When Disaster Strikes: Mass Fatalities and Community Impact


On April 17, 2013, a massive explosion occurred at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, leaving 15 people dead, more than 160 injured, and several homes and businesses destroyed. Five local funeral directors recount their personal stories in a round table discussion about how they came together to handle the disaster and the devastation that followed.

This video-based course provides an inside look into the days following the disaster through the personal accounts of these funeral directors faced with the daunting task of handling mass fatalities, chaos, and community devastation.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the types of issues that arise in the immediate aftermath of a disaster
  • recognize how to coordinate working with volunteers during a crisis
  • describe some best practices for working with the media
  • recall the impact that a disaster has on the day-to-day operations of a funeral home
  • understand what to expect when honor guards arrive after a crisis to honor the fallen
  • recognize the logistical issues to be considered when planning a mass memorial

Designed For

Funeral professionals at all levels of their careers

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License or Certification