Human Factors in Homeland Security
2023 Winter Institute
An October report from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that major catastrophic disasters in the U.S. resulting in $1 billion or more in damages are now occurring once every 18 days, compared to once every 82 days in the 1980s and mass shootings across the country have hit record levels in 2022, according to Northeastern University's Violence and Justice Research Lab. Now more than ever, powerful emotions, attitudes, and beliefs are shaping the threat landscape and behavioral response to disasters and emergencies. From heightened concerns about active shooters to the ongoing pandemic, powerful storms, acts of civil unrest, and domestic extremism, this dynamic threat landscape calls for decision-makers and responders to have a comprehensive understanding of human behavior in crisis conditions.
The winter schedule allows Behavioral Science Applications LLC to offer some of our most popular and useful training programs, as well as new and evolving topics, in a condensed 8-week institute format. The eight one-hour classes are offered individually and in series as certificate programs.
Participants can join the live, instructor-led online classes each Wednesday from January 11 through March 1 at 1:00 PM (ET), or view the recorded programs at their convenience. Attendance to the live classes is not required for the certificate programs.
Stay current with the ever-changing threat landscape and give yourself a strategic and tactical advantage by applying accurate behavioral assumptions in all of your emergency and security-related preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Register for individual classes or a certificate program today! Contact us for more information at email@example.com.
Law Enforcement Professionals
Intelligence Analysts, Investigators, & Operators
EMS and Fire Personnel
Human Resources Professionals
Business Continuity Planners
Health & Safety Professionals
Behavioral Health Professionals
Anyone involved in emergency preparedness, response and recovery
In addition to certificates, participants enrolling in the Tier One, Tier Two, or complete 8 session program will receive a handsome 11-oz. ceramic mug featuring the Homeland Security Human Factors warrior-scholar logo, just in time to warm up on the cold winter days ahead.
The Winter Institute classes are taught by Steve Crimando, the founder and principal of Behavioral Science Applications LLC. Steve is a 30+ year veteran emergency and disaster behavioral health professional and violence prevention expert. He is a Certified Threat Manager (CTM) with the Association of Threat Management Professionals (ATAP), a Certified Master Trainer (CMT) with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security National Threat Evaluation and Reporting (NTER) program, and a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC), as well as a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress (BCETS).
Steve was deployed to the 9/11 and 1993 World Trade Center attacks, New Jersey’s anthrax screening center, and many other acts of terrorism. He is a published author frequently called upon by the media and the courts as an expert in crisis prevention and response. He provides training and support to multinational corporations, law enforcement, intelligence, military agencies, and NGOs worldwide.
Class Descriptions & Schedule
The 2023 Winter Institute offers two training tiers: Tier One which includes important foundational classes, and Tier Two with advanced classes, so participants can continue to build their knowledge base. Participants can register for individual classes, the Tier One or Two series, or the entire 8-class institute program. All classes are provided live online each Wednesday at 1:00 PM ET and recorded for convenient on-demand viewing.
Wednesday, January 11 | Foundations of Human Behavior in Disasters and Emergencies
This awareness-level program is intended for anyone involved in the various phases of emergency management, security, business continuity planning, or related disciplines. The program addresses both the emotional and behavioral responses to disasters, violent incidents, and public health emergencies, and introduces strategies for managing the individual, organizational, and community impact of crisis events.
Emergency and disaster policies, plans, and exercises must be based on what people are most likely to do in crisis conditions. An incomplete or inaccurate understanding of human behavior in critical incidents can complicate and compromise emergency response and recovery efforts. This training program is intended for decision-makers and planners who have a responsibility to understand and stay current with behavioral research as it relates to emergency management. This program introduces must-know information to help leaders form accurate behavioral assumptions to guide plans and policies, emergency response protocols, drills, and exercises.
