Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)


Total training is usually about 20 hours, scheduled in 2-4 hour modules, over a period of weeks or months, in order to address the scheduling needs of team members. It's held in the community or county where you live.

Training courses, student materials and equipment are provided free of charge.

If you are an individual looking to join a local CERT Team, contact your municipal emergency management coordinator to see if the program is already active in your community, or if a CERT program is being developed. To find the telephone number of the municipal emergency management office, look in the telephone directory, or contact your County CERT Coordinator [pdf]. Or, call 1-877-CERT-411 (1-877-237-8411) to obtain information about teams forming in your area.

CERT Train the Trainer [pdf]
Show All Sections
  • Disaster Preparedness
    Introduction to disasters specific to the community, and the impact of disaster on infrastructure.
  • Disaster Fire Suppression
    Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards and basic fire suppression.
  • Disaster Medical Operations
    Part I: Treatment strategies for life-threatening conditions and principles of triage.

    Part II: Head-to-toe patient assessment and treatment for various injuries.

  • Light Search and Rescue Operations
    Techniques for sizing up and  searching, lifting, cribbing and removing victims; rescue safety.
  • Disaster Psychology & Team Organization
    The post-disaster emotional environment will be discussed. CERT organization, decision making and documentation.
  • Terrorism
    A brief overview of terrorism weapons. Identifying targets in an area and discuss time/distance/shielding.

  • Final Exercise
    Disaster Simulation realistic to your community.

  • Describe the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities.
  • Describe the function of CERT and their roles in immediate response.
  • Take steps to prepare themselves for disaster.
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in  their homes and workplaces.
  • Work as a team to apply basic fire suppression strategies, resources, and safety measures to extinguish a burning liquid.
  • Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating shock.
  • Conduct triage under simulated conditions.
  • Perform head-to-toe assessments.
  • Select and set up a treatment area.
  • Employ basic treatments for various wounds.
  • Identify planning and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations.
  • Describe the most common techniques for searching a structure.
  • Use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication.