What is CERT?
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates citizens regarding disaster preparedness relative to hazards that could impact our area, and provides basic disaster response skills training. These skills include fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Once trained, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhoods, workplace or in other communities following incidents when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in your community. CERT is one of five organizations that operate under the Citizens Corps, the nationwide grass roots movement that encourages all Americans to help make their communities – and the nation – safer, stronger, and better prepared for all types of hazards and threats through active volunteerism.
Your community's professional responders are well trained and prepared to handle everyday emergencies. However, large-scale emergencies or disasters could easily overwhelm our response capabilities, resulting in possible delays. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to help them provide immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates until the professional responders can arrive. While many people will respond to those in need without the proper training, the goal of the CERT program is to train and organize our volunteers thoroughly. With this knowledge, they can assist effectively and efficiently – without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.