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Good Stories

The Citizen Corps Good Stories provided here have been developed in association with the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) in support of the Lessons Learned Information Sharing website, This website provides a national, online network of lessons learned and best practices designed to help emergency response providers and homeland security officials prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from all hazards including terrorism.

Citizen Corps and are constantly working together to improve citizen and community preparedness by identifying and promoting good stories and lessons learned. Good Stories showcase innovative and exemplary Citizen Corps programs from all disciplines. Lessons Learned identify and share lessons learned from the actual experience of Citizen Corps volunteers from across the country. Both Good Stories and Lessons Learned provide ideas from which other Citizen Corps Programs, Partners, and Affiliates can develop their own initiatives.

New Jersey's State Citizen Corps Council

The New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council (NJSCCC) serves as an umbrella organization to coordinate all Citizen Corps programs in the state. The NJSCCC funds and oversees all local Citizen Corps programs from the state headquarters. This promotes statewide consistency in training, resources, and public awareness initiatives for all New Jersey Citizen Corps programs.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 86KB)

Managing Volunteers During Shelter Operations

Citizen Corps Councils can use a volunteer request hotline to manage volunteers when operating shelters. This will enable Councils to quickly match requests for volunteers with the available volunteers at the site.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 52KB)

Pre-Ordering Identification Clothing for Volunteers

Citizen Corps Councils can pre-order vests and other forms of identification clothing to distribute to volunteers at a deployment site. These forms of identification can help distinguish volunteers from the general public as well as trained volunteers from untrained, spontaneous volunteers.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 52KB)

New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council's Distribution of Utility Trailers to Community Emergency Response Teams

The New Jersey State Citizen Corps Council (NJSCCC) offers qualifying Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) utility trailers equipped to serve as Mobile Command Posts, triage stations, and incident support centers. These trailers provide CERTs with the necessary tools to assist professional emergency responders during an incident.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 85KB)

Fairfax County, Virginia, Citizen Corps Council's "Ready… Pack… Go" Campaign

The Fairfax County, Virginia, Citizen Corps Council's "Ready… Pack… Go" campaign uses faith-based leaders to engage the community and to encourage emergency preparedness.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 72KB)

Independence, Missouri's, Coordinated Volunteer Program

The city of Independence, Missouri, operates a coordinated volunteer program through Independence Citizen Corps (ICC). The program organizes volunteers and volunteer opportunities with the city government and Citizen Corps programs. A volunteer business plan served as a catalyst for the development and management of the Independence Citizen Corps volunteer program.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 63KB)

Public-Private Partnerships: Promoting King County, Washington's, 3 Days, 3 Ways, Are You Ready? Preparedness Program

The King County, Washington, Office of Emergency Management, in coordination with other regional emergency management agencies, partners with radio station KOMO, the Seattle Mariners, the American Red Cross (ARC), and Phillips Medical Systems to deliver King County's 3 Days, 3 Ways, Are You Ready? preparedness message to the community during the Mariners' baseball season.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 50KB)

Boca Raton CERT's Breakfast with Firefighters Program

Boca Raton started a "Breakfast with Firefighters" program in order to strengthen the relationship between the Boca Raton Fire Department (BRFD) and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). In Phase 1 of the program, every fire station in the city was briefed on CERT and its function. In Phase 2, which is currently being carried out, CERT members are invited to their local fire station on Saturdays, where they participate in Saturday morning equipment checks and station maintenance and learn about firefighters' jobs. By building relationships between the BRFD and CERT, Boca Raton is setting the stage for successful BRFD/CERT cooperation and combating the skepticism with which many emergency responders view CERT.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 33KB)

Deerfield Beach's Neighborhood Outreach CERT Recruitment Program

Deerfield Beach wanted to increase the size of its Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), so the Office of Hazard Mitigation organized Neighborhood Outreach block parties in each of the city's 17 neighborhoods to publicize CERT and recruit new members.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 29KB)

Detroit, Michigan's Citizen Corps Special Event Partnership

The Detroit, Michigan Citizen Corps' Special Event Program supplies local sports and entertainment venues with trained volunteer security personnel who supplement professional security staff during special events. The program helps alleviate the burden on stadium security officials and provides the public with an increased sense of safety.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 60KB)

Harris County, Texas Citizen Corps' Response to Hurricane Katrina

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Harris County, Texas, Citizen Corps--under the leadership of Harris County Judge Robert Eckels--coordinated a massive volunteer effort to provide evacuees with temporary housing at make-shift shelters throughout the Houston metropolitan area. The volunteers sheltered roughly 15,000 Louisiana residents in Houston's Reliant Astrodome, while thousands more were housed in the nearby Reliant Arena, Reliant Center, and George R. Brown Convention Center.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 198KB)

South Dakota Highway Patrol and Minnehaha County Reserve Law Enforcement Officers Major Sobriety Checkpoints

The South Dakota Highway Patrol (SDHP) employs volunteer reserve police officers from the Minnehaha County Office of Emergency Management's (OEM) Reserve Law Enforcement Unit (MCRLEU) to supplement full-time officers at sobriety checkpoints in and around Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 61KB)

The Arizona Division of Emergency Management's Use of Community Emergency Response Teams in State Exercises

Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) exercise planners incorporated Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) into their 2005 Statewide Eastern Region Exercise. This exercise helped establish CERT volunteers as important components in the support of emergency responders during a major incident.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 89KB)

The District of Columbia Citizen Corps' Automated Local Emergency Resource Tracking System

The District of Columbia Citizen Corps Program, a division of the District of Columbia office of the Commission on National and Community Service (CNCS), has developed the DC Citizen Corps Automated Local Emergency Resource Tracking System (ALERTS), a tool for managing donated resources. ALERTS is a browser-based, database-driven system that tracks donated resources and allows CNCS administrators to assign them to the city agencies and emergency responders who need them. ALERTS streamlines the management of volunteers and donations prior to, during, and after emergencies.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 228KB)

Volunteer Management - Creating a Directory of Potential Volunteers

Citizen Corps Councils should develop and maintain a member directory that contains potential volunteers' contact information, skill sets, and available resources. A member directory will enable Citizen Corps coordinators to rapidly mobilize volunteers with relevant qualifications during an emergency.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 48KB)

Volunteer Management - Specifying Needs in Volunteer Requests

When recruiting volunteers, Citizen Corps Coordinators should include specific instructions in their announcements. These instructions should contain the number of volunteers needed, the required skills, and where and when volunteers would be expected to report for duty.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 48KB)

Washington, DC's Emergency Volunteer Traffic Corps

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and Citizen Corps DC worked together to train volunteers to direct traffic during emergencies, relieving demands on police officers' time. The Emergency Volunteer Traffic Corps (E-VTC) was launched during the World War II Memorial dedication in May of 2004.
Full Story (pdf icon PDF, 59KB)