FEMA Independent Study Courses
We are here to demystify the processes and procedures for preparing for various tests under the umbrella of holistic education.
Introduction to FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a division of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It was established by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978, and two Executive Orders were issued on April 1, 1979, under President Jimmy Carter.
The agency’s primary goal is to arrange the response to any possible disaster that strikes the United States and overwhelms local and state authorities’ resources. Also, the state governor of where the disaster occurs must impose martial law and request that FEMA and the federal government respond to the tragedy in writing from the President.
Brief History of FEMA
- The Congressional Act of 1803 gave birth to FEMA.
- FEMA now employs over 14,000 people across the country, including those at its headquarters, ten local branches, the National Emergency Training Center, the Noble Training Center, and other locations.
FEMA’s mission has remained the same for 43 years: to lead America in disaster preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery with the vision of “A Nation Prepared.”
What are FEMA Independent Study Tests?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers a distance learning program that provides free training to the nation’s emergency management network as well as the general public. The Independent Study Program (ISP) is also available through the FEMA Emergency Management Institute’s (EMI) Curriculum Management Branch.
It provides an alternate means of delivering vital training to the professional and volunteer emergency management communities and an opportunity to raise public awareness and promote disaster preparedness on a national scale.
FEMA Independent Study Course List
Here is a complete list of 210 courses under the FEMA Independent Study Tests:
|IS-5.a: An Introduction to Hazardous Materials|
|IS-8.a: Building for the Earthquakes of Tomorrow: Complying with Executive Order 12699|
|IS-10.a: Animals in Disasters: Awareness and Preparedness|
|IS-11.a : Animals in Disasters: Community Planning|
|IS-15.b: Special Events Contingency Planning for Public Safety Agencies|
|IS-18.22: FEMA EEO Employee Course 2022|
|IS-19.22: FEMA EEO Supervisor Course 2022|
|IS-20.22: Diversity Awareness Course 2022|
|IS-21.22: Civil Rights and FEMA Disaster Assistance|
|IS-26: Guide to Points of Distribution|
|IS-27: Orientation to FEMA Logistics|
|IS-29.a : Public Information Officer Awareness|
|IS-30.b: Mitigation eGrants System for the Subgrant Applicant|
|IS-31.b: Mitigation eGrants for the Grant Applicant|
|IS-32.a : Mitigation eGrants Internal System|
|IS-35.22: FEMA Safety Orientation 2022|
|IS-36.a : Preparedness for Child Care Providers|
|IS-37.22: Managerial Safety and Health|
|IS-42.a : Social Media in Emergency Management|
|IS-45: Continuous Improvement (CI) Overview|
|IS-60.b: The Homeland Security Geospatial Concept-of-Operations (GeoCONOPS) for Planners and Decision Makers|
|IS-61.b: The Homeland Security Geospatial Concept-of-Operations (GeoCONOPS) In Depth|
|IS-62.b: The Homeland Security Geospatial Concept-of-Operations (GeoCONOPS) In Use|
|IS-63.b: Geospatial Information Infrastructure (GII)|
|IS-64.a: DHS Common Operating Picture Application|
|IS-75: Military Resources in Emergency Management|
|IS-100.c: Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100|
|IS-101.c: Preparing for Federal Disaster Operations: FEMA|
|IS-102.c: Preparing for Federal Disaster Operations: FEMA Response Partners|
|IS-103: Geospatial Information Systems Specialist|
|IS-107.22: FEMA Travel Rules and Regulations 2022|
|IS-111.a: Livestock in Disasters|
|IS-120.c: An Introduction to Exercises|
|IS-130.a: How to be an Exercise Evaluator|
|IS-139.a: Exercise Design and Development|
|IS-144.a: TERT Basic Course|
|IS-156: Building Design for Homeland Security for Continuity of Operations|
|IS-158: Hazard Mitigation Flood Insurance in Disaster Operations|
|IS-162: Hazard Mitigation Floodplain Management in Disaster Operations|
|IS-200.c: Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response|
