Universe of Information
Stored in this Portal
Portal Library of
CERT Start a New CERT Group
- Personal and professional goals achievement
- Improved personal leadership, including work / life balance
- Increased accountability and focus
- Improved self-awareness and perspective
- Growth in leadership competency and capacity
- Better systems for priority management
Planning Continuing training
Continuing training, exercises, and projects will be important for several reasons. It will help CERTs to maintain and improve their skills, it will keep volunteer involvement and interest high, and it will benefit the entire program and community. This step provides some possible topics and approaches to providing continuing training to CERT volunteers.
After the initial involvement with the hands-on training, how do you keep CERT graduates actively involved with the team and maintain their readiness? CERT trainers emphasize that this requires planning, communicating with team members, offering continued training opportunities, and recognizing CERT member accomplishments.
Experienced CERT Program Coordinators have identified several areas that require special attention. Paying careful attention to these issues can make your program more inclusive and more successful. Special Topics presents each of these issues, together with tips for working through each as well as resources that you can refer to for more information.
Records maintenance is an important part of your CERT program. You may want to track:
Organizing CERT communications
Communication between team members during CERT activation and operations is critical. During alert or mobilization, team members need to communicate rapidly and efficiently. How communications are organized becomes extremely important to CERT operations.
Organizing CERT Teams
Real incidents are chaotic, and CERT members have little or no experience in dealing with the chaos outside of drills and exercises. To bring order to chaos, CERTs are organized under the principles of the Incident Command System (ICS). CERT members, however, may have difficulty understanding how ICS works. This topic provides tips for making ICS easier for CERT members to understand.
Gaining Support and Recruiting
Regardless of how well you organize your CERT program, it can't succeed unless you have the support of the key stakeholders in your community. These stakeholders range from the chief elected and appointed officials to professional responders to the citizens whom you want to recruit. This step presents some issues that you may need to address and provides suggestions for gaining the support of all program stakeholders.
START - Simple Triage And Rapid Treatment
By using a casualty sorting system, you are focusing your activities in the middle of a chaotic and confusing environment. You must identify and separate patients rapidly, according to the severity of their injuries and their need for treatment.
Starting a CERT program requires resources—personnel, equipment, and materials—and some type of program funding will be required. Local government may be your source of funding, you may get a grant, or you may have to be creative in how you fund your program. Step 2: Identifying Resources, provides some suggestions to help you determine how much your program will cost and how to fund it.
As your CERT program grows, the partnerships that you established when starting your program will become even more important. You'll also want to develop new partnerships that will help your program expand. This step presents ideas for maintaining and expanding partnerships.
Community Hazard Analysis work sheet
Review your community's hazard analysis, and consider how CERTs could contribute in response to your community's high-risk and high-impact hazards. Some items to consider as you complete your review are listed below.
Review your community's hazard analysis, and consider how CERTs could contribute in response to your community's high-risk and high-impact hazards. Some items to consider as you complete your review are listed below. 1. Complete the matrix below to determine if the risks posed by your community's highest-risk hazards can be met by CERTs, given their areas of training, level of training, and experience.
Establishing a Training Cadre
The initial success of your program will depend on the quality of the basic classroom instruction. To ensure that your program is successful, you will need to establish a cadre of qualified trainers. The number of trainers will depend on the size of your program and the frequency of your training. Regardless of the size of your cadre, all instructors must be qualified. This step will help you identify instructors and establish standards so that all instructors present—and represent— your program well.
How can CERT augment your community's response capability? The answer to this question will help you determine the role CERTs should play. Many communities are forming Citizen Corps Councils. These councils can be a partner in helping you start a CERT program.
Initially, CERT programs were developed to assist communities in taking care of themselves in the aftermath of a major disaster when first responders are overwhelmed or unable to respond because of communication or transportation difficulties. As the CERT concept has taken hold across the country, however, CERTs have become much more than originally envisioned. CERTs have proven themselves to be an active and vital part of their communities' preparedness and response capability. For example, CERTs have been used to:
CERT Resources Requirement Worksheet
Listed below are resources you will need to start your CERT program. You may identify others, especially if you speak with one of the CERT Program Coordinators, but this information will get you started.
Acquiring Training Materials
The basic CERT Student Manual is provided in English and Spanish on the CERT website. There is, however, a broad range of support materials that you will need to conduct the CERT training. This step provides information about what you'll need.