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School of Health and Life Sciences

Disaster and Emergency Management

Sep 08, 2020
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The location where your NAIT courses will be held.


The type of certification (degree, diploma, certificate) you will earn after completing your program.

  • Degree - NAIT offers a number of business degrees and applied science and technology degrees accredited by Alberta Advanced Education.
    Applied degree programs offer a stronger emphasis on practical applications of the concepts learned in the classroom
  • Diplomas & Certificates - These credit programs take 1 or 2 years and lead to government approved and industry-recognized credentials.
  • Journeyman Certificate - Hands-on and expert-led apprenticeship and industry training for skilled trades and technology professionals.
  • Continuing Education/Non-Credit - NAIT offers a wide range of non-credit programs and courses for personal and professional development in a number of interesting and exciting fields. These options are great for people who may be working but are interested in studying as well.

Delivery Options

The flexible schedule options for this course including time of day and full/part-time.

  • Day - Courses taking place between Monday - Friday, before 5 PM.
  • Evening/Weekend - Courses taking place on weekdays from 5 PM or later, or Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Online - Sometimes called "Home Study" or "Computer-Based Learning"
  • Distance - Traditional correspondence format. These courses work best if you can't get to a campus or if your schedule can't accommodate fixed class times


The average or expected time it will take to complete your program.

Open Studies

Open Studies allows you to explore credit courses without applying to a program.
It is an opportunity to get a feel for school and what program you want to be in.

International Students

Program availability may be limited for international applicants. Contact your student advisor for more information.

Advanced Credit

You may apply for advanced credit once you have been accepted into the program. Advanced Credit can be Transfer Credit (for completed post-secondary courses) or PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition).

Transfer Credit

In addition to the common guidelines outlined on the Transfer and Credit Options section and on the Transfer Credit Request Form (PDF), your program has other advanced credit requirements that are applied to each request including:

  • You must have completed the course or program no more than 4 year(s) ago unless a formalized articulation agreement is in place
  • You must have a minimum mark of C- in the course(s) or program

Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition (PLAR)

If you do not qualify for transfer credit or credential recognition, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) may be an option.

Contact the program for additional information about Advanced Credit.

The Emergency Management is a distance-delivered diploma program with an emphasis on disaster risk management. Combining theoretical knowledge with practical skills training, the program focuses on helping you develop skills necessary to manage emergency situations in the public sector, industry, community and government.

Upon graduation of NAIT’s Emergency Management program, you will be able to apply a variety of strategies, techniques and tools to help reduce risk and enhance resiliency during the recovery stage of natural disasters.

Employment rates reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and do not guarantee future employment opportunities.

Salaries reported by NAIT alumni are for information purposes and are not a guarantee of future alumni income.

Hands-on, industry-relevant training 

The Emergency Management Program will give you the opportunity to study while balancing other aspects of your busy life. All 19 academic courses are delivered online, as is the 15-week Final Project course. Your final project will showcase your ability to tackle an Emergency Management issue or problem on behalf of an approved stakeholder, and provides the opportunity to apply practical knowledge to a real-world problem.

Enter the workforce with confidence 

Emergency Management is one of the fastest growing fields in North America. Upon successful completion of the program, you may find employment in the public, private, non-profit and industry sectors. Many organizations require emergency managers in areas of land-use planning, business continuity, risk management, crisis management, disaster risk reduction and community resilience.

NAIT is part of the Canadian Risk and Hazard Network and students are set up to apply for additional credentialing through the Disaster Recovery Institute and the International Association of Emergency Managers, if they choose.

Have questions? We've got answers

If you’re looking for more information or have a question about the Emergency Management program, we can help!

Our program advisors are here to answer your questions.

Email: emgt@nait.ca
Phone: 780.471.8970




View courses for this program

Tuition & Fees

Get an estimate on cost to attend

How to Apply

Information on admissions process

Scholarships & Awards

Funding for students in this program

Term 1

EMGT1110Vulnerability and Human Behaviour in Disasters
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD101
  • Open Studies: Available

Emergency Management is a dynamic field involving many concepts, best practices and management approaches, which are ultimately dependent upon the understanding of human behaviour in disaster. You will gain insight into the behavior of individuals, communities and vulnerable populations in disasters. This overview will assist your work in future emergency-related courses by providing you with a solid foundation upon which to explore mitigation and response strategies. The themes covered in this course apply to any organization or community, regardless of size, capacity, location or culture.