|IS-201: Forms Used for the Development of the Incident Action Plan|
|IS-212.b: Introduction to Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA)|
|IS-215: Unified Federal Review Advisor Training: An Overview of the UFR Process|
|IS-216: An Overview of the Unified Federal Review Process: Training for Federal Disaster Recovery Leadership|
|IS-230.e: Fundamentals of Emergency Management|
|IS-235.c: Emergency Planning|
|IS-240.c: Leadership and Influence|
|IS-241.c: Decision Making and Problem Solving|
|IS-242.c: Effective Communication|
|IS-244.b: Developing and Managing Volunteers|
|IS-245.b: Introduction to the Federal Priorities and Allocations System|
|IS-246.22: Implementing the Federal Priorities and Allocations System (FPAS)|
|IS-247.b: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for Alert Originators|
|IS-251.a: Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) for Alerting Administrators|
|IS-253.a: Overview of FEMA’s Environmental and Historic Preservation Review|
|IS-271.a: Anticipating Hazardous Weather & Community Risk, 2nd Edition|
|IS-273: How to Read a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)|
|IS-274: How to Use a Flood Insurance Study (FIS)|
|IS-279.a: Introduction to Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Buildings|
|IS-280: Overview of: Engineering Principles and Practices for Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Structures, FEMA Publication 259, 3rd Edition|
|IS-284.a: Using the Substantial Damage Estimator 3.0 Tool|
|IS-285: Substantial Damage Estimation for Floodplain Administrators|
|IS-288.a: The Role of Voluntary Organizations in Emergency Management|
|IS-289: Voluntary Agency Liaison (VAL) Overview|
|IS-293: Mission Assignment Overview|
|IS-302: Modular Emergency Radiological Response Transportation Training|
|IS-315.a: CERT and the Incident Command System (ICS)|
|IS-317.a: Introduction to Community Emergency Response Team (CERTs)|
|IS-318: Mitigation Planning for Local and Tribal Communities|
|IS-319.a: Tornado Mitigation Basics for Mitigation Staff|
|IS-320: Wildfire Mitigation Basics for Mitigation Staff|
|IS-321: Hurricane Mitigation Basics for Mitigation Staff|
|IS-322: Flood Mitigation Basics for Mitigation Staff|
|IS-323: Earthquake Mitigation Basics for Mitigation Staff|
|IS-324.a:Community Hurricane Preparedness|
|IS-325: Earthquake Basics: Science, Risk, and Mitigation|
|IS-326: Community Tsunami Preparedness|
|IS-328: Plan Review for Local Mitigation Plans|
|IS-329: State Hazard Mitigation Planning|
|IS-337: Posting Integrated Financial Management Information System Transactions –|
|IS-350: Mitigation Planning for Tribal Communities|
|IS-360: Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for Schools, Higher Education, and Houses of Worship|
|IS-362.a: Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools|
|IS-363: Introduction to Emergency Management for Higher Education|
|IS-366.a: Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters|
|IS-368: Including People With Disabilities & Others With Access & Functional Needs in Disaster Operations|
|IS-393.b: Introduction to Hazard Mitigation|
|IS-394.a: Protecting Your Home or Small Business From Disaster|
|IS-395: FEMA Risk Assessment Database|
|IS-403: Introduction to Individual Assistance (IA)|
|IS-405: Overview of Mass Care/Emergency Assistance|
|IS-450: Emergency Preparedness for Federal Employees|
|IS-450.NC: Emergency Preparedness for Federal Employees in the National Capital Region|
|IS-453: Introduction to Homeland Security Planning|
|IS-505: Concepts of Religious Literacy for Emergency Management|
|IS-520: Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenzas|
|IS-545: Reconstitution Planning Course|
|IS-551: Devolution Planning|
|IS-552: The Public Works Role in Emergency Management|
|IS-553.a : Coordination between Water Utilities and Emergency Management Agencies|
|IS-554 : Emergency Planning for Public Works|
|IS-556 : Damage Assessment for Public Works|
|IS-558 : Public Works and Disaster Recovery|
|IS-559 : Local Damage Assessment|
|IS-632.a : Introduction to Debris Operations|
|IS-633 : Debris Management Plan Development|
|IS-650.b : Building Partnerships with Tribal Governments|
|IS-660 : Introduction to Public-Private Partnerships|
|IS-662 : Improving Preparedness and Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships|
|IS-700.b : An Introduction to the National Incident Management System|
|IS-703.b : National Incident Management System Resource Management|
|IS-706 : NIMS Intrastate Mutual Aid – An Introduction|
|IS-727 : Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands|
|IS-772.a : Individual Assistance Preliminary Damage Assessment Orientation|
|IS-800.d : National Response Framework, An Introduction|
|IS-815: ABCs of Temporary Emergency Power|
|IS-822: Fundamentals of Management and Support Coordination of Federal Disaster Operations|
|IS-841.a: NEMIS HMGP System: Overview and Startup|
|IS-842.b: NEMIS HMGP System: Enter the HMGP Application|
|IS-843.a : NEMIS HMGP System: Project Eligibility Determination|
|IS-844.a : NEMIS HMGP System: Managing Project Tasks|
|IS-845.a : NEMIS HMGP System: Oversight and Closeout|
|IS-860.c : The National Infrastructure Protection Plan, An Introduction|
|IS-870.a : Dams Sector: Crisis Management|
|IS-871.a : Dams Sector: Security Awareness|
|IS-872.a : Dams Sector: Protective Measures|
|IS-874 : Introduction to Seepage and Internal Erosion and the Emergency Response to Seepage Related Dam Risks|
|IS-875 : Identifying, Monitoring and Addressing Seepage and Internal Erosion at dams|
|IS-876 : Evaluation and Analysis of Internal Erosion and Seepage Conditions at dams|
|IS-904 : Active Shooter Prevention: You Can Make a Difference|
|IS-906 : Workplace Security Awareness|
|IS-907 : Active Shooter: What You Can Do|
|IS-908 : Emergency Management for Senior Officials|
|IS-909 : Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone|
|IS-912 : Retail Security Awareness: Understanding the Hidden Hazards|
|IS-913.a : Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience: Achieving Results through Partnership and Collaboration|
|IS-914 : Surveillance Awareness: What You Can Do|
|IS-915 : Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Insider Threats|
|IS-916 : Critical Infrastructure Security: Theft and Diversion – What You Can Do –|
|IS-922.a : Applications of GIS for Emergency Management|
|IS-951 : DHS Radio Interoperability|
|IS-1000 : Public Assistance Program and Eligibility|
|IS-1001 : The Public Assistance Delivery Model Orientation|
|IS-1002 : FEMA Grants Portal – Transparency at Every Step|
|IS-1004 : The FEMA Site Inspection Process|
|IS-1005 : Public Assistance Alternative Procedures|
|IS-1006 : Documenting Disaster Damage and Developing Project Files|
|IS-1007 : Detailed Damage Description and Dimensions|
|IS-1008 : Scope of Work Development (Scoping and Costing)|
|I S-1009 : Conditions of the Public Assistance Grant|
|IS-1010 : Emergency Protective Measures|
|IS-1011 : Roads and Culverts|
|IS-1012 : Direct Administrative Costs|
|IS-1013 : Costing – Estimates and the Cost Estimating Format|
|IS-1014 : Integrating 406 Mitigation Considerations into Your Public Assistance Grant|
|IS-1015 : Insurance Considerations, Compliance, and Requirements|
|IS-1016 : Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) Considerations/Compliance for Public Assistance Grants|
|IS-1017 : Scope Change Requests, Time Extensions, Improved/Alternate Project Requests|
|IS-1018 : Determination Memorandums and Appeals|
|IS-1019 : Codes and Standards|
|IS-1020 : Public Assistance Donated Resources|
|IS-1021 : Bridge Damage Considerations|
|IS-1022 : Substantiating Disaster-Related Damages to Buildings, Contents, Vehicles, and Equipment|
|IS-1023 : Electrical Systems Considerations|
|IS-1024 : Water and Wastewater Treatment System Considerations|
|IS-1025 : Grant Administration Decisions for Tribal Governments|
|IS-1026 : Eligibility of Private Nonprofit Organizations|
|IS-1027 : Fire Management Assistance Grants (FMAG)|
|IS-1100.a : Increased Cost of Compliance|
|IS-1101.b : Basic Agent Tutorial|
|IS-1102 : Theory of Elevation Rating|
|IS-1103.a : Elevation Certificate for Surveyors|
|IS-1104 : NFIP Claims Review for Adjusters|
|IS-1105.a : EC Made Easy: Elevation Certificate Overview|
