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Human Factors in Homeland Security
2021 Summer Institute

Now more than ever, powerful emotions, attitudes, and beliefs are shaping the threat landscape and behavioral response to disasters and emergencies. From lingering concerns about COVID-19 to heat emergencies, wildfires, storms, acts of civil unrest, and domestic extremism, the dynamic threat landscape calls for decision-makers and responders to have a comprehensive understanding of the often surprising behavior of people in crisis conditions.


The summer schedule allows Behavioral Science Applications LLC to offer some of our most popular and useful training programs in a condensed 8-week series format. The eight one-hour classes are offered individually and as a certificate program. In addition to receiving the program certificate, those who register for the entire series can also enjoy a $100.00 discount. For groups larger than 10, please call or email for pricing options. 


Participants can join the live instructor-led online class each Wednesday from July 7 through August 25 at 1:00 PM (ET), or view the recorded programs at their convenience. Attendance to the live classes is not required for the certificate program.

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 the certificate program today or contact us for more information at   


Intended Audience

  • Emergency Managers

  • Security Directors

  • Law Enforcement Professionals  

  • Intelligence Analysts, Investigators, & Operators

  • EMS and Fire Personnel

  • Business Continuity Planners

  • Risk Managers

  • Health & Safety Professionals  

  • Behavioral Health Professionals

  • Anyone involved in emergency preparedness, response or recovery 



The Summer Institute classes are taught by Steve Crimando, the founder and principal of Behavioral Science Applications. Steve is a 30+ year veteran disaster behavioral health professional and violence prevention expert.  He is a Certified Threat Manager (CTM), Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP), Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC), and Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress (BCETS). Steve was deployed to the 9/11 and 1993 World Trade Center attacks, as well as New Jersey’s anthrax screening center and other acts of international terrorism. He is a published author who is frequently called upon by the media and the courts as an expert in crisis prevention and response. He provides training and support to programs within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, law enforcement, intelligence, and military agencies, as well as NGO’s, such as the United Nations.

Class Descriptions & Schedule

Wednesday, July 7  | 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. 

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Wednesday, July 14 | 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.

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Wednesday, July 21 |  The 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. 

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Wednesday, July 28 | From Radicalization to Mobilization: Understanding Extreme Beliefs and Extreme Behavior

Law enforcement and intelligence officials are deeply concerned about the possibility of terror and violence, given the “perfect storm” of conditions related to the pandemic, financial stress, and political tensions. Violent extremists, whether foreign or domestic, motivated by various violent ideologies have continued to advocate violence and plan attacks.

It can be difficult and frustrating to try to reason with people whose beliefs range from extreme to delusional or to try to refute their evidence. People become radicalized into extreme beliefs in different ways, in different roles, and for different reasons. It may be helpful to distinguish between reasons for joining, remaining in, and leaving extremist organizations. Perceived injustice, a need for identity, and a need for belonging are common vulnerabilities among potential extremists, but there are other powerful psychological forces. It is also important to understand the radicalization process and pathway from radicalization to mobilization. This program will address the key concepts, as well as introduce behavioral indicators that can lead to the early detection and prevention of extremist violence.

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Wednesday, August 4 | Behavioral Factors in Civil Unrest and Collective Violence


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 in 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.


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Wednesday, August 11 | Pandemics and Public Health Emergencies: Critical Behavioral Insights


Pandemics are slow-moving mass fatality incidents that are simultaneously medical and behavioral health crises. They are global health emergencies that can result in a catastrophic loss of life and overwhelming levels of fear and stress across a significant portion of the population.

Due to the invisibility of the threat and the prolonged nature of the crisis, the behavioral health response to public health emergencies is unlike that seen in other disasters. In addition to traumatic stress reactions typically associated with disasters, unique forms of stress, anxiety, and grief result from these long, complex emergencies. Public health emergencies can devastate lives while leaving physical structures and technologies untouched. The behavioral response to such events is highly sensitive to perception and communications. In this type of crisis, the behavioral footprint is far greater than the actual medical impact of the event and has a lasting effect on individuals, families, communities, and organizations for many years after the crisis.

To help individuals and organizations more effectively mitigate the behavioral health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies, this program address a wide range of affected populations, raising awareness of the behavioral health challenges, as well as strategies and techniques for coping and types of exposure/experience with an emergency across the entire event timeline.



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Wednesday, August 18 | Early Recognition of Targeted Violence

Targeted violence, a term originally coined by the behavioral scientists of the U.S. Secret Service, refers to situations in which an individual intentionally commits an act of violence against a preselected target, whether people or places. These acts are potentially foreseeable, as they are the result of an understandable, evolving, and often discernable process of thinking, behavior, and preparation. 


According to the FBI, lone actors on a pathway toward violence typically display 4 to 5 observable concerning behaviors that may aid in the early identification of at-risk individuals. Behavior and communication have consistently been determined to be the best pre-incident risk indicators to help identify and stop a would-be attacker.


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Wednesday, August 25 | Safety and Survival in Hostile Encounters 

Who we are and how others see us can impact our safety in public spaces and how we might experience harassment or aggression. The increase in reported hate incidents and crimes ranging from verbal attacks to fatal assaults is leaving many afraid for their families and their own personal safety.

It can be difficult, even dangerous, to be the target of harassment, intimidation, or violence. With the recent increase in REMV, especially directed toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), it can seem threatening and scary out there, but that doesn’t mean people should live in fear. With tensions still high related to the pandemic, economic strife, and the current social and political environment, many people are on edge. It is important at times like these that everyone knows how to handle difficult or dangerous encounters to keep themselves and others safe.

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Program Fees

The fee for individual classes is $65.00 (USD) per session. The fee for the certificate program which includes all eight classes is $420.00, which is a $100.00 discount from the cost of registering for the classes individually. Participants who complete all eight classes, either in person or by viewing the recorded versions will receive a certificate demonstrating their successful completion of the program. All major credit cards, as well as debit cards, are accepted for payment. 

Please allow 24-hours to receive a link to a class or certificate program after you have registered. Thank you. 

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