Available Until 4/23/2023

U.S. Response to Disasters and Public Health Emergencies

This self-paced online class introduces you to disaster planning and response as conducted in the United States, with an emphasis on medical response. It describes efforts to provide structure and order before, during, and after emergencies and disasters as well as relevant legislation.

This course is part of the MLA Disaster Information Specialization.


  • Basic Terminology
  • U.S. Response Organizations
  • U.S. Disaster Preparedness and Response Legislation
  • U.S. Preparedness System and Response Structure
  • Systems for Emergency/Incident Response Management
  • Communication Concepts and Systems
  • Organization of Volunteers and Humanitarian Assistance
  • Library Support for Disaster Response

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the medical response to disasters and public health emergencies in the United States, historically and currently.
  • Describe the national framework used to prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies.
  • Explain the role of the information specialist in the U.S. framework for disaster and emergency response.
  • Identify both historical and current key U.S. legislation related to disaster and emergency response.

MLA CE Credits: 3

This course was adopted from the Network of the National Library of Medicine and updated by MLA using funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Cooperative Agreement number UG4LM012344 with the University of Utah, Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library.

Credit Information

Activity Number Credit Amount Accreditation Period
MLA 3 MLA CE Credits April 23, 2021 - April 23, 2023