What is CERT?

CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personal may not be able to reach everyone right away. By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property.

As a member of a CERT team, you can respond to disasters, participate in drills and exercises, and take additional training. CERT teams are known and trusted resources to emergency responders and their communities.

What Do CERT teams do in an emergency?

Under the direction of local emergency responders, CERT teams help provide critical support by giving immediate assistance to victims, providing damage assessment information, and organizing other volunteers at a disaster site. Volunteers trained in CERT also offer a potential workforce for performing duties such as shelter support, crowd control, and evacuation. The role of a CERT volunteer is to help others until trained emergency personnel arrive.

How does CERT help the community?

In addition to supporting emergency responders during a disaster, the CERT program builds strong working relationships between emergency responders and the people they serve. CERT teams also help the community year-round by helping with community emergency plans, neighborhood exercises, preparedness outreach, fire safety education, and workplace safety.

The benefits of CERT training.

CERT training takes about 20 hours to complete and provides critical skills in emergency preparedness and response.

Participants learn how to:

         Identify and anticipate hazards

         Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace

         Extinguish small fires

         Assist emergency responders

         Conduct light search and rescue

         Set up medical treatment areas

         Apply basic medical techniques

         Help reduce survivor stress

Who should take CERT training?

         People interested in taking an active role in hometown preparedness

         Neighborhood Watch groups

         Community leaders


         Communities of faith

         Scouting and youth organizations

         Students, teachers, and administrators

         Members of clubs and civic organizations

It starts with you.

CERT is an integral part of Citizens Corps, the grass-roots movements that actively involves everyone in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger, and better prepared. All over America, communities have organized Citizen Corps Councils to inspire people to take action and get involved.

No matter where you live, no matter who you are, we all have a role in hometown preparedness. What role will you play?