Hazard Training for Local Officials

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.

Florida Division of Emergency Management

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) offers events and training opportunities throughout the state. DEM runs workshops for local officials and works with other organizations to address requests from coastal communities. Check out their calendar of events here.

Florida Coastal Training Program

The Florida Coastal Training Program (CTP) at the three National Estuarine Research Reserves in Florida provides support, training, and information to communities so they can better manage the coastal resources so vital to their economies and way of life. The program gives decision makers information, tools, and skills to improve decisions that affect the health of the state’s coastal areas. Training programs include many topics of interest to coastal communities including living shorelines, and workshops based on the Coastal No Adverse Impact (CNAI) principles developed by the Association of State Floodplain Managers. CNAI is based on the concept that the actions of any community or property owner should not adversely impact others and offers coastal communities strategies that promote responsible floodplain development through community-based decision-making (see the NAI pages on this site).

See the Florida Coastal Strategies and The Florida Coastal Training Program websites for details.

Florida Floodplain Managers Association: EMI Training

One of the main focuses of the Florida Floodplain Managers Association is to encourage flood hazard professionals to further their knowledge. In the upcoming months, their site will provide information regarding workshops, conferences and classes.

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.