MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CERT,
CALL 1-877-CERT-411 (1-877-237-8411)
THE CERT PROGRAM
his 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush asked
Americans to volunteer their services in order to improve
and safeguard their country. Harnessing the spirit of cooperation
that developed as a result of the tragic events of September
11th, he created the Citizen Corps Program to organize volunteer
services in the areas of crime, natural disasters and terrorism.
The Community Emergency Response Team or (CERT) is a part
of the Citizen Corps Program.
CERT – THEN AND NOW
CERT concept dates back to 1985, when the Los Angeles Fire
Department recognized that in the early stages of a disaster
– earthquakes in particular – local emergency
responders would be overwhelmed, and basic training in disaster
survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of community
members to survive until responders or other assistance arrived.
the universal value of this program, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) worked in conjunction with the LAFD
to make the CERT program applicable to all types of hazards
and developed a CERT training program which could be used
nationwide and adapted to meet local conditions when the need
tragic events of September 11 remind us that disaster can
strike anywhere or anytime, and that basic safety and disaster
survival skills can mean the difference between life and death.
CERT training empowers community members to prepare responsibly
and respond appropriately when emergencies occur.
WHAT CERT TEAMS DO
members give critical support to first responders in emergencies,
provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous
volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence
to support first responder efforts.
ABOUT CERT TRAINING
you join a CERT, you will receive basic-level training in
the following areas:
Family Disaster Preparedness
Disaster Fire Suppression
Disaster Mental Health
Basic Emergency Management
Disaster Simulation -- Skills Review
training is usually about 18 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
where you live.
courses, student materials and equipment are provided free
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 (79k pdf). Or, call 1-877-CERT-411
(1-877-237-8411) to obtain information about teams forming
in your area.
STARTING A CERT PROGRAM IN YOUR COMMUNITY
in CERT is sparked in many ways. Municipal Emergency Management
Coordinators should first design a CERT program for their municipality and then
existing organizations - civic associations, Neighborhood
Watch Groups, parent-teach associations, etc. - will express
an interest in expanding the group's mission to include the
formation of a CERT Team. Some municipalities have disbanded
their Auxilliary Police Units in favor of a CERT Program.
Any activity involving a CERT should be coordinated with the
local emergency management office.
establish a CERT, follow these steps:
persons who may be interested in joining a CERT.
Identify a local municipal official to assist and oversee
the formation of the CERT Program. Contact
the County CERT Coordinator (79k pdf) to enroll
in a CERT T-T-T Program and to insure coordination
of equipment and other materials.
Define the CERT's mission, organization and purpose. This
is very important. The CERT members must be receive training
appropriate to their mission and purpose.
Obtain resources needed to support the CERT, including instructors
for various topics and equipment required to safely support
the team's mission.
Schedule and conduct training for CERT members.
Offer continuing education, skills review, and emergency
management exercises for CERT team members.
Continuously recruit for new team members, conduct team
oversight and program maintenance.
SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL CERT PROGRAMS
to establish an CERT, the municipal emergency management coordinator,
or designee, must attend the CERT Train-the-Trainer Program
offered through the NJOEM Emergency Management Bureau. The
CERT T-T-T is intended for individuals who will lead or coordinate
a CERT Program, not for individual team members.
the week of April 1, 2003 the NJOEM launched the CERT Program
in each of New Jersey's 21 counties. Each county has designated
a CERT Coordinator. To see the list, click
here [.doc - 31k].
NJOEM CERT PROGRAM CONTACT INFO:
CERT TRAIN-THE-TRAINER (T-T-T) COURSES SCHEDULED
For a CERT Train The Trainer course flyer
click here [pdf - 72k].
For a CERT Training application
click here [pdf - 11k].
T-T-T course is open to all police, fire and emergency management
personnel who will be implementing the CERT program in their
communities. The course will provide the basics in managing
and implementing the CERT program. There is no cost for attending
for training, call 609-584-5000 ext.5220. For a training application
click here [pdf - 11k].
"BECOME A CERT VOLUNTEER BROCHURE"
in promoting the CERT program in your community, the "Become
a CERT Volunteer" brochure [pdf - 201k] is available
ABOUT CERT FOR MAYORS AND OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS
Mayor" letter issued jointly with the NJ League of
Municipalities on May 5, 2003. It provides an overview of
the CERT Program and resources provided by FEMA and NJOEM
to support it.
A [pdf - 125k] - List of NJ State Citizen Corps Council
Attachment B - County
Attachment C [pdf - 245k]
- Registration Form for Citizen Corps Councils.
Attachment D [pdf -
148k] - CERT Brochure
Flyer [pdf - 103k]
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE
already a volunteer or career EMT/Firefighter/Police Officer.
Can I help train the CERT Teams ?
you are interested in becoming a part of the instructional
team for the local CERT, contact your municipal emergency
management coordinator, or the county CERT Coordinators listed
a municipal emergency management coordinator. Can I use a
CERT to address other
emergency management needs ? Can team members respond to the
EOC and help with phones, conduct damage assessment, etc.
is a question the community must address during the planning
stages of its CERT program. Some individuals will be very
willing to assist in the EOC or help out with tasks outside
their home or neighborhood. Others will not. The core principle
of CERT is "neighbor helping neighbor," but if you
view an expanded mission for the CERT, then you must discuss
it with potential team members. FEMA's website provides examples
of how CERT teams are used across the country.
alternative is to provide [optional] additional training for
CERT members who are willing to meet help out the municipality
with basic emergency management tasks.
key points to remember are:
CERT mission should meet the needs and expectations of individuals
who want to volunteer. This will enhance recruitment and
retention of team members.
CERT team members must be provided adequate training for
the job they are expected to perform.
funding available for CERT Teams ?
Jersey has received grant funding in the amount of $527,375.00
from FEMA to support the Citizen Corps/CERT initiative. Working
through the state, county, and local network of Citizen Corp
Councils, these monies will be utilized to fund CERT training
programs and equip the instructors and students with the materials
needed to support training. A population based formula has
been utilized to allocate the funding throughout New Jersey.
The program will emphasize "performance based funding"
whereby those counties and municipalities that are actively
endorsing and participating in the program will receive a
larger share of the support funds available.
a few communities, CERT organization have formed IRS 501(c)3
organizations for non-profit status. This allows them to conduct
fund raising and accept donations.
the difference between CERT, Citizen Corps, and Freedom Corps
Corps is the Federal Government's effort to "...enhance
opportunities for Americans to serve their neighbors and their
nation." Its major program components are AmeriCorps,
Senior Corps, The Peace Corps, and Citizen Corps.
Corps is designed to engage citizens in the Homeland Security
effort. Programs represented under the Citizen Corps program
are: Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, the
Medical Reserve Corps, Operation TIPS, Citizen Corps Councils
and the CERT Program. New Jersey's Citizen Corps Coordinator
is Major Dennis DelFava, Acting Commanding Officer, NJ State
Police Emergency Management Section, Deputy State Director,
NJ Office of Emergency Management.
about liability ?
you are an municipal emergency management or public safety
official, it is wise to speak with your municipal attorney
about any and all volunteer management issues while the program
is under development. FEMA's website provides a discussion
paper on CERT and liability.
NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE
- USEFUL LINKS
WEB RESOURCES FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM MANAGERS