A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a ready group of organized and trained volunteer disaster workers that operate at the neighborhood level. They are prepared to be self-sustaining for five days following a large disaster. When disaster strikes, CERT volunteers spring into action: they check on neighbors, suppress small fires, conduct light urban search and rescue, and provide emergency medical aid and psychological comfort to their neighbors.
In the post-disaster environment, CERT members organize and direct spontaneous volunteers who offer to assist in the community during the crisis. CERTs may also be called upon to help in other areas during emergencies even when their own neighborhood is not impacted.
The CERT Program prepares these volunteers with 20 hours of classroom and hands-on training. The training is provided by volunteer "subject matter" experts such as firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and building safety personnel.
This spirit of volunteerism, with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a part of the Citizen Corps Program.