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FEMA Planning Courses — 2023

For those with more planning experience.

Planning is one of the most common tasks that emergency managers undertake. It is a time-consuming process and can be more drawn out by the number of people and organizations who you engage with to participate in the plan development.

Back in the day, I called some planning processes "The Hoover Style of Planning," where you lock yourself in a room and do all the planning yourself. Why Hoover? Because you were planning in a vacuum.

Coming soon, I hope to have a Disaster Zone Podcast topic on planning that looks toward a new way: playbooks. Watch for that.

For now, here is some planning course information you might be interested in:

The FEMA Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is accepting applications for the Planning Practitioner Program (PPP), taking place in Emmitsburg, Md. For additional details, please review the attachment which includes more information and application procedures.

About the Planning Practitioner Program: The Planning Practitioner Program (PPP) is a series of two instructor-led courses and an online capstone course. E0237: Planning Process Theory and Application and E0238: Planning Integration and Contemporary Issues, focus on operational planning, advanced project management and program management, along with each phase of the six-step planning process. K0243: Planning Practitioner Capstone, is a virtual course covering an individual project capstone, which is completed within one year after the E0238. PPP candidates work within a collaborative environment on operational planning challenges and establish a network of peers. Candidates are selected from diverse professional backgrounds where they can demonstrate their expertise at all levels of operational planning through in-class teach-backs and the individual Planning Practitioner Capstone Project. Participants refine and practice skills critical to performing the phases of the planning process, such as mapping the planning landscape, stakeholder selection and engagement, risk analysis, forming solutions, and addressing programmatic issues. Candidates apply the key learning concepts from the PPP curriculum relative to their organizations and their own jurisdictional environments. The following cohorts are scheduled for FY 2023:

Cohort 23-1

  • October 17-22, 2022: E0237 Planning Process Theory and Application
  • May 15-19, 2023: E0238 Planning Integration and Contemporary Issues
  • Within one year of course completion: K0243 Planning Practitioner Capstone

Cohort 23-2

  • January 9-13, 2023: E0237 Planning Process Theory and Application
  • July 10-14, 2023: E0238 Planning Integration and Contemporary Issues
  • Within one year of course completion: K0243 Planning Practitioner Capstone

Target Audience: The PPP is designed for experienced individuals with significant responsibility in operational planning programs. Students should have an ongoing planning requirement within their current role. Ideal candidates will have at least five years of experience in emergency management planning activities, including:

  • Appointed emergency management staff from local, state, tribal, territorial and federal emergency management offices with operational planning responsibilities
  • Public safety or political appointees who conduct operational planning within the emergency management field
  • Personnel serving in various emergency management disciplines (e.g., private sector, law enforcement, fire, public works and public health) who have a substantial operational planning responsibility

For more information and/or questions about the PPP, please email the Integrated Emergency Management Branch (IEMB) at
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.