EMGT1120Emergency Management as a Field of Practice
  • Requisites: Co-Requisite: EMGT1130.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD100
  • Open Studies: Available

Emergency Management is an ever-evolving field of practice; its concepts, organization, strategies, tools and best practices are refined through the response to each major disaster event wherever it occurs. Emergency, disaster or crisis management is framed by a number of concepts and models that are almost universal in their application. You will gain insight into the components (pillars) of emergency management and the framework for managing emergency, crisis, or disaster events. The latter includes the concepts and strategies that guide the necessary stakeholder collaboration in all aspects of emergency management work. This course complements EMGT1130 and is foundational for all learning in future emergency management courses.

EMGT1130Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
  • Requisites: Co-Requisite: EMGT1120.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD400
  • Open Studies: Available

How does risk management theory relate to emergency management? Learn how to apply general risk management theory, best practices and resources to the different phases of emergency management. Emphasis is on the application of risk management strategies in mitigating and preparing for disasters and major emergencies.

EMGT1140Emergency Management Related Legislation, Standards and Stakeholders
  • Requisites: This course is available to Open Studies Students. Although not required, successful completion of or current enrolment in EMGT 1110, EMGT 1120, EMGT 1130 is recommended.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD304
  • Open Studies: Available

Legislation at local, provincial/territorial, and federal government levels along with industry and professional standards direct or sometimes guide the practice of emergency management. The establishment and the actions of the 'lead agency' in a major emergency or disaster are important to ensure coordination and an effective response that often involves multi-jurisdictional and multi-organizational stakeholders. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of the legislative framework, standards and best practices that guide and direct the development of emergency management programs, emergency plans and training to ensure an effective response in a situation that generally involves many and diverse stakeholders.

ENGL1238Effective Communications
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Biomedical Engineering Technology, Biomedical Engineering Technology Co-op, or Construction Engineering Technology program.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course provides students with the fundamentals of effective communications skills. The course concentrates on skills in writing, researching and analyzing information, public speaking, and critical thinking, all within the context of technical and business communications in the workplace.

Term 2

EMGT1210Emergency Social Services
  • Requisites: Prerequisite: EMGT1110, EMGT1120, EMGT1130.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD401
  • Open Studies: Not Available

An emergency manager needs to understand all aspects of an emergency as it affects people, and how to manage the response through emergency social services (ESS). Students will learn the structure and components of ESS, including key agencies and common issues that arise during emergencies. Students will also study a range of activities and processes that are commonly used to mitigate human suffering and minimize the effects of the emergency or disaster on those impacted. Emphasis is also placed on establishing effective processes for registration and inquiry, as well as best practices in key service areas such as clothing, food, and shelter.

EMGT1230Dangerous Goods in Emergencies and Disaster Events
  • Requisites: Prerequisites: EMGT1140.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

While dangerous goods legislation is focused mostly on the transportation system, it is also necessary to have a good working knowledge of associated legislation in Emergency Management. This course examines legislation used to regulate dangerous goods at all stages in the transport system. This includes legislation dealing with explosions, production hazards, spills, pipelines, and other modes of transportation, along with industry specific regulations, standards, and best practices relating to the planning, training, response, and recovery from dangerous goods events.

EMGT1240Emergency Management Exercises
  • Requisites: Co-Requisite: EMGT1250. Prerequisites: EMGT1120, EMGT1130, EMGT1140.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD203
  • Open Studies: Not Available

The response to emergencies and disasters requires dedicated and careful planning, which demands the creation of a “plan of action”. This plan often outlines the intended actions based on anticipated scenarios. Once developed, this plan needs to be tested or exercised to ensure its viability. Students will gain insight into the concepts, processes, strategies, and best practices related to the development, conduct and evaluation of emergency exercises. These concepts will enhance student's emergency management planning practices.

EMGT1250Emergency Management Planning
  • Requisites: Prerequisites: EMGT1120, EMGT1130, EMGT1140. Co-requisite: EMGT1240.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD103
  • Open Studies: Not Available

The management of emergencies and disasters requires dedicated and careful planning that considers all the components (pillars) of emergency management (EM). Developing robust and integrated plans requires a solid understanding of holistic, all-hazard planning, which considers the limitations of scope and accountabilities for the many different stakeholders. Students will gain insight into the concepts, processes, strategies, and best practices related to the development, communication and assessment of emergency management plans. These concepts will enhance the student's ability to create and contribute to effective emergency management planning in a wide variety of environments.

