Community Emergency Response Team’s


A Risk Management Overview For Local CERT Programs

CERT program activities can create risk and adverse consequences; however, perceptions about liability may be a larger barrier for CERT formation, activities and partnerships than is justified by reality. The purpose of this Guide is to offer information and suggested techniques to help CERT programs overcome this barrier. Those who will benefit from this information include local CERT programs, their sponsoring government agencies and legal advisors, and CERT members themselves. This guide also includes samples of forms and documents you may need to organize your CERT group.
Download the Cert Liability Guide

CERT Training Drill in Delhi, Ohio

CERT-drill1On Monday, April 18, the Southern Ohio Delhi CERT group had a disaster drill at Peace Lutheran Church in Green Township. 77% of the group responded to the call out and the exercise covered a three hour period ending with the debriefing.

The exercise included Search and Rescue, Triage, Treatment and continuing valuation for the victims. Explorer scouts and the Delhi fire department participated in this drill.

Bob Miller, planner of this event, summed it up in a few words. “It was our first exercise using Zello and a dispatch system. Since our organization had no trained dispatchers, FEMAC provided their support. We were not surprised that we identified a number of areas that need improvement.”


After the event, the team reviewed the training and discussed ways to improve their skills in preparation for the next drill. As a result, they are excited about doing more drills this coming year. See more at the  Delhi CERT – Facebook page

What good is CERT if you never do anything?

anderson_certIt can be a bit of a setback for the community emergency response team (CERT), if members of the program don’t have any natural disasters to handle. You’ll at least need the occasional snowstorm, flood, tornado or wildfire – something that allows the team to serve the community. Without much natural disaster activity, the Anderson County CERT was then left to get creative and principally manage non-weather emergencies: search and rescue, investigation support, and community events.
This happened and our program became dormant due to minimal resources and a lack of interest.
But that was short-lived, as the sheriff’s office assumed control of the agency bringing CERT with it.

Read the complete story

CERT Dispatcher Training

dispatch-class-320What is the number one item in most disaster operations that responders state needs improvement?


Is your team prepared to stay organized, efficient and and maintain constant communication?
On Sunday March 6, 2016 – FEMAC held their inaugural CERT Dispatcher training class focusing just on this topic. 7 Participants participated in this event. Some of the topics that were discussed were Roles and Responsibilities, Preparation and documentation for an event, and common communication technology utilizing the Zello app for both Iphone and Android. This class is ever evolving and we will be adding additions and updates as we gain more user feedback.

Please contact us for additional information on how we can assist your team. (


Cincinnati State Technical College gives hands-on Training to CERT students

February 29, 2016:
This past week the ITT Technical Institute CERT class was hosted by Cincinnati State Technical College Health and Public Safety Division. Department Director William Mehbod taught 23 students in Fire safety and Utility Controls as part of the CERT Basic Training – Unit 2.
He also provided the students with hands-on live fire training on light fire suppression using various fire extinguishers. Students appreciated the hands on training and a gas fire training pan allowed them to “feel the heat” so to speak of a real-life fire situation.

Shown in picture: Marlon Turner, left and Dishon Woody, right

To view all pictures, videos and class notes, CLICK HERE

Emergencies always start at the local level – CERT training is here to help

January 30, 2016: When FEMAC partnered with the Norwood Ohio campus of ITT Technical Institute and Breckinridge School of Nursing, we wanted to see if the surrounding communities were interested enough in emergency preparedness to get certified with the full 21 hour FEMA class. There are local CERT groups in the Cincinnati area, but rarely known by local police and fire.
When we approached local agencies across the city and explained that FEMA offers help to their first responders through CERT, we constantly got the same response, “Why didn’t we know about CERT?”
We initially expected to have a dozen or so students, but after the first week ITT relocated everyone to the largest classroom with over 30 people taking the class.
The next step after they get their CERT approval, is to find them an active team or help them create one in their home community.
We all know that when a big disaster hits our home town, the police and fire are not capable of such an event. We all need to feel comfortable by knowing we are prepared to help.

