The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
CERT is made up of 8 modules that cover various aspects of preparedness and the course is typically spread out over 8 weeks, in 2 1/2 hour, weekly classes. Everything comes together, culminating in a functional exercise, giving participants a hands on experience. Modules are taught by local responders when possible.