EMGT1260Disaster and Crisis Communications
  • Requisites: Pre-Requisites: COMM1101, EMGT1120, EMGT1130.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Not every crisis becomes a disaster, but every crisis does need to be managed in order to reduce real or perceived risk and promote capacity building and resilience. Effective communication before, during and after a crisis event is critical for influencing policy and processes, coordinating stakeholders, informing decision making and engaging the public. Students will gain insights into the tools, strategies, messages, mechanisms of delivery and best practices related to crisis communications, including how to engage media and use current technology to enable information gathering and dissemination.

Term 3

EMGT2330Business Continuity Management
  • Requisites: Prerequisites: EMGT1240, EMGT1250, EMGT1260. Co-requisite: EMGT2360.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD303
  • Open Studies: Not Available

All organizations face the risk of loss of human life, physical and information technology (IT) infrastructure, business operations and reputation during a crisis or disaster event. Afterwards, an affected organization will need help to return to acceptable and then normal business operations in the hours, days and months following. How resilient an organization is to disruptions in normal operations will determine the degree to which it persists and recovers in the long term. This course provides the framework for these efforts and addresses ten standardized professional practices for business continuity management. Students will learn how to identify the potential threats to an organization, how to determine the potential impacts of those threats being realized and then how to mitigate and plan for them in the operational context, to enable continuance of service and delivery to their stakeholders. Students who complete this course will be well positioned to pursue the Associate Business Continuity Professional (ABCP) designation through the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Canada.

EMGT2340Disaster Mitigation
  • Requisites: Prerequisites: EMGT1240, EMGT1250, EMGT1260
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD402
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Identifying opportunities where risks can be significantly managed, reduced, or eliminated is one of the most vital roles assumed by emergency management professionals. Mitigation describes actions taken to lessen the impact of disasters on people, industry and the environment, and is a critical component of the emergency management system. When done well, mitigation activities can be extremely cost-effective when weighed against the increasing response and recovery costs of disaster events. Learn about the most effective actions to minimize the likelihood of an emergency or disaster event and mitigate the negative impacts if one does occur. Topics covered include the conceptual framework of mitigation, how to identify and engage key stakeholders, defining relevant mitigation activities and managing the inherent issues of mitigation. Students will also learn about current mitigation programs and initiatives that will inform their ongoing studies in emergency management.

EMGT2350Planning for Environmental Disasters
  • Requisites: Prerequisite: EMGT1230, EMGT1240, EMGT1250.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD200
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Emergencies and disasters can have a devastating impact on the environment as well as on people and the economy. Natural systems, when disrupted or corrupted, can suffer significantly from events such as chemical/petroleum spills, release of toxins into the air, water or soil, and contamination through events like overland flooding and fires. Climate change continues to contribute to the increasing number and severity of weather-related disaster events and shifts in global patterns that will have further consequences for the environment. Students will learn about the role that natural systems play in mitigating disasters, and explore actions and strategies to further mitigate environmental risk and engage in remediation measures that will enable recovery and develop resiliency in the natural environment.

EMGT2360Managing the Response and Recovery
  • Requisites: Co-Requisite: EMGT2330. Pre-Requisites: EMGT1210, EMGT1240, EMGT1250.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD301, EMGT1150
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Emergency and disaster events require that first responders, stakeholders and supporting personnel operate in a synergistic way to achieve the desired outcomes from the event. Having a common organizational structure within which to operate, with clearly defined roles, hierarchical structure and communication mechanisms, is essential to ensure an effective and coordinated response and recovery. Students will explore various incident management systems (IMS) and structures that currently exist to gain an understanding of how they can be used to facilitate the efforts during response and recovery. This course will provide students with an understanding of the prevalent systems used across North America and the international emergency management (EM) community.

LEAD2370Leadership Studies in Emergency Management
  • Requisites: This course is available to students in the Emergency Management Diploma program. Prerequisite: COMM1101.
  • Course Equivalencies: LEAD1221, PFT1221, PFT321, SPFT321
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course has as its central focus the development of leadership ability and style. The course provides a basic understanding of leadership and group dynamics theory. Students will develop a personal philosophy of leadership, an awareness of the moral and ethical responsibilities of leadership and one's own style of leadership. This course provides the opportunity to develop essential leadership skills through study, participation, and observation of these skills.

Term 4

EMGT2420Community Disaster Recovery
  • Requisites: Co-Requisite: EMGT2440. Prerequisites: EMGT2330, EMGT2340, EMGT2360.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD403
  • Open Studies: Not Available

Recovery starts as soon as the response to an event is underway. Disasters can badly damage or destroy homes, business premises and critical community infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, and roadways. This can have a negative impact on a community's ability to respond effectively to an event, and safeguard people, property and the environment against further harm. Decisions made before and during a significant event, will ultimately determine how quickly and completely a community can recover. This course addresses the consequences of disaster events and provides a detailed perspective of community disaster recovery: how to plan for and support the start of the short-term recovery process, and the complexity of restoring a community in the long term. Students will explore the concepts of rebuilding a community to its pre-disaster state and 'building back better' to create greater resiliency to future risks, and apply their learning to a fictitious community through role play as an emergency manager. This course will allow students to develop a more holistic and integrated approach to emergency management.

EMGT2440Building Community Disaster Resiliency
  • Requisites: Prerequisites: EMGT2330, EMGT 2340, EMGT2360. Co-requisite: EMGT2420.
  • Open Studies: Not Available

The frequency and severity of disasters are on the rise globally, increasing the impacts on individuals and communities. More attention is being paid to the process of building a community's ability to withstand, recover from, and adapt to natural and human-made threats. This course will assist the participant in defining community disaster resilience, identifying the components of a resilient community and creating strategies to leverage community strengths to engage members to build and sustain a more resilient society that is proactive, informed and empowered to address the challenges that disasters create. Through an exploration of the literature, case studies and peer discussion, participants will be able to propose a strategy for creating a community disaster resilience program.

EMGT2455Final Project Course
  • Requisites: Co-Requisites: EMGT2440, EMGT2420. Prerequisites: EMGT2330, EMGT2360, EMGT2340, EMGT2350, LEAD2370.
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD302
  • Open Studies: Not Available

This course will challenge students to translate their theoretical learning from the program, into the practical environment to address a "real-world" challenge or issue. Students will engage with stakeholders in the emergency management community and through consultation, identify an independent research project that considers a specific process, practice, issue, or possible initiative that will enhance and strengthen the emergency management field. Students will use project management principles to develop a project plan and once approved, conduct independent research, and develop a report/research paper that will be shared with the relevant stakeholders in order to develop a set of recommendations for an action plan and ongoing research. Students will be required to present their project findings as both a written report as well as a professional presentation to key stakeholders and members of the NAIT community.

Term 4 Electives - Pick 2

EMGT2450Terrorism, Public Safety, and Emergency Management
  • Open Studies: Available

Terrorism is considered by many to be an existential threat within the modern world. As the various attacks in the early part of the 21st century have demonstrated, the intentional use of violence to achieve stated political or ideological goals is a significant concern for law enforcement and political officials. While terrorism isn’t the only intentional hazard present in society, understanding what can be done to prevent, mitigate, and prepare for a potential attack has direct application to other intentional hazards. Further, the requirements for responding to a terrorist incident extend to other sudden-onset incidents. This course will provide students with a baseline understanding of the hazard and the approaches that can be taken to improve individual, organizational, and community resilience to terrorism and other intentional hazards.

EMGT2451Emergency Management in the Oil and Gas Industry
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD405
  • Open Studies: Available

There are unique issues, concerns, players, legislation, and operational requirements relating to emergency management in the oil, gas and energy industry. This course reviews legislative requirements, management of hazards and specific emergency plans, the public consultation process, and public safety protective measures.

EMGT2452Critical Infrastructure Protection in Emergency Management
  • Course Equivalencies: EMD201
  • Open Studies: Available

Emergency management as a practice is about reducing risk of harm to people, the environment, the economy, and the critical infrastructure that all individuals and industry are dependent on. Students in this course will learn the basics of personal and physical security planning for sites and assets that are considered vulnerable in naturally occurring, or human induced, emergencies and disasters. Students will learn how to do security assessments, communicate threat/risk levels, and implement appropriate mitigative actions and controls. Students will explore relevant legislation and discuss the challenges of cross sector collaboration to integrate infrastructure protection in all aspects of emergency management planning. This course will provide students with an opportunity to use a case study to identify opportunities for improved planning and action, which can be applied to any industry environment to better safeguard people, structures, and equipment.

EMGT2454Disaster Health
  • Open Studies: Available

Disaster health planning involves many stakeholders including acute and long-term care facilities, emergency medical services, public health, community care and mental health services. Students will learn about what is done to mitigate risks/prepare for potential major emergencies and disasters, how plans are developed and implemented, and the unique challenges of disaster health response and recovery, particularly in a healthcare setting.


Cost Per Credit: $185
Tuition Cap: $2,167

Tuition for International Students

Cost Per Credit: $768
Tuition Cap: $8,993

Mandatory Fees

NAITSA: $129
U-Pass: $175
Health & Dental: $128
Rec. & Athletics: $70

Pay Your Tuition & Fees
How much will first year cost?

Books, Supplies & Program Fees (est.)

Please contact the program area for more information.

The tuition and fee amounts are valid for the current academic year and are subject to change for subsequent intakes. For financial planning purposes, please use these totals as an approximate estimate of your costs. The approved tuition and fee information for your intake will be available in April.

Dates & Deadlines

We recommend submitting your program application at least 90 days before the application deadline.

Application Deadline: Sep 08, 2020

Term Start Date: Sep 08, 2020

Entrance Requirements


Apply to Program

Apply to the program with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application process. Please note, processing time may vary for applicants, so we recommend starting early.

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Open Studies

A great option to get started or take a few courses without committing to a full program. Learn more

International Students

This program is open to international applicants. For more detailed information about applying, visit our admissions page. Learn more


Term Definition
Open Program still has seats available.
Waitlisting Program is full and qualified applicants are being placed on a waitlist. For information about waitlists, please visit the Waitlist FAQs.

If you’re on a non-competitive waitlist, you should consider NAIT’s Academic Upgrading program or NAIT Equivalency Tests to become a more competitive applicant.

There is no guarantee that waitlisted applicants will be offered a seat, however it is common for seats to become available until the start of class. As seats become available, they are filled from the waitlist.
Closed Program is no longer accepting applications.
N/A Not available for this term.

*Program availabilty is subject to change without notice.

Scholarships & Awards

The following scholarships and/or bursaries are available to you as a student in this program. To access your opportunities, visit the Student Portal.

Coca-Cola Bottling Ltd. Scholarship II $1,000.00
  • Award Amount: $1,000.00
  • Number of Awards: 4

Available to first year students in the JR Shaw School of Business and the School of Health and Life Sciences. This award is based on outstanding academic achievement in the first semester marks.

Katie & John Lashuk Bursary $2,000.00
  • Award Amount: $2,000.00
  • Number of Awards: 2

Available to students entering the second year of a program in the School of Health Sciences at NAIT. Awarded on the basis of satisfactory academic achievement in the first year and demonstrated financial need.

Alberta Blue Cross 50th Anniversary - Health Sciences $1,250.00
  • Award Amount: $1,250.00
  • Number of Awards: 1

Available to full-time students entering a Health Sciences program at NAIT of two or more years' duration. Awarded on the basis of superior academic achievement and demonstrated financial need.

Coca-Cola Bottling Ltd. Scholarship I $1,000.00
  • Award Amount: $1,000.00
  • Number of Awards: 3

Available to second year students in the JR Shaw School of Business and the School of Health and Life Sciences. This award is based on outstanding academic achievement in the first year marks.

TH Bursary I $1,000.00
  • Award Amount: $1,000.00
  • Number of Awards: 1

Available to a second year student in the School of Health and Life Sciences. Awarded on the basis of financial need and satisfactory academic achievement (a minimum GPA of 2.0). Preference may be given to a single parent or to a student who has overcome adversity in their life such as mental illness or a learning disability. Applicants with a documented disability must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits.

TH Bursary II $1,000.00
  • Award Amount: $1,000.00
  • Number of Awards: 1

Available to a first year student in the School of Health and Life Sciences. Awarded on the basis of financial need and satisfactory academic achievement (a minimum GPA of 2.0). Preference may be given to a single parent or to a student who has overcome adversity in their life such as mental illness or a learning disability. Applicants with a documented disability must be enrolled in a minimum of six credits.

Alumni profile: Shauna Hetherington

Hear how recent graduate Shauna Hetherington used her training in Emergency Management to launch a rewarding career

Keeping it Real

From practicing on high-fidelity manikins to learning on the latest software, watch how NAIT students practice the best patient care.

A new frontier in hands-on health-care training

CAE Healthcare and NAIT have entered a simulation research partnership to improve health-care education and patient safety, including support for the polytechnic's simulation research initiatives.

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