FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CERT, CALL 1-877-CERT-411 (1-877-237-8411)
ABOUT THE CERT PROGRAM
A key component of our State's community preparedness and participation initiative is the Citizen Corps Program. Citizen Corps provides opportunity for citizen volunteers to become active and involved in homeland security and emergency management activities designed to make individuals, their families and their communities safer, stronger and better prepared to deal with a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. Citizen Corps offers five (5) core programs:
In addition, Citizen Corps advocates and supports citizen involvement in any other volunteer oriented program designed and/or formed to support these goals.
Our State strategy for Citizen Corps program implementation and overall citizen preparedness is based on a teamwork, partnership and collaboration approach. Citizen Corps programs and activities are coordinated by a network of Councils established to facilitate the growth and development of the programs. New Jersey was the first state to achieve 100% coverage of its citizenry by a network of Councils statewide.
CERT is our most successful program to date.
CERT – THEN AND NOW
The CERT concept dates back to 1985, when the Los Angeles Fire Department recognized that in the early stages of a disaster – earthquakes in particular – local emergency responders would be overwhelmed, and basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of community members to survive until responders or other assistance arrived.
Recognizing the universal value of this program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worked in conjunction with the LAFD to make the CERT program applicable to all types of hazards and developed a CERT training program which could be used nationwide and adapted to meet local conditions when the need arose.
The tragic events of September 11 remind us that disaster can strike anywhere or anytime, and that basic safety and disaster survival skills can mean the difference between life and death. CERT training empowers community members to prepare responsibly and respond appropriately when emergencies occur.
WHAT CERT TEAMS DO
CERT members give critical support to first responders in emergencies, provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.
ABOUT CERT TRAINING
If you join a CERT, you will receive basic-level training in the following areas:
Total training is usually about 20 hours, scheduled in 2-4 hour modules, over a period of weeks or months, in order to address the scheduling needs of team members. It's held in the community or county where you live.
Training courses, student materials and equipment are provided free of charge.
If you are an individual looking to join a local CERT Team, contact your municipal emergency management coordinator to see if the program is already active in your community, or if a CERT program is being developed. To find the telephone number of the municipal emergency management office, look in the telephone directory, or contact your County CERT Coordinator (12k pdf). Or, call 1-877-CERT-411 (1-877-237-8411) to obtain information about teams forming in your area.
STARTING A CERT PROGRAM IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Interest in CERT is sparked in many ways. Municipal Emergency Management Coordinators should first design a CERT program for their municipality and then recruit volunteers.
Sometimes existing organizations - civic associations, Neighborhood Watch Groups, parent-teacher associations, schools, businesses, etc. - will express an interest in expanding the group's mission to include the formation of a CERT Team. Any activity involving a CERT should be coordinated with the local emergency management office.
To establish a CERT, follow these steps:
SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL CERT PROGRAMS
In order to establish an CERT, the municipal emergency management coordinator, or designee, must attend the CERT Train-the-Trainer Program offered through the NJOEM Recovery Bureau. The CERT T-T-T is intended for individuals who will lead or coordinate a CERT Program, not for individual team members.
During the week of April 1, 2003 the NJOEM launched the CERT Program in each of New Jersey's 21 counties. Each county has designated a CERT Coordinator. To see the list,
click here (12k pdf).
NJOEM CERT PROGRAM CONTACT INFO
Howard Butt, CERT Coordinator
Map of NJOEM Operational Regions [pdf]
NORTH REGION CERT REP
Sgt. Cathy Moldenhauer
email@example.com SOUTH REGION CERT REP
A/SFