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Training with the National Centre for Disaster Preparedness 

During the Covid-19 era there has been an explosion of webinars, seminars, online training and other types of virtual engagements across the board in all disciplines. CRJ Advisory Panel member, Rob Fagan describes the virtues of a comprehensive package put together for disaster preparedness and emergency management. 

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The NCDP provides very timely and valuable resources for strategic planning and assessments. Image: Bakhtiar Zein/123rf

For those unfamiliar, the National Centre for Disaster Preparedness (NCDP) from the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York provides ‘one-stop shopping’ for several different things. 
The first port of call on their website should be the free material in the areas of research, policy, and the library. The resources are too numerous to list here, but they include cutting edge articles, concepts, thematic programmes and white papers about multiple topics. 
Navigating around the website, in ‘policy portfolios’ under ‘policy’, there is information about children in disasters, the welfare of America’s Gulf Coast, resilient systems, and mega-disasters located all in one place. The real gem of NCDP is found under ‘practice’ which is a bit of a misnomer because it doesn’t intuitively lead to the ‘training and education’ part of what the NCDP does. 
In addition to training and education, there is information about fee-based consulting, community outreach and drills and exercise services. Under training and education there is a wealth of resources. One can work with them to design specialised face-to-face training (check first for Covid restrictions), just-in-time trainings, and conferences.

For those who are not based in the US, the section on online courses and Webinars enables access to the free training portal. This portal may be accessed at the general course portal or from almost any of their other splash pages where it says ‘e-Learning Centre Login’ in the upper right corner of the page. Once there, it is easy to establish an account.  Don’t miss the resources section down at the bottom! My favourite is the ‘Preparedness Wizard’ is designed to help build a personal family preparedness plan online relatively quickly, without it asking for personal information. 

Under the ‘View All Courses’ tab there is access to the training site, which also includes a specialised areas for groups that have previously arranged training. However, two other areas of interest are the sections on ‘NCDP Economic Recovery’ and ‘Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Housing Recovery.’ Under economic recovery there are two free courses: NCDP-357-W Principles of Community Economic Recovery and NCDP-376-W Preparedness Actions to Promote Economic Resilience and Recovery. 

Under housing recovery NCDP provides three FEMA web-based pre- and post-disaster housing training courses that include: AWR-370-W Addressing Gaps in Housing Disaster Recovery: Conducting Impact Assessments; AWR-371-W Addressing Gaps in Housing Disaster Recovery: Pre-Disaster Planning; and AWR-372-W: Addressing Gaps in Housing Disaster Recovery: Post Disaster Planning. 

Not only are these five courses free, but they are courses in areas that usually require access to full higher education degree programmes that address strategic disaster planning issues. Economic recovery and housing planning are rarely addressed in non-fee based settings. These courses should be taken by anyone that is a stakeholder in community planning, economic development, or housing equity, inclusion, or diversity issues. 

We have yet to fully understand all the impacts of Covid-19 as a global mega-disaster. Most certainly, many of them will be associated with economic recovery and future housing consequences. The NCDP provides very timely and valuable resources for strategic planning and assessments.
Train today; live tomorrow!

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