Community Emergency Response Team training is a Federal Emergency Management Agency program that educates citizens about the hazards they face in their community and trains them in lifesaving skills.
If needed following a disaster, these citizen-responders use their training as part of a neighborhood team to help others when professional responders are overwhelmed or not immediately available. CERT members provide immediate assistance to victims in their area, organize spontaneous volunteers who have not had the training, and collect disaster intelligence that will assist professional responders with prioritization and allocation of resources when they arrive.
Purpose of the Program
CERT promotes a partnering between emergency management and response agencies and the people in the community that they serve. The goal is to train memebers of neighborhoods and workplaces in basic response skills. Then CERT teams are formed and maintained as part of the emergency response capability for their area.
How it Works
The basic CERT training program is a 24-hour course, typically delivered one evening per week over a eight-week period. Training sessions cover disaster preparedness, fire suppression, basic disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, disaster psychology, team organization, and a new module on terrorism to educate CERT members about BNICE agents: Biological, Nuclear, Incendiary, Chemical, and Explosive. This module will help CERT members identify situations where these agents may have been used and protective actions that they should take. The training concludes with a disaster simulation in which participants practice skills that they learned throughout the course.
CERT information including a CERT Instructor Guide and Student Guide is located on the web at https://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/.
Want to be ready for the next weather emergency? Are you willing to assist neighbors when it occurs? Please read the information that follows, which was obtained from the Harris County Citizen Corps website. Training dates are still available; please consult the website for times, dates, and locations.