180.670.01 | AY 2012-2013 - 4th Term | 3 Credit(s)
TTh 9:00:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    Dan Barnett
    Thomas Kirsch
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Identify and describe the main public health activities in preparing for and responding to public health emergencies
    • Identify chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive terrorist weapons
    • Describe the roles of public health agencies in emergencies, and interactions with public safety and other agencies
    • Describe the consequences of recent disasters
  • Course Description

    Provides an introduction to public health emergency preparedness, including natural disasters, unintended human acts, terrorism, and emerging threats such as a pandemic. Focuses on the critical issues facing public health professionals and policy makers.

    Full Course Description:

    Provides an introduction to public health emergency preparedness, including natural and technological disasters; terrorism; emerging threats; and methods to address these from planning and response perspectives. Content will include domestic and international public health emergency contexts, and will integrate knowledge and skills learned from other courses within the Health in Crisis: Human Rights, Disaster Preparedness and Humanitarian Assistance MPH Concentration. Practical work will focus on small group participation in in-class scenarios and exercises.  As a final project, each student will individually prepare a press statement regarding a potential public health emergency threat scenario.

  • Intended Audience

    Students interested in preparedness.

  • Methods of Assessment

    Student Responsibilities and Grading:

    Grading: Letter Grade: 90-100 = A; 80-89 = B; etc


    1. Class Participation                                                25%

    • Active participation in discussion and in-class exercises.
    • Attendance will be taken.                                                                                                                                

    2. Exams (2)                                                                 40%

    • There are two take-home exams. The first covers Lectures #1-7; the second covers Lectures #8-15. Exam # 1 format is multiple-choice and short-essay. Exam # 2 format is multiple-choice. Both exams are open book.

    3. Final Project                                                            35%

  • Required Text(s)

    Textbook / Other Readings:


    Landesman LY: Public Health Management of Disasters: The Practice Guide. American Public Health Association, 2005 [Note: this is the full text, not the pocket guide.]

    **Required class readings (see “Lecture Schedule and Required Readings” table in Syllabus) will also be placed on the CoursePlus course website.**

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Files from the Online Library
  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Course Objectives(from old syllabus)

    Additional competencies to be anticipated on completion of the course include:

    • Identify natural and technological hazards
    • Describe the consequences of recent disasters
    • Monitor baseline and disaster-related public health status to identify community health problems to enhance planning capabilities
    • Define the structure and organization of disaster response efforts, including incident command systems and the responsibilities of governmental and nongovernmental entities
    • Conduct post-emergency/catastrophe assessments for the purpose of informing future public health preparedness systems
  • Attendance Policy

    Attendance will be taken and will count toward your participation grade.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at