|IS-1106.a : FEMA Mapping Changes|
|IS-1107 : Adjuster Customer Service|
|IS-1108 : Insuring Condominiums|
|IS-1109.a : Understanding Basement Coverage|
|IS-1110.a : Writing Commercial Exposures|
|IS-1111 : Introduction to Commercial Claims|
|IS-1112 : Introduction to Flood Claims|
|IS-1113 : Coastal Barrier Resources Act|
|IS-1114 : Adjusting RCBAP and Condo Unit Owner Claims|
|IS-1115 : Claims Process for Agents|
|IS-1116 : Sales for Agents|
|IS-1117 : Severe Repetitive Loss for Agents|
|IS-1119 : Letters of Map Amendment (LOMAs) and Letters of Map Revision–Based on Fill (LOMR-Fs)|
|IS-1120 : Letters of Map Revision|
|IS-1150 : DHS Human Trafficking Awareness for FEMA Employees|
|IS-1151 : Blue Campaign Disaster Responder Training|
|IS-1152 : Blue Campaign First Responder Training|
|IS-1170 : Introduction to the Interagency Security Committee (ISC)|
|IS-1171 : Overview of Interagency Security Committee (ISC) Publications|
|IS-1172 : The Risk Management Process for Federal Facilities: Facility Security Level (FSL) Determination|
|IS-1173 : Levels of Protection (LOP) and Application of the Design-Basis Threat (DBT) Report|
|IS-1174 : Facility Security Committees|
|IS-1190 : The National Oil & Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan and the National Response System Independent Study Course|
|IS-1200 : TERT Team Leader Course|
|IS-1300 : Introduction to Continuity of Operations|
|IS-2000 : National Preparedness Goal and System Overview|
|IS-2001 : Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)|
|IS-2002 : Introduction to FEMA Operational Planning|
|IS-2101 : Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) 101 Beginner Training Course|
|IS-2200 : Basic Emergency Operations Center Functions|
|IS-2500 : National Prevention Framework, an Introduction|
|IS-2600 : National Protection Framework, An Introduction|
|IS-2700 : National Mitigation Framework, an Introduction|
|IS-2900.a : National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) Overview|
|IS-2901 : Introduction to Community Lifelines|
|IS-2905 : Coordinating Health and Social Services Recovery|
What Is The Purpose Behind FEMA Conducting Tests?
The purpose of the exercise is to ensure that public safety officials have the methods and systems in place to send out urgent alerts and warnings to the public in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Relationship Between EMI & FEMA
The Emergency Management Institute’s (EMI) mission is to “assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) objectives by enhancing the skillsets of U.S. officials at all levels of government to prevent, prepare for, respond to, recoup from, and minimize potential effects of all types of hazards and emergencies on the American people”.
The National Emergency Training Center (NETC) in Emmitsburg, Maryland, is home to EMI, the emergency management community’s flagship training institution.
The National Emergency Training Center (NETC)
The NETC is the U.S government’s reliable interagency emergency management training body. To add on, NETC is home to multiple agencies such as the National Fire Academy, United States Fire Administration, and the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), which is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Directorate of Preparedness (FEMA).
Incident Command System (ICS)
The Incident Command System (ICS) was formed by local, state, and federal emergency personnel to help them better manage emergencies. It’s a basic, all-risk system that lets any company or organization work in a cross setting.
Any incident, from the smallest threat to the most complex natural disasters such as earthquakes, river flooding, and major manufacturing accidents, are taken care of by the ICS. Even local situations involving multiple jurisdictions, such as industrial fires and hazardous material accidents, can be managed more efficiently using ICS.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS)
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a set of operational systems that govern how people collaborate during an incident.
In support of the NIMS Training Program, EMI collaborates with the entire community to provide training.
