County to establish Community Emergency Response Team

The Pulaski County Emergency Management office will be establishing a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and will be looking for volunteers to become trained members of the CERT Team. Training will be provided by the Emergency Management office and will be free.

CERT History

In 2002, the US Government created a program call Citizens Corps. 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 through:

  • Preparing the public for local risks with targeted outreach
  • Engaging voluntary organizations to help augment resources for public safety, preparedness, and response capabilities
  • Integrating the whole community and using nontraditional resources to ensure disaster preparedness
  • CERT is one of those programs under the U.S. Citizens Corps.

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs.

CERT became a national program in 1993. There are now CERT programs in all 50 states, including many tribal nations and U.S. territories. Each is unique to its community, and all are essential to building a Culture of Preparedness in the United States. There are over 2,700 local CERT programs nationwide and more than 600,000 people have trained since CERT became a national program.

Comprehensive preparedness requires the whole community to participate and FEMA places tremendous value on communities that embrace a local “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” approach. Neighbors Helping Neighbors empowers community leaders to involve and educate individuals from their community about simple steps one can take to become more prepared. Forty-six percent of individuals expect to rely a great deal on people in their neighborhood for assistance within the first 72 hours after a disaster.

The Neighbor Helping Neighbor approach seeks to support state, tribal and local agencies, civic organizations, faith-based groups, and other community organizations that serve the whole community. Get involved in your community and act today!

Please contact the Pulaski County Emergency Management office for a CERT brochure and application on how you can become part of the CERT team. Applications for the May training schedule are due by April 25. 2022.

Email:   rkos@pulaskicounty.org or bwright@pulaskicounty.org   Phone 540-994-2574

For more information about CERT Teams, please visit Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Website at: https://www.ready.gov/cert