COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (CERT)
sign up for CERT training (click here)
Following the events of September 11, 2001, Citizen Corps was launched as a grassroots strategy to strengthen community safety and preparedness through increased civic participation. Since then, the importance of preparedness education, training, and involving the whole community has become increasingly recognized as critical to successful community preparedness and resilience. The LDS church recommends that each ward has at least one person CERT trainined.
Citizen Corps is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, within the Department of Homeland Security, but is implemented locally. Communities across the country have created Citizen Corps Councils as effective partnerships between government and community leaders to focus on the following objectives:
- engaging the whole community in collaborative community planning and capacity building;
- integration of community resources; outreach and localized preparedness education and training;
- emergency communications to all population segments; drills and exercises; and,
- volunteer programs.
CERT is a critical program in the effort to engage everyone in America in making theircommunities safer, more prepared, and more resilient when incidents occur.
Community-based preparedness planning allows us all to prepare for and respond to anticipated disruptions and potential hazards following a disaster. As individuals, we can prepare our homes and families to cope during that critical period. Through preevent planning, neighborhoods and worksites can also work together to help reduce
injuries, loss of lives, and property damage. Neighborhood preparedness will enhance the ability of individuals and neighborhoods to reduce their emergency needs and to manage their existing resources until professional assistance becomes available.
Studies of behavior following disasters have shown that groups working together in the disaster period perform more effectively if there has been prior planning and training for disaster response. These studies also show that organized grassroots efforts may be more successful if they are woven into the social and political fabric of the community -- neighborhood associations, schools, workplaces, places of worship, and other existing organizations.
Effective response therefore requires comprehensive planning and coordination of all who will be involved ? government, volunteer groups, private businesses, schools, and community organizations. With training and information, individuals and community groups can be prepared to serve as a crucial resource capable of performing many of the emergency functions needed in the immediate post-disaster period.
The CERT Program is designed to train individuals to be assets to help communities prepare for
effective disaster response.