Everything You Need to Know About Independent Study (IS) Courses
Let’s deep dive right into independent study (IS) courses:
Where To Begin?
Visiting our website is the quickest way to get started taking classes. From the comfort of your own home or office, you can learn about each course, access study materials, and submit final exams.
- Go to https://cdp.dhs.gov/femasid to register for a FEMA student ID number.
- Go to https://training.fema.gov/IS/ to learn more about the Independent Study Program.
- On the left side of the page, click “IS Course List.”
- Select a course and activate it.
All applicants for EMI resident classes, including FEMA employees, must sign up and acquire a Student Identification Number (SID). This number substitutes the Social Security Number on the General Admissions Application Form.
Candidates are required to meet the eligibility criteria and prerequisites for each EMI course to enroll. Keep in mind, the same course cannot be taken more than once by a participant.
EMI courses are generally only open to U.S residents, but a small number of international participants are accepted each year.
Get College Credit
It is possible to earn transferable academic credit for Independent Study courses through regional accreditation agencies. Frederick Community College has taken over the evaluation of our Independent Study courses. Not to forget, lower-division academic credit is available for courses that meet their academic standards.
You must pass a course in order to apply for college credit. After that, you can request a personal copy of your mark sheet by filling out an application and paying a fee.
Free of charge, two official copies may be sent to other institutions.
Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
The ISP courses are assessed, and CEUs are awarded according to the International Association of Continuing Education and Training’s standards (IACET). Our website lists the number of CEUs for each course.
Military Personnel, Active, and Reserve
Some military branches may be able to use ISP courses as part of their promotion and retention programs if they complete them. Contact your personnel or education office to see if this program is appropriate for your career path.
According to our experience, members are usually required to apply and pay for college credit before being considered for promotion or retention points based on their participation in the ISP. Members of the reserve components who are required to collect retirement and retention points can usually get credit for their efforts through the ISP.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I enroll myself in an online Independent Study course?
Follow these steps to register in an online Independent Study course:
- Select your course from the ISP Course List by clicking on it.
- Choose from the options in the “Take This Course” box on the right-hand side of the page to review course materials.
- Once you’ve successfully attempted all the answers, submit the examination online. Right after submitting your responses, you will be enrolled in the course.
- Within 1-2 business days, you will receive an email notification addressing your confirmation for the course at the same email address you provided on your final exam submission.
How many FEMA independent courses are available?
There are almost 200 online courses accessible. Some courses are intended for the general public, while others are more specialized and targeted towards emergency management experts.
Several courses are valuable for training and educational programming for local emergency service providers, extension educators, and teachers.
Who is eligible to enroll in FEMA’s Independent Study Course?
The Independent Study program’s primary audience consists of first responders, EMI personnel, and U.S citizens.
How long does a FEMA certification last?
Course certificates from the Independent Study Program never expire. You may retake the exam if you want to brush up on your skills. However, the system will not grade the exam anew. The original completion date will be retained on your certificate of completion.
Are FEMA courses free of cost?
FEMA provides free disaster preparedness and emergency management courses, which are held online and can be completed in a matter of hours.
Is it necessary for me to apply for a FEMA SID in order to complete IS courses?
You must use a FEMA Student Identification (SID) number starting April 1, 2015. To apply for a SID, follow these steps.
Students who have previously taken courses using their social security number should call our office at 301-447-1200 to have their records consolidated under their FEMA SID number.
We suggest that all FEMA employees take the IS course through FEKC first. If the course is not mentioned in FEKC, use your SID to sign up.
Where should I go if I have SID questions?
FEMA Student Identification (SID) Numbers are now required for Independent Study Exams. If you do not already have a SID, you can apply for one here. Please do not contact the Independent Study program office for assistance with these requests as they cannot help.
Today, EMI is achieving its goal of improving the capabilities of U.S officials and agencies of government to prevent, prep for, react to, recoup from, and minimize the impacts of disasters and emergencies.
The National Response Framework (NRF), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and an all-hazards approach are used by EMI to promote integrated emergency management principles and practices. All in all, EMI is the nation’s leading provider of emergency management training, exercises, and education.