Campus Technology

Purdue University Develops Online Course on Disaster Recovery

Purdue Online has recently launched a Disaster Recovery Certificate course for construction professionals. The course was developed as a means to educate workers in the construction industry on the nuances between disaster recovery work and normal construction practices. According to a news release, some of the major differences include working against a ticking clock, dealing with unusual and unexpected conditions, and performing to a particular standard of timeliness and perfection in an emergency setting.

The course was developed by Randy Rapp, an associate professor with Purdue Polytechnic Institute’s School of Construction Management Technology and a disaster recovery expert who responded to Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma. “I had the background in construction, but I was missing the nuances that make disaster recovery different,” said Rapp of his inspiration for creating the program.

 The course’s target audience includes conventional construction professionals, disaster management professionals, government personnel involved in disaster recovery, and those interested in project management. The curriculum introduces the process for dealing with a large regional disaster, noting that professionals can easily adapt the principles to smaller disasters as needed. It teaches professionals the right technical questions to ask and how to employ contractors with the appropriate skills.

Its four modules discuss the specifics of dealing with water damage, smoke and fire damage, personal property damage, and microbial damage. Other topics covered include the various impacts of disasters; communication and documentation standards; and the basics of bids, delivery methods, contracts, and proposals, logistics, and material management and procurement.

The fully online course is self-paced but takes about 20 hours to complete (about 5 hours per module). Rapp noted that professionals can make their way through the material within a week to prepare for a disaster recovery job. The course costs $295, and upon completion, students earn a Purdue Disaster Recovery Certificate.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. He can be reached at [email protected].