FEMA Independent Study Courses: Common Questions and Answers
What is FEMA?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. It was created with the primary responsibility of coordinating the response to disasters that occur within the United States and that overwhelm the resources of local and state authorities. The agency was established by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1978 under President Jimmy Carter and implemented by two Executive Orders on April 1, 1979. FEMA’s headquarters is in Washington D.C., with regional offices nationwide.
Before the creation of FEMA, disaster relief was handled on an ad-hoc basis, with Congress passing separate laws to provide federal funds for each major disaster that occurred.
FEMA is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with ten regional offices across the United States. These regional offices coordinate disaster response and recovery operations in states, territories, and tribal areas located within their respective regions. The Administrator controls the agency, is appointed by the President, and is confirmed by the Senate. The Administrator reports directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security.
FEMA is funded through the federal budget, specifically through appropriations from Congress. In fiscal year 2020, Congress appropriated approximately $45 billion to FEMA. States frequently impacted by disasters like hurricanes, wildfires, or floods, like Florida, Texas, and California, often have significant interactions with the agency.
You can contact FEMA by writing to the following address: P.O. Box 10055, Hyattsville, MD 20782-8055 or call them at the FEMA Helpline: 1-800-621-3362
- What is FEMA?
- What training does FEMA offer?
- What are FEMA Independent Study Courses?
- How long does it take to complete a FEMA IS course?
- What are the benefits of completing FEMA IS courses?
- Will you receive a FEMA certificate for completing IS courses?
- How to access FEMA Independent Study courses?
- What should I know about the FEMA IS exam?
- How does Public Purpose help in answering FEMA IS test questions?
What does FEMA do?
FEMA’s primary mission is to coordinate the response to disasters within the US. FEMA uses the National Response Framework (NRF) to guide how the nation responds to all types of disasters and emergencies. The NRF is built on scalable, flexible, and adaptable concepts identified in the National Incident Management System to align key roles and responsibilities.
FEMA can respond to various disasters, including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and forest fires. The agency assists individuals, families, and businesses whose property has been damaged or destroyed and whose losses are not covered by insurance.
How does FEMA contribute to community engagement?
FEMA contributes to community engagement through its Community Engagement Prioritization Tool (CEPT), Community Engagement Toolkit, and Community Engagement and Risk Communication (CERC) program. FEMA also offers independent study courses that are available free of charge. These tools and programs help communities understand disaster risks and take action to increase their resilience – which is the main mission of our website, Public Purpose.
What training does FEMA offer?
FEMA offers a wide range of training programs to help prepare individuals, communities, and emergency responders for disasters. FEMA’s training programs are managed by the National Preparedness Directorate’s National Training and Education Division (NTED) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) National Fire Academy. They include on-campus and online courses, covering topics such as hazardous materials, earthquake preparedness, animal disaster response, special events contingency planning, and many others.
What are FEMA Independent Study Courses?
FEMA Independent Study Courses (IS) is a series of free online classes that cover a wide range of topics related to emergency management, including hazardous materials, earthquake preparedness, animal disaster response, special events contingency planning, and many others. The FEMA IS program is designed to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.
Currently, there are 208 active FEMA Independent Study courses, which are listed below:
|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.b: Leadership and Influence|
|IS-241.c: Decision Making and Problem Solving|
|IS-242.b: 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|
How long does it take to complete a FEMA IS course?
Completing a FEMA Independent Study (IS) course takes 1.5 hours to several days or weeks. Each course is self-paced, so the time required to complete a class depends on its length and the individual’s learning schedule.
What are the benefits of completing FEMA IS courses?
Completing FEMA Independent Study (IS) courses can offer individuals the following five benefits:
- Career Advancement: FEMA IS courses provide qualifications that enhance your resume and make you more attractive to potential employers in related fields, such as emergency response, public safety, and disaster recovery.
- Flexibility and Accessibility: These courses are self-paced and online, so you can balance your professional commitments and personal life while advancing your learning.
