Charles V. Shorten, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Director, Environmental Health Program
Department of Health, West Chester University, West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: (610) 436-2360; FAX: (610) 436-2860; Email: cshorten@wcupa.edu

About the Course:


Emergency Preparedness varies with the community doing the preparing, the emergencies being contemplated and the people responsible for doing the planning. ENV470-570 addresses each of these aspects in a systematic manner. It familiarizes students with historical, legal and regulatory framework for dealing with emergencies and introduces the four phases of emergency management. The course leads students through emergency preparedness for schools, businesses, communities and counties. Various types of emergencies including natural disasters, failures of technology (spills, accidents and explosions) and acts of war or terrorism are addressed. This is accomplished though a combination of lectures, online and in-class discussion and activities, guest speakers, hands-on exercises and drills and the preparation of a comprehensive planning document. The course is designed for professionals in environmental and public health, emergency responders (police, fire, hazmat and medical), planners, educators and others who may serve in a leadership capacity.

Course Objectives: During this course students will:

  • Analyze and interpret the legal and regulatory aspects of emergency preparedness.
  • Customize emergency preparedness programs for selected natural and man-made disasters to the communities being served.
  • Communicate emergency issues effectively with the constituencies involved in emergency response and management.
  • Examine in detail the four phases of emergency management.
  • Participate in an emergency preparedness drill.
  • Prepare and present a community emergency response plan.
Learner Outcomes: Following completion of this course students will be prepared to:
  • Design and present emergency preparedness plans.
  • Interact effectively with local, state and federal emergency managers.
  • Contribute to and effectively administer emergency preparedness programs and exercises.

Course Schedule:  Summer 2003

Monday June 30, 2003:  Class meets from 8am - 5pm, , West Chester University, Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, Room TBA

  • Introduction
    • Course Content and Structure
    • What is Emergency Preparedness
    • Historical Perspectives
    • Four Phases of Emergency Management
  • Legal & Regulatory Aspects of Emergency Preparedness
    • USA Patriot Act of 2001
    • Homeland Security Act of 2002
    • Bioterrorism Act of 2002
    • Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act of 1986
    • Pennsylvania Hazardous Material Emergency Planning and Response Act
    • Agencies:  FEMA, PEMA and LEPCs
  • Assignment of Student Teams for Community Response Plan Preparation

July 1 - 17, 2003:  No scheduled on-campus meetings - this part of the course meets online only;  includes online readings and learning modules, scheduled evening chat sessions, discussion and other collaborative activities, focused on the following topics:

  • Types of Emergencies
    • Natural Disasters
    • Failures of Technology
    • Acts of War and Terrorism
  • Four Phases of Emergency Management
    • Mitigation
    • Preparedness
    • Response
    • Recovery
  • Emergency Response Personnel:  Roles and Responsibilities in Emergency Preparedness
    • Police
    • Fire
    • Emergency Medical Service (EMS)
    • Hazardous Materials Response Teams
  • Emergency Preparedness Plans
    • Community Response Plans - Case History and Site Visit
    • Risk Management Plans - Case History and Site Visit
  • Emergency Operations Centers
    • Leadership Structures
    • Communications Networks
    • Resources Available
  • Incident Command
    • Coordination of Local, State and Federal Agencies
    • Command, Operations, Planning, Logistics and Finance/Administration


Friday July 18, 2003:  Class meets from 8am - 5pm, , West Chester University, Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center, Room TBA

  • Haz Mat Drill - Tabletop Exercise
    • Invited Guest Facilitator
    • Post Exercise Evaluation
  • Student Presentations of Community Response Plans
    • Student Presenters
    • Student Peer Critique
  • Course Critique and Closure

All course content materials can be found online at http://blackboard.wcupa.edu.  Registered students have full access to lecture notes, assignments, sample test materials, review sheets and other resources.  Guests may contact the instructor for limited access.

About the Environmental Health Program:
The Environmental Health Program at West Chester University prepares talented students for the technical and professional demands of careers dedicated to the protection of human health and the environment. Graduates of the program who earn the Bachelor of Science degree become entry level Environmental Health Scientists who work to improve the quality of air, water, soil and food using technology to measure and control pollutants, indoors and outdoors. Master of Science degree recipients direct multidisciplinary teams of professionals as Environmental Health Managers. At all levels, the program embraces the broad environmental ethic of sustainability through human cooperation with nature, including basic rights to a safe home and workplace; clean water supplies for human consumption, recreation and wildlife; safe and available food supply; waste and energy management; and careful resource management for the future.

Details about the Environmental Health Program and the major can be found at the following links:

About the Instructor:
Dr. Charles V. Shorten, Professor and Director of Environmental Health, has been on the faculty at WCU since 1989.  Dr. Shorten's primary research area is the assessment of the fate and transport of environmental contaminants.  Recent publications in this area have focused on sampling methodologies and artifacts in the measurement of organic gases and lead. In addition to ENV470-570, Dr. Shorten teaches courses in:

See Dr. Shorten's biographical sketch at this link: http://health-sciences.wcupa.edu/health/shorten.htm