If you are interested in having CERT in your community or city, then contact Michele Drennen at ITT ( or CERT-ADMIN@FEMAC.US for more information.

ITT Technical Institute and Breckinridge School of Nursing offers first CERT Training Class


January 4, 2016: ITT Technical Institute and Breckinridge School of Nursing will start offering Basic CERT Training to local communities. The first CERT class will be held in the Norwood Ohio location, a suburb of Cincinnati. The class will begin in January and is expected to last 3 hours each week for a total of 9 weeks.
This FREE class will be offered on either Wednesdays 6:30PM-9:30PM or Saturdays 9AM-12PMn.
The class begins on Jan 20th or Jan 23rd.
“Download the flyer”
If you are interested in becoming CERT trained, then contact Michele Drennen at ITT ( or CERT-ADMIN@FEMAC.US for more information.

December 2015 CERT E-Brief: Teen CERT Edition

The December 2015 CERT E-Brief: Teen CERT Edition has just been released.
Click here to viewDec-CERT-TEEN-445-300

Reminder: Citizen Corps and CERT Information Deadline

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has improved the online Citizen Corps/CERT Registration System and needs you to update your information by Friday, December 4. This will help FEMA provide you with better support. You can use this link to log into the system. A slide presentation is also available to help guide you through the update process.

There are several reasons to update your program’s information:

You will soon be able use the registration system to generate a printable report that will feature your specific program’s information. If your information in your profile is up-to-date, the information in your individual program report will be, too.
We use this information to develop reports, presentations, and talking points to promote Citizen Corps and CERT to internal and external stakeholders. The numbers that we use are far more effective and reliable when more programs update their information.
We have begun sharing some CERT registration data through Open FEMA. Please help us to ensure that this information is accurate.
By updating your information, you ensure that your program’s information is accounted for in the National Preparedness Report.
When members of the public and other stakeholders look up your programs online, much of the information you provide through the system is visible on your public-facing online profile.
We value all of the information that you provide, but the following data points are of the highest priority for the December 4 deadline:

Number of Volunteer Service Hours (Citizen Corps and CERT)
Number of Volunteers (Citizen Corps only)
Number of Individuals Who Have Completed CERT Basic Training Since Start of Program
Average Annual Deliveries of the CERT Basic Training
CERT Classes Graduated Since Start of Program
Citizen Corps Council Membership
CERT Response Activities
If you have any questions, please direct them to your state point of contact. If they are unable to resolve your request, you can also contact us at or

FEMAC helps improve communications within CERT teams

FEMAC now offers all Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) a way to communicate internally as well as to other CERT teams. This web interface is open to all members of any CERT team to check calendar of events for their own team as well as from other teams. This helps enable cross training between cities and communities.

 Team leaders have special privileges to post events as well as access to contact information of all team leaders, various training exercises, media information and much more. Try it out


Local Partnerships between American Red Cross and CERT

The host has ended this event.

We may post the archive in a few weeks, if it becomes available…


The American Red Cross and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) serve communities throughout the United States in a variety of ways before, during, and after emergencies. But while both programs accomplish a great deal individually, they can do even more when they work together. As partners, CERT and American Red Cross programs and volunteers can work to advance their mutual goals of increasing the preparedness and resilience of local neighborhoods and communities and offering vital assistance and support in the aftermath of disasters.

 The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to join a webinar that showcases successful partnerships between local American Red Cross regions and CERT programs. Three sets of American Red Cross and CERT programs serving three unique jurisdictions will discuss how they are working together to make their communities safer, stronger, and more resilient. Presenters will share how they established their partnerships, what lessons they learned from the experience, and how their collaboration benefited their programs and communities. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session.