Wednesday, January 18 | Human Behavior and Mass Violence
Violence is behavior, and like other behavior, insight into its causes and effects can provide actionable intelligence for everyone concerned with prevention, response, and recovery. The FBI has determined that individuals on a pathway to mass violence typically display four to five observable indicators prior to an attack. Stopping mass violence begins with understanding mass violence.
It is important for leaders and planners to anticipate the entire life cycle of an incident of mass violence, including those involving firearms, as well as other forms such as bombings, vehicular attacks, and other weapons, such as knives.) Our model involves the application of the four phases of emergency management (i.e., mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery) to mass violence incidents. It may not be possible to stop every act of violence, but violent actors can be disrupted, distracted, or defeated at several different points along the pathway to violence. This program will help participants prepare individuals, communities, and organizations to detect and deter, respond and recover from all forms of conventional violence.
Wednesday, January 25 | Behavioral Challenges of Chemical, Biological, Radiological
and Nuclear Emergencies
The true tool of the terrorist is not chemical, biological, or radiological…rather, it is psychological. Terror is fear, and terrorists seek to create and manipulate levels of fear to achieve their strategic goals. The extreme lethality and disruptive effect of CBRN weapons make them highly attractive to extremist and terrorist groups, who conceive that their use will help them to achieve their strategic goals. CBRN weapons could be said to be true "terror weapons" because their psychological impact usually exceeds the extent of their physical destructiveness, however massive.
Acts of unconventional terrorism, using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials, can result in unique and complex medical and psychological consequences. Understanding these nightmarish weapons as instruments of psychological warfare, rather than weapons of mass (physical) destruction is critical to planning and executing an effective response. For leaders and decision-makers to understand and develop effective countermeasures and strategies for consequence management, it is critical that they are fully aware of the powerful and unique psychological effects of these exotic hazards.
Wednesday, February 1 | Civil Unrest: Human Behavior in Groups, Crowds & Mobs
Worldwide, incidents of civil unrest have doubled over the last decade. Every region of the world has experienced hundreds of civil unrest events over the last ten years. The U.S. is currently experiencing one of the most significant and prolonged periods of civil unrest, often characterized by violence and the destruction of property.
Demonstrators have experimented with a variety of new tactics and strategies--from leaf blowers to lasers, from balloons to power tools, protestors, as well as public safety authorities are deploying new strategies and tactics.
Safety and security professionals, as well as emergency management leaders and first responders of all types, benefit from knowledge and understanding of the causes, warning signs, and behavioral dynamics of groups, crowds, and mobs that are associated with violent and destructive behavior. Such an understanding better prepares decision-makers and responders for the challenges associated with the use of new and dangerous tactics, social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and globalization as they relate to the development of crisis situations and the potential of dangerous and violent collective behavior. Even civil unrest taking place in nearby communities can be highly disruptive to all types of business operations and pose a risk to employers and employees alike. This updated program provides timely, actionable information to better help leaders and responders protect their organizations’ personnel and assets when responding to potential group, crowd, or mob situations.
Wednesday, February 8 | The Rise of the Null Believer and Mass Shooter Culture
In the early 2000s, forensic psychologist Dr. Reid Meloy defined the Violent True Believer as an individual committed to an ideology or belief system which advances homicide and suicide as a legitimate means to further a particular goal. Today, acts of mass violence are increasingly committed by non-ideological, nihilistic, misanthropic young men plugged into a mass shooter culture, who curate a mass shooter aesthetic and identity. These lone actors are not aligned with any particular belief system. In fact, their only belief is that life is meaningless. The Null Believer has a general hatred of humanity, and other than existing in a virtual community is completely unmoored from society. The Null Believer is the opposite of the True Believer, someone who is so devout and dedicated to an ideology that they are willing to kill and die for it. The Null Believer instead firmly believes in nothing but chaos and destruction. They seek to reduce themselves and all around them to nothingness.
