preparedness and disaster planning has been neglected by some healthcare systems has driven the need for individuals with specialized skills to address emergency preparedness and medical disaster planning in hospitals and health care systems. This program will provide participants with current information on a variety of topics to better address emergency management for hospitals and healthcare systems before, during and after disasters.


Information presented should improve ability to:

  • perform functions essential to hospital/healthcare system emergency management and medical disaster planning.
  • interpret the Emergency Support Function 8 under the National Response Framework.
  • discuss the rules, guidelines, regulations, and statutory requirements for healthcare systems.
  • design an emergency operations plan.
  • create disaster specialty teams.

Target Audience

The program is constructed around the hospital and healthcare system environment, information covered will also benefit participants who have similar roles in skilled nursing facilities, physician practices, adult day care, community healthcare centers and other fixed facility healthcare programs.

Continuing Education

  • Physicians: Category II CME (Self Claim)
  • Nurses: Education Credits - Approval Pending
  • Prehospital Providers: 40 CE hours approved by NCOEMS

Ancillary Certifications Available

During the program participants will develop materials for application as Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and /or Certified Healthcare Emergency Professional (CHEP). Both certifications are administered by agencies outside of this program. The program will assist with the application process but meeting all requirements is the responsibility of the applicant.



Complete the online application for Healthcare Emergency Disaster Preparedness. You will be notified once your application is received. If you have any further questions please contact Jim Gusler at (919) 966-3659. Payments can be made securely online at:


To meet pre-requisites, participants may choose to complete specific FEMA Independent Study courses on-line OR attend the one day Pre-session Workshop.

The Pre-session Workshop covers the basics of incident management, emergency management, emergency operations, disaster planning, exercise design, NIMS, ESF 8 and continuity of operations.

Attendance at the Pre-session Workshop that will meet in Chapel Hill is required for participants who are unable to complete the online courses. Participants who complete the pre-requisites via the on-line FEMA courses are not excluded from attending the Pre-session Workshop.

FEMA Independent Study Courses / Pre-Session Workshop Content:

  • FEMA IS 1 - Emergency Manager: An Orientation to the Position
  • FEMA IS 100HC - Incident Command System Health Care
  • FEMA IS 120.a - An Introduction to Exercises
  • FEMA IS 235 - Emergency Planning
  • FEMA IS 200HC - Applying ICS to HCO's
  • FEMA IS 546.a - Continuity of Operations Awareness Course
  • FEMA IS 700.a - National Incident Management System (NIMS) an Introduction
  • FEMA IS 775 - EOC Management and Operations
  • FEMA IS 800b - National Response Framework
  • FEMA IS 808 - Emergency Support Function 8 Public Health and Human Services

(Taken On-Line, the FEMA Courses are offered to the public Free of Charge)

Core Program:

The core program will meet in Chapel Hill and builds upon the knowledge gained in the pre-requisites and includes; rules, guidelines, and statutory requirements for healthcare systems during a disaster. Focus the first session will be on the basics of healthcare emergency preparedness.  This will include overviews of the current emergency preparedness systems, an overview of applicable rules and regulations, and the use of current tools that are available to assist us with emergency preparedness.  The second session will focus on development of plans, exercising, and other higher level responsibilities of emergency preparedness.

Basic Session

  • County, State and Federal Emergency Management
  • Overview: The Stafford Act, as Amended
  • Command and Control: HICS, Incident Command, & NIMS
  • Overview: Emergency Support Function ESF-8 Health and Medical
  • EOC Operations
  • Legal Issues, regulations, standards, rules during a disaster
  • Joint Commission and CMS Requirements
  • Hazard Vulnerability Analysis (HVA)
  • Tour the SMARTT Control Center

Advanced Session

  • HVA driven Business Continuity Plans (EOP & COOP Plans)
  • Bio-ethical planning and decision making
  • Mitigation and Recovery
  • Communications Planning and Systems
  • Reputation Maintenance and Recovery
  • Grant Funding with a focus on Mitigation and Planning
  • Exercises—Conducting and Evaluating
  • Community Integration (Mass Gatherings, Lrg. Scale Events, Local EM, Other Services)
  • Surge Capacity, dealing with a surge
  • The Hospital Role in Hospital/Healthcare System Evacuations
  • Evacuations: Stay or Go Decisions
  • Evacuation Systems
  • Developing response Specialty Teams and Incident Response Equipment

Registration and Fees:

Online Registration Only. Once your application has been received and approved, you will be sent the online registration instructions via email. (If you need assistance with the online registration please contact Jim Gusler at (919) 966-3659).

Core Program: (Basic and Advanced Sessions)

In state: $349 / session
Out of state: $449 / session

Once your Application is received, you will be notified if you are approved, and what discounts you qualify to receive. Please note in the comments section what discount(s) if any, you believe you are entitled to receive. Receipt date of your application will be the date we use for determining discounts and deadlines. At that point, your price will be locked in for 30 days.


Requests for refunds will be honored only if received five working days prior to the first day of the program. An administrative fee of 25% of the registration fee will be deducted from all refunds. No refunds will be made if cancellation is made less than five working days before the start of the program. Substitutions will be accepted with advance notification. Substitutions made less than forty-eight hours before the course will be subject to an administrative fee of 25%.

The University reserves the right to cancel or postpone any course due to unforeseen circumstances. In the event of cancellation or postponement, the University will fully refund registration fees but is not responsible for any related costs or expenses to participants, including cancellation fees assessed by hotels, airlines, rental car or travel agencies.

Program Staff:

Program Coordinator

James Gusler, BS, EMT-P
University of North Carolina - School of Medicine
101 Manning Drive - CB 7600
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7600
(919) 966-3659 - Office
(919) 966-6308 - Fax

If you are interested in attending this program or a subsequent offering of this program, please email me to express your interest. We must demonstrate sufficient interest to conduct this program.


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