Title: Local Partnerships Between the American Red Cross and CERT

Date: Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Time:  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (ET)

This webinar will feature American Red Cross and CERT guest speakers from the following jurisdictions:

  • Delaware County, PA
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI

How to Join the Webinar:


July 2015 CERT E-Brief

Volume 2 / Issue 3

CERT now has access to FEMAC communication tools

FEMAC now invites all CERT groups to communicate free to other members at any time. FEMAC will create your own CERT channel that can be used by all members, all invited agencies as well as outside CERT groups.
This allows people to increase their communications during training, during special events and especially during a real emergency.
Any user must have a valid 21 hour CERT certificate, a 1 hour FEMAC Communication Training, be over 18 and be on a valid FEMA approved team.
If you are a team leader and interested in using this free service, please join FEMAC as a partner and we schedule your training.

Want to get on board? Click here to print the FEMAC-CERT Partner Agreement

Dealing with the Media

Don’t wait until you are on the spot.
Practice and prepare what to say and how to say it.
Even CERT can be put on the spot with media.


Letter from Jack Snyder/ Director of HR:

Bill and I recently became certified by FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Program .  It was a very rewarding two months of training which included 21 hours of training with a great bunch of students.  We had fun while learning the basic skills first responders must know.  I recommend the program to all FEMAC volunteers to understand the role CERT volunteers play during an emergency. 


Jack, Leroy and Bill in Front with Some of the Team Members Behind

CERT Team members generally live in close proximity to where they train and will work together in their local community in case of a disaster. Because training is not given in many communities, we enrolled in an available class in Cincinnati. We are thankful that the CE CERT 5 Team warmly welcomed our participation.

Besides learning CERT procedures and goals, we were also able to act as outside advisers regarding improved forms of communication. Bill has made plans to help them use communication apps that will strengthen the Team’s communication during an emergency.


CERT Graduates Proudly Showing Their Certificates

 Leroy Shabazz, program coordinator and CERT Team leader, will be working with Bill to put the system in place. Leroy was a great instructor . Kudos to him for his hard work. He is a super guy, We had a great time and a lot of new friends were made.  Thanks for hosting the training!

A lot of new friends were made and a good time was had by all.   Thanks,

Jack Snyder

Webinar: Including People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in CERT Training

6.25.2015:  FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division is pleased to invite you to a webinar that focuses on practices that will help provide a positive and accessible experience for CERT participants with disabilities and others with access and functional needs.

Title: Including People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs in CERT Training

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Time:  3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (ET)

Guest speakers:

  • Gay Jones, FEMA Office of Disability Integration and Coordination (ODIC)
  • Kathryn Gerk, Emergency Services Manager, Richmond, CA Fire Department
  • Jennifer Fales, Emergency Management Coordinator, Kansas City, MO Office of Emergency Management

How to Join the Webinar:

Teen CERT: Enhancing School Emergency Management through Youth Engagement and Preparedness


After an emergency event, schools must sometimes wait for first responders to arrive. To equip students, staff, and schools with basic response skills and emergency preparedness concepts, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) established the Teen Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program to support high schools, which has been adapted from the adult CERT program.

On Thursday, May 14, 2015, the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS), and in conjunction with FEMA, hosted a Webinar on Teen CERT and how schools may use it to engage youth in school emergency management planning and promote student preparedness.

If you missed it, you can view the VIDEO  or  review the class notes



FEMA employees give out coloring books to children at a local health fair.


The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

NEW! Take the Adult Triage Test

All CERT trained people are expected to know this.

FEMAC – CERT Partners

Delhi CERT Cincinnati, Ohio

Ed Conrad (513-290-4750 or email

University of the Nations – Community Emergency Response Team Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Allan Robbins (808)-345-0940 or email

CECERT  Cincinnati, Ohio

 Leroy Shabazz   (513) 225-0522 or email



Want to be listed here? Become a Partner

NOTE: If you are creating a new CERT Program, you will need to register with your country before you can apply for FEMAC partnership.



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