Often, disasters strike without warning, leaving many survivors feeling anxious and upset. Others may have difficulty thinking or making decisions. As a responder, do you know how to help survivors with their emotional needs? After completing this one-hour online course, you will be able to anticipate the reactions of disaster survivors, identify those people at risk, and know how to connect survivors to appropriate resources.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the psychosocial needs of disaster survivors who may be at risk for, or are experiencing, an emotional crisis.
  • Identify strategies of crisis management to address the acute psychosocial needs of disaster survivors.
  • Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of existing models of crisis management for disaster survivors.

Intended Audience

Public health professionals and especially mid-level public health workers who may respond to a disaster or other public health emergency; nurses, program managers, administrative employees, and first responders.


    This HTML-based online course has videos, audio, and interactive exercises (Flash-based) and should take approximately one hour to complete.

    Course Instructor

    Randal Beaton, PhD, EMT, University of Washington

    Technical Requirements

    This course requires certain software and browser plugins to be installed. See our Technical Requirements page for details. You will also need speakers to listen to the audio and videos in this course.


    This online training course is text-based and is designed for accessibility. A print version of the course is also available in the Supplemental Material section at the bottom of this page. Please note that the print version does not include videos, audio, interactive exercises, quizzes, or the final assessment. Flash-based interactive exercises and quizzes in the course may not be accessible to screen readers. To receive a print version of the quizzes in this course, please contact If you have any difficulties in accessing the information given in any of our documents or need further assistance, please contact

    Screenshot of training depicting its navigation, text, and graphics.
    December 19, 2012
    Behavioral & Mental Health
    Emergency Preparedness & Disasters
    Self-Paced Course
    1 hour
    Competency Domains: 
    Analytical/Assessment Skills
    Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
    Cultural Competency Skills