Many of the behavioral risk indicators of those involved in this evolving mass shooter culture are different from ideologically-motivated attackers. Understanding the rise of the Null Believer and the unique characteristics associated with this subcultural will be important in stopping future attacks by those involved with the evolving mass killer culture.
Wednesday, February 15 | Sons of Ted & the Evolving Eco-Fascist Threat
Eco-fascism is the link between environmentalism and fascism. It is an ideology that unites white supremacy with environmentalism, believing that controlling migration and population growth is the only way to save the planet from environmental destruction and to protect increasingly scarce resources for the rightful occupants of a nation.
The concept of eco-fascism has risen to public attention following the attack on the grocery store in Buffalo, New York where the perpetrator identified himself as an eco-fascist in his manifesto, along with quotes from Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. Similar references to the Unabomber were found in the writings of the mass shooters in El Paso, Texas, and Christchurch, New Zealand. The connection between eco-fascism and mass violence is known to go back as far as Anders Breivik’s 2011 attack in Oslo and on Utøya Island in Norway. Breivik also drew inspiration from Kaczynski, who has become a figure of contemporary eco-fascism.
As a form of violent extremism, eco-terrorism is worthy of attention, especially in light of the escalating effects of climate change and rising levels of eco-anxiety reported in younger people. Learning about the belief system, major incidents, and behavioral indicators of eco-terrorist involvement will be increasingly important for anyone concerned with security and violence prevention.
Wednesday, February 22 | A Flock of Black Swans-Stress and Resilience in Cascading Crises
In his 2010 bestselling book, Nassim Nicholas Taleb defined a “black swan” as an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected and has potentially severe consequences. Black swans are rare, isolated, overwhelming events. They create a shock that may be difficult to quickly rebound from; some cause lasting damage. But what happens when all of the black swans come home to roost at the same time? Covid-19, the war in Ukraine, a volatile economy with inflation and shortages, political tensions, and intensifying climate-fueled natural disasters? How do we cope with everything hitting at the same time?
The most recent American Psychological Association (APA) Stress in America survey reported that 87% of U.S. adults feel there has been a constant stream of crises without a break over the past two years, and 74% say that they are overwhelmed by this flock of black swans. Humans are not wired to tolerate chronic, repetitive stress as well as single, sudden shocking events. Chronic stress is exhausting; it grinds people down physically and emotionally.
Given this confluence of events and the compound effect of multiple stressors, how can individuals and organizations cope? Our ideas about coping and resilience may need to be re-calibrated to meet the challenges of a flock of black swans. This program will introduce participants to the types and sources of compound stress; the impact of compound stress on wellness and performance; and strategies and techniques for coping and resilience.
Wednesday, March 1| Tactical Psychological First Aid (T-PFA) Responder Skills
Tactical Psychological First Aid (T-PFA) refers to a set of skills developed to limit the distress and negative behaviors that can increase fear and arousal in traumatic and extreme stress situations adapted to the realities and challenges of the Hot Zone.
Call Outs for Active Shooter/Active Assailant incidents, hostage and barricade situations, and other deadly force encounters place responders in physically and psychologically threatening environments which can result in extreme stress reactions. Such reactions can affect performance and judgment in the moment, and result in long-term mental health consequences.
T-PFA is intended to be provided by those personnel operating in the Hot Zone and Warm Zone in critical incident response. Applying safe, effective methods of rapid support, during and in the hours and days immediately following violent or traumatic events can help responders more effectively manage the psychological impact of the event.
The fee for individual classes is $75.00 (USD). Each four-class Tier One or Two program is $300.00, and the entire institute program including all eight classes is $599.00. Participants enrolling in both the Tier One and Tier Two series, as well as the full eight-week institute are eligible for Winter Institute certificates, as well as the mug. Please call for special pricing for groups of 12 or more participants. The programs can be completed live, online, or by viewing the recorded presentations before September 15, 2022. All major credit cards, as well as debit cards, are accepted for payment.
Please allow 24 hours to receive a return email after you have registered.