- FEMA IS courses are all free-of-charge.
- Community Leadership and Engagement: The knowledge and skills acquired from FEMA IS courses enable you to become a valuable resource in your local community. You can provide guidance on disaster preparedness, assist in community response efforts during a crisis, and lead community education initiatives on these topics.
- Personal Preparedness: In a local disaster, the information you learn is crucial for your preparedness and survival.
Are FEMA IS courses accredited or recognized by other organizations?
Yes, FEMA IS courses are recognized by many organizations, for example, for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through the Emergency Management Institute’s (EMI) accreditation by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Some colleges, like Frederick Community College (FCC), may provide college credit for completed IS courses.
Furthermore, professional certification programs such as the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recognize FEMA IS courses for certain requirements. However, recognition can vary, so verification with the specific organization or institution is necessary.
Will you receive a FEMA certificate for completing IS courses?
Yes, you will receive a certificate for each FEMA IS course you have completed. You can use these certificates at your current or future workplace to demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning and understanding key emergency management principles.
Can I add my FEMA IS course certificate to my resume or Linkedin Profile?
Yes, you can add your FEMA IS course certificate to your resume or LinkedIn profile. You can list the course title, completion date, and any relevant details about the course content or skills learned.
How long does a FEMA certification last?
FEMA certifications never expire. According to FEMA.gov, you can retake FEMA IS exams unlimited times. However, FEMA’s system will not re-score your original exam, and you will see your original score and date of completion on your certificate.
How to access FEMA Independent Study courses?
You can access FEMA Independent Study courses through the FEMA Independent Study Program homepage. To take FEMA courses online, you need to follow these steps:
- Register for a Student Identification Number (SID) if you still need to.
- Select a course from the course list at http://training.fema.gov/is/crslist.aspx or the Emergency Management Institutes Course Schedules.
- Review course materials.
- Select the “Take Final Exam Online” link (found on each Course Overview page).
- Enter your SID and your additional Student Information.
- Answer the exam questions and submit your answer choices.
Who is eligible to take FEMA IS courses?
FEMA IS courses are generally limited to U.S. residents, although the EMI does accommodate a select number of international participants annually. Students interested in EMI courses must satisfy each course’s specific selection criteria and prerequisites.
Are FEMA IS courses available in languages other than English?
Yes, FEMA’s official website provides various resources and documents in Spanish, including many IS course materials.
What is the EMI student portal?
The EMI Student Portal is an online platform to access your Independent Study (IS) Completion Certificates and IS Transcripts for personal, employer, or educational institution use. You can reach it by visiting the official FEMA website and navigating to the Emergency Management Institute section.
What should I know about the FEMA IS exam?
FEMA Independent Study exams are taken at the end of each IS course. Here are some essential details:
- Open Book: The exams are open book, which means you can check the course material while taking the test.
- Question Types: The exams generally consist of multiple-choice and alternative-response (true or false) questions.
- Number of Questions: There are approximately 20 to 30 questions per exam.
- Passing Score: You must score 75% or higher to pass a FEMA IS exam.
- Difficulty Level: Most FEMA IS courses are not challenging, as they are designed to be accessible to a broad audience. Additionally, the fact that the exams are open book helps a lot in passing them.
- Exam Attempts: You can retake FEMA IS exams unlimited times.
After passing the exam, you can download your certificate of completion from the FEMA website. If you are taking the course for professional development or college credit, you can also request an official transcript from the Emergency Management Institute.
How does Public Purpose help in answering FEMA IS test questions?
Public Purpose simplifies the FEMA IS test preparation process through a three-pronged approach. Firstly, we collect the frequently asked FEMA IS test questions, previewing potential exam queries.
Next, we source answers directly from official FEMA course materials, providing detailed explanations. Our goal is to give you a deeper understanding of the subject so you understand the answer and the reasoning behind it.
Lastly, our team comprises seasoned authors who have taken multiple FEMA IS courses, equipping them with unique insights into the structure and nuances of the exams.