What is CERT?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), using the model created by the Los Angeles City Fire Department, began promoting nationwide use of the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) concept since the early 1990s. Since then, CERTs have been established in hundreds of communities nationally.
The CERT program offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.
When emergencies occur, CERT members can assist the community by applying basic response and organizational skills that they were trained on. They can give critical assistance and support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the safety of the community and its emergency preparedness.
CERT members maintain and refine their skills by participating in exercises and activities. They can attend supplemental training opportunities offered by the sponsoring agency and others that further their skills base.