Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

Emergency preparedness has always been a critical aspect of governmental policy at the federal, state and local levels. Response to natural disasters — floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, outbreak of infectious disease — requires pre-disaster planning, mid-disaster operations and post-disaster reconstruction that can only be carried out successfully through a partnership between all levels of government and the public sector, private sector and civil society.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Virginia, the concept of emergency preparedness has been expanded to include the task of homeland security — protecting the United States from terrorist-caused disasters. Policy planners and operational responders at all levels of government who had previously focused upon natural disasters now have the added responsibility of preparing for and mitigating the effects of politically inspired terrorist violence.

The HSEP program recognizes this dual nature and is designed to give students both theoretical and practical knowledge that will prepare them for:

  • Private or public sector employment in the expanding area of homeland security
  • Private or public sector employment in emergency preparedness for natural hazards and security-related incidents
  • Graduate study in in government, international affairs, law enforcement, policy planning, law, and other social sciences and professional programs

The academic focus of the program is on managing the complexities of disaster planning and response. Courses include emergency planning, terrorism, legal and constitutional issues, strategic planning, intelligence, risk and vulnerability assessment, international relations, and U.S. government. The quality of VCU’s academic and professional programs, its location in a state capital 90 miles from the nation’s capital and the contacts made during the program-development phase have made VCU’s program a pioneer in the field.



For further information, please contact:
William Pelfrey Jr.
Program Chair
Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness program
Phone: (804) 828-8467
Email: wvpelfrey@vcu.edu