Starting a CERT Program

Step 1: Assessing Needs

Can trained and prepared community members in their neighborhood and workplace respond until professional help arrives? Can trained CERT members be a resource to you for special projects or when extra hands are needed to support your efforts? The answer to both of these questions is YES!

The CERT Role in Your Community

It is too cost prohibitive for response agencies to staff for major disasters or even for large emergencies. One way that response agencies seek to solve resource shortages is through mutual aid agreements and other cooperative efforts. But in a disaster setting, mutual aid partners may be unable to provide support or there may be damage to transportation routes, communication links, or other critical infrastructure that prevents a rapid response.

Your Community's Hazard Analysis

To determine what could potentially affect your community's response capability and, therefore, the potential roles for CERT teams, it is good to start by reviewing the community's hazard analysis.

Your local Emergency Manager probably has already done one. He or she should be able to provide you with the analysis and any background information you need about the hazards facing your community.