Department of Epidemiology & Public Health
Clinical Research Building
DEEP Center - 10th Floor
1120 NW 14 Street
Miami, FL 33136
UM Locator Code: R-669
Maps & Directions

Tel: 305-219-9011
Fax: 305-243-5585





Course Description

The Center for Disaster and Extreme Event Preparedness (DEEP Center) has been funded by the Florida Department of Health to develop the SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION: Independent Study, an on-line training program for public health, healthcare, and emergency preparedness and response professionals throughout Florida.

Developed by the DEEP Center, SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION is a framework of six strategies for achieving and maintaining a high level of disaster health and well-being. “Disaster health” was introduced as a concept and discipline in Homeland Security Presidential Directive-21 (HSPD-21). SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION defines “disaster health” as, “Maximal safety in situations of threat, optimal function in situations of high stress, and effective action in response to emergencies, disasters, and extreme events.” To remain congruent with HSPD-21, SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION integrates elements of disaster medical care, public health, and behavioral health within a single framework.

SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION is dually focused on disaster responders and the disaster survivors they serve. As a result, the framework also introduces two “SKILL SETS”: a "PREPARE" SKILLS SET focused on responders, and a "RESPOND" SKILLS SET focused on support for survivors.

Course Objectives

At the end of the on-line independent study, participants will be able to:

  • Define the precepts (goal, three keys, and six strategies) of SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION.
  • Practice the strategies and tactics of SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION.
  • Apply SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION strategies to self and other disaster responders to optimize personal and team function in daily operations and during disaster duty.
  • Apply SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION strategies to aid disaster survivors during the warning, impact, and post-impact phases of disaster.

Target Audience

The intended target audience for this independent study is any and all individuals with a defined disaster role, ranging from first responders, to disaster‐activated response professionals, to disaster volunteers. For a detailed list of the target audience, please see SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION: Independent Study Target Audiences (PDF).

Get Started


To begin the SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION: Independent Study, please register here:


Course Length

The overall length of the course will vary for each individual. The benefit of an on-line training program is that participants have the option of completing the six units at their own pace. Students may complete all of the units at once, or individual units over a period of time. If completed in one sitting, SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION: Independent Study takes approximately 5.5 to 6.5 hours to complete.


No continuing education units (CEUs) will be offered for this independent study.


In order to receive a certificate of completion for the training, participants must:

1. Provide a valid e-mail address upon registering for the course.

2. Complete all six units.

3. Complete the evaluation forms provide via a web link at the end of the course.

SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION Authors and Contributors

Primary Authors

  • James M. Shultz, MS, PhD
    Director, DEEP Center
    University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
    Miami, Florida
  • Andrea Allen, PhD, LMHC
    Associate Dean, School of Adult and Continuing Education
    Barry University
    Miami Shores, Florida
  • Zelde Espinel, MD, MPH, MA
    Co-Director, DEEP Center


Contributors and expert consultants include (alphabetical listing):

  • Harlee Bustamante, MPH
  • Raquel Cohen, MD, MPH
  • Heraldo D’Almeida, DDS, MAID
  • Brian W. Flynn, EdD
  • Angela Gonzalez, JD, MAID
  • Craig Llewellyn, MD, MPH
  • Navita Persaud, MPH
  • Susan Schmitz, MA
  • Dr. Maurice Ramirez, DO, PhD


To begin the SAFETY FUNCTION ACTION: Independent Study, please register here: