Returned home on Friday 19 August 2016 after my second 2-week block (over a 6-week period) at FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. While it’s a bit of letdown to leave EMI, I was happy to return home after being away so much this Summer. Unfortunately, as soon as I arrived back home, I was hopping into packing and getting ready to move this week. No rest, and all that jazz…
Week 4 consisted of two 2-day classes – E0104: Exercise Design & E0105: Public Information and Warning. As with the remainder of the EMPP – Basic Academy, these were designed as high-level, overview / survey classes. As you can imagine, having said that, the sight below was fairly common for all 5 courses of the series.
^^ E0104 pre-test score: 23/25.
^^ Current FEMA logo in S-Building
^^ The older FEMA logo. I like the triangle in it as a throwback to the old Civil Defense origins of our profession.
E0104: Exercise Design contained a lot of what is taught in L146: HSEEP and the two Independent Study Exercise courses: IS00120 & IS00130. E0105 was a broad overview of the IPAWS stuff and G290: Basic Public Information Officer and G291: JIC/JIS. As a graduate of the L388: Advanced PIO course, I was already familiar with the majority of the material presented, so I took the two days to ask questions to learn from my classmates and their experiences.
Once again, weather-wise, it was a miserable, hot and humid week in Emmitsburg. It was so hot, I barely left the room other than for class and meals. When I walked in the evenings, it was almost always after 2200, and some nights, even that was still pretty uncomfortable and left me feeling ill.
The series ended for a large group of us on Thursday, 18 August with our graduation in the E-Building auditorium.
^^ Stage and flags set up for our graduation photos.
Once we finished and took a class photo on the steps, I wandered over to the National Civil Defense Monument / Bex Eagle and took a couple of requisite selfies to celebrate the occasion.
^^ Having walked past the Monument every day, I wanted to celebrate my certification as a tribute to all of the Emergency Managers that came before and paved the way for the creation of the EMPP – Basic Academy (and the other two Academies).
With that, my 4-weeks at EMI (Camp FEMA, as I liked to call it) this Summer drew to a close. We had some great, passionate instructors. Learned doctrine. Drafted goals and assignments/projects for ourselves in our Individual Action Workbooks. Completed a LOT of activities in our groups. Performed a Table Top Exercise functioning as an EOC at the end of E0101.
Moreover though, I spent 4-weeks learning from my classmates and their vast store of experience. We bonded, networked, shared meals and relaxation time as well as time dedicated to our coursework. Probably most importantly, though, we learned that we can rely on one another while forging the relationships that will sustain us through our careers.