Printable versions of FEMA independent study online courses
November 22, 2023 11:10 AM   Subscribe

The United States Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers a bunch of free independent study online classes. There's interesting material in a bunch of those. I would prefer to skim the printable, all-in-one-HTML-page versions of the curricula rather than clicking through a hundred screens for each course. For many courses I can easily find the relevant link, but I'd like to work out how to download ALL of them; help me figure out the URL scheme? Also, for recent courses I can't; are there any, and if so, where?

1. bulk downloading requires I figure out this URL scheme

I can't just hand-hack the URLs to get at all the printable versions, because the printable versions' paths include a numbered filename and I haven't worked out the numbering scheme -- I could use help with that. Example URLs:





IS 904:

When I look at the course descriptions and curicula, I can't work out a reason for those file numbers (89.html, 97.html, etc.) I suspect they reflect an internal numbering system separate from the publicly visible course catalog numbers.

Is there a rhyme and reason to the filenames for the printable versions I can find, so I could bulk-download them programmatically?

2. is there a printable version at all?

Here's an example of one where I can find the full printable version: IS-951: DHS Radio Interoperability. Course description links to the Interactive Web Based Course, and that redirects to which then offers a link labelled "Select this link to access a printable version of this entire course." That's a bit of JavaScript but a new window pops up that shows me which is the course materials as one big HTML page.

Example where I cannot find the printable version: IS-368.A: Including People With Disabilities in Disaster Operations. Its interactive web-based course clearly uses a different, newer course presentation framework than does the IS-951 course. Page 5 says "Select this link to access a printable version of this lesson." but there's no hyperlink.

Another example: IS-318.A has a web-based course that also seems to use this newer framework. It doesn't even mention the printable full text version as far as I've read.

Those two courses both mention a "course date" this month (November 2023) so I suspect that courses created or updated very recently are using this new framework; if old courses get migrated to this new framework then I think I'll lose access to the full printable versions.

So: please help me find whether there are full printable versions of the courses published in the newer framework? If so, where are they?
posted by brainwane to Technology (2 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I suggest giving the FEMA Independent Study Program a call [(301) 447-1200] with your question. (I found the number on the bottom of this page). Point out that a web-only interface is a potential access issue. Not everyone has internet access...especially during emergencies. If you aren't up for a phone call, you can try tagging FEMA in a tweet.

There are multiple ways to convert an html file to a pdf (or even print directly from an html file) if you are able to get the full course in a single html file.
posted by oceano at 3:54 PM on November 22, 2023 [1 favorite]

The FAQ also has this:
What should I do if I have problems downloading materials or submitting my Independent Study (IS) exam?

Please see our Before you Begin: technical requirements at

If a problem still exists, please send an email to with a detailed error description.
So maybe that email address would also be useful.
posted by kristi at 3:11 PM on November 23, 2023

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