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Disaster Management: Be Part of the Solution

63 courses

More people across the world are becoming vulnerable to disasters, natural or man-made. Financial crises, political instability and wars are all taking their toll. In 2020, COVID-19 and climate-related disasters were to the fore with record temperatures, a 26% rise in storms and a 23% increase in floods, according to official reports*. The death tolls from droughts in Asia and Africa, heatwaves in Europe, wildfires in the USA and floods in Indonesia only tell a fraction of the story. Behind those are whole communities devastated, physically, emotionally and often financially. Usually the first responders are the community affected and - with limited capacity and resources - they need help, as quickly as possible, to deal with the immediate aftermath and, later, to rebuild. It’s not simply up to governments and humanitarian organisations to step in and help; individuals and businesses can play a role, at home or overseas.

We have teamed up with the Disaster Management Group at Catalyst 2030, covering Readiness, Response and Recovery, to bring you a host of courses that can equip you to play your part. Catalyst 2030 is a global movement of social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all sectors who share the common goal of creating innovative, people-centric approaches to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Our courses cover a broad spectrum of subjects, from emergency situations to health and diseases, hazards, operations management and risk assessment, food safety, environmental management, finance and enterprise. They aim to equip you to become involved in disaster mitigation, preparing for the worst or helpful in the recovery operation. These free courses could help you to help yourself or others, wherever you are in the world. 

*EM-DAT: The OFDA/CRED International Disaster Database.

Top Free Online Disaster Management Courses


You never know when you will be faced with an emergency. It’s better to be prepared than to find yourself standing by, not knowing how to help. From knowing how to communicate effectively to get help faster to delivering first aid, these courses could literally mean the difference between life and death at some point in your lifetime. And for community leaders, trying to prepare for an impending disaster, these courses should help you to train others and equip them to save lives, should the worst happen.


Conflicts are a sad fact of life. In the first 20 years of the 21st century, there were approximately 30 wars in various parts of the world. These have seen ever more sophisticated weapons used. Many people are particularly fearful about the prospect of nuclear attacks, however, these are unlikely to be as cataclysmic for mankind as they imagine. We bring you a selection of courses that will help you become better informed about nuclear weapons and more importantly, straightforward advice about the precautions you can take to minimise the risks to your family. 


Covid-19 impacted the world in an almost unprecedented way and now Monkeypox is spreading across the globe. Being informed about diseases is the first step to prevention, whether you are in a position of responsibility or an individual interested in keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. We bring you courses on some of the most widely spread infectious diseases, as well diabetes and hypertension which can be affected by lifestyle, and mesothelioma, the devastating disease linked to exposure to asbestos. Incidentally, our Coronavirus course, which won an EU Civil Solidarity Award, is available in almost 70 languages.

For further courses, visit our Nursing Hub.


Whether in work or the community, you might need to anticipate and recognize a health hazard, from toxic substances to biological hazards and even dangerous thermal environments. Our occupational hygiene courses will help you evaluate and control a range of hazards and ensure that the environment you or your charges are in, is as healthy as possible. 

Health and Wellbeing

With dozens of nursing and caregiving courses available, we have selected a handful that may be of interest to you if you are preparing for an emergency situation, from understanding which need to take care of first and the importance of communicating with a patient and their family, to techniques for taking blood samples. When people are displaced, it is important to prevent infections spreading and of course there are particular demands when it comes to caring for the elderly or those with disabilities. You may also need to deal with people who have been affected by extreme stress, or be affected yourself. Being aware of the symptoms of trauma and anxiety and having some knowledge of ways of supporting people may prove useful in a crisis situation.

See our Caregiving Hub for further courses.


It’s vital to restore or maintain supply lines for basic foodstuffs, water and medicines in an emergency situation. Sometimes innovative solutions are called for and new sources may need to be found for the future. Likewise, having a functioning power supply can be critical especially if it isn’t possible to access an emergency power generator. Our courses will help you if you want to specialise in supply chain management or simply grasp the fundamentals that need to be considered when dealing in logistics.

Food Safety

It’s much better to take steps to prevent problems where possible, than to react to them once the worst has happened. With an estimated 500,000 people dying each year from food-borne illnesses, having a grasp of food safety and hygiene is essential, especially if you work in the food industry. Understanding the importance of hygiene, safe storage and proper preparation of food could prevent the spread of sickness. With our food safety courses, you can also learn about food intolerance and food allergies and what to do if someone goes into anaphylactic shock after eating something they are allergic to. While these courses are a must for anyone in catering, they are also useful if you are cooking for your family or your community or if you expect to have to cook for people with limited resources.

Visit our Cooking Hub for further options.


Managing risk or the impact of an event that deviates from the norm is a core element of any enterprise. Studying risk management will help you identify, assess and manage any interruption to normal life. Taking one of our risk management courses will help you understand much of the terminology around this area. It will also help you assess your insurance needs and indeed your liability if you are an employer. Our courses touch on global events, such as financial crises, right through to the risks of exhaust ventilation and asbestos. They are not only of use to employers but also to those who suspect they may have been affected by a hazard.   

Environmental Management

The impact of climate change is being seen across the globe, with heat waves and floods responsible for the top 10 mortality incidents worldwide in 2020. However, the catastrophic effect of these disasters is more accurately reflected in the numbers affected than in the death toll. In 2020, 18 million people were affected by Cyclone Amphan in India while 10 million were affected by flooding in China in which 280 lives were lost. Good environmental management practices may help mitigate against some of the worst impacts of these events. In our courses, you can take a scientific approach to environmental management, including waste management, become better acquainted with theories about climate change or gain insights into what steps you can take that may make a difference.  

Visit our Climate Change Hub for further courses.


Are you keen to prioritise ethical investments? Are you interested in finding out about finance in different parts of the world? Is corruption causing difficulties where you live? We have a raft of courses that can provide insight on world economic systems to help you become better informed, not only on where the problems lie, but also possible solutions. If you need guidance on coping with a financial downturn in your business you’ll find that here too.

Health and Safety

Unsafe working practices too often lead to loss of life. You can be part of the solution by studying the basics of health and safety. Our courses will help you identify potentially dangerous situations and create a safe environment, should you find yourself in the position to do so. While many of the courses are based in the workplace, the principles can be widely applied.


Many of the organisations to the fore of Catalyst 2030 are social enterprises. They aim to mitigate the impact of disasters before they occur and make any subsequent response and recovery more effective. ‘Make local central’ is their mantra. If you are a social entrepreneur or are considering starting a social enterprise, you might want to broaden your horizons and get a wider perspective of business. Our courses can help you plan and build a business, become more resilient and understand your place in the world.

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