Tools, Games & Guides


Psychological First Aid Tutorial

PFA Tutorial provides a just-in-time review for those who have previously received training to provide PFA. The tutorial describes the four core actions of PFA providers, reviews ways to engage with disaster survivors, lists common reactions to traumatic events, and provides an opportunity to check understanding in practice scenarios. Available for iPhone, Android and as a mobile website.

This mobile app and website provides a quick and thorough review for those who have previously received training to provide PFA. The tutorial describes the four core actions of PFA providers, reviews ways to engage with disaster survivors, lists common reactions to traumatic events, and provides an opportunity to check understanding in practice scenarios. First responders, health care providers, mental health providers, MRC volunteers, students, and others will find this an easy to use resource while in the field following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, act of terrorism, or personal crisis.

The PFA Tutorial is available as a native app for Android and iPhone and as a mobile website.

Get the Tutorial

Public Health Intervention Wheel

The purpose of the Public Health Intervention Wheel is to improve population health. This asset will help you understand the wheel by weaving in definitions and pictures. There are several examples in each section.

Use the Public Health Intervention Wheel

Public health nurses and other public health professionals work collaboratively with communities to create environments that promote health and prevent disease and disability. They use an ecological approach to respond to the needs of the communities and are proactive in program and policy development to enhance the health of populations. Public health nurses use the Nursing Intervention Wheel to define the scope of public health nursing practice by the type of intervention and the level of practice. Regardless of the site or the population, this core set of interventions represents public health nursing as a specialty practice of nursing.

Although developed specifically as a Nursing Intervention Wheel it is easy to see that this broad-based intervention wheel also applies to the practice of many other public health disciplines. This online version of this Public Health Intervention Wheel enhances the original wheel by using visual representations of the interventions by level of intervention in the everyday practice of public health nursing.

Disaster 101

Disaster 101 is a complete package which provides users the information to develop a workshop that 1) teaches disaster preparedness content and team response skills to participants and 2) allows participants to practice and receive feedback on emergency response skills through scenario-based disaster simulations and small-group and/or large- group debrief sessions.

This tool includes detailed information on:

  • Designing and conducting realistic disaster scenarios
  • Recruiting and training workshop staff (instructors, evaluators, facilitators and simulated victims)
  • Recruiting and training workshop participants

Who should use this tool?

This workshop is appropriate for any population of users that would benefit from improving their skills related to disaster preparedness and response and/or team response and communication. Some potential users include:

1) Interprofessional education courses in university or college health science programs

2) State and local public health departments, particularly in under-resourced or rural areas

3) Corporations and small businesses

4) Professional or voluntary organizations for health science professionals (e.g. Medical Reserve Corps)

Download the Disaster 101 tool.

Point of Dispensing Planning: Training in a Virtual World

The Virtual Point of Dispensing (POD) tool is a freely available open-source software package. This package allows one to view, modify or build new virtual worlds to demonstrate mass dispensing and other public health planning scenarios. It can be run on a local computer without the need for internet connection.

Virtual POD is an 3D virtual environment that helps users develop and share scenarios for mass dispensing and other public health events.  It is free, and does not require an Internet connection to use.

The Virtual POD can be used to:

  • Plan – Create and fine-tune emergency response plans while saving time, money, and other resources.
  • Demonstrate – Virtual POD makes it easy to demonstrate scenarios to stakeholders and offers a unique venue for seeking their feedback.
  • Train – Not only can Virtual POD itself can be used as a training tool, it can also be used to create images or videos for use in other training materials.

In Virtual POD, the user—as a graphical representation, or “avatar”—moves through the virtual world.

This world comes packaged as a small community with a local health department, school, warehouse, drive-thru bank, main street with stores, and a mass dispensing clinic that can be walked through or modified.

Roads may be used to plan ingress/egress to an area. Users can “vend” commonly used POD objects (tables, chairs, supplies, mannequins, signage, barriers, etc.) into the virtual environment, and arrange them to create POD sites.

Preview a video demonstration of this tool

You may download the tool using this link. This tool is free but registration is required.

After-Action Report, a fillable chart for Public Health Performance Evaluation

The After-Action Report assists in identification of key resources that would have been useful during the event, partnerships that need to be created or maintained for the future, and trainings that should be continued or identified to prepare for the next emergency event. Distributed to emergency responders shortly after an event the tool can be completed in its entirety the emergency responder. The tool is designed to be used in a variety of different event types and jurisdictions.

Download the tool

Improve Departmental Processes with the Public Health Performance Evaluation Primer

The Public Health Performance Evaluation Primer is similar to a self-audit of public health program activities, and can be used to improve performance within health departments. The tool recommends methods to measure the efficiency of department processes. The tool assists in facilitating identification of deficiencies that need to be corrected and efficiencies that should be maintained. The performance information collected by this tool can support resource allocation decisions. The primer provides information on how to conduct a program evaluation, identify measurable aspects of the program, use a run chart to visualize the metrics under review and identify strategies for improvements.

Download the tool.

Games & Simulations

Global Outbreak: A Public Health ICS Simulation

An outbreak of respiratory infection is spreading around the globe. Cases have just been confirmed in your state. You are called to report to the State Health Department’s DOC (Department Operations Center) to serve on the Incident Command Team. Here you will:

  • Choose your role as DOC Operations, Planning or Logistics Section Chief
  • Apply concepts from previous Incident Command System (ICS) training
  • Follow the steps in the “Planning P” process during the first operational period
  • Attend DOC briefings and meetings
  • Decide who should handle incoming requests and issues
  • Determine the best course of action for items on your to-do list
  • Monitor how your decisions impact stress, resources and public response

Target Audience

This online simulation was developed for public health professionals who have taken various Incident Command Systems (ICS) training and have wondered, “But what does this look like when the incident isn’t an explosion? What does it look like in a Health Department?” It draws on select concepts from the FEMS ICS- 200 and ICS-300 training courses.

iPad App

Global Outbreak is available for iPad. Get the Global Outbreak iPad app.

Outbreak at Watersedge

The need for public health professionals has never been greater. But what is “Public Health” anyway? This interactive game will introduce you to the world of public health as you help discover the source of the outbreak that has hit the small community of Watersedge and stop it before more residents get sick. Including a teacher’s guide and other resources.

Access the “Outbreak at Watersedge Game”

Access the Spanish version

Disaster in Franklin County: A Public Health Simulation

Register and take this online simulation.

This online training module is eligible for 1 CPH recertification credit.

In this simulation, the learner will assume the perspective of various public health professionals responding to a natural disaster. They will make decisions on behalf of a county public health director, a public health nurse, an environmental health specialist, and other public health professionals. By approaching the emerging public health issues from these perspectives, the players gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand, the decisions that colleagues in other disciplines face, and how those decisions impact his or her area of expertise.

Mobile Apps

Responder Self Care App

This mobile app aids those deployed to emergency response events in maintaining their own physical, emotional, and social wellbeing. It provides checklists for before, during, and after deployment that help responders pack for deployment, take care of daily needs, maintain important relationships, reflect on experiences, and more. Customizable reminders ensure that critical tasks are not forgotten and tips explain why certain aspects of self care are vital. A variety of responders will find this app useful to help manage their self care while working in demanding situations, when caring for oneself is essential in order to help and care for others.

A variety of responders will find this app useful to help manage their self care while working in demanding situations, when caring for oneself is essential in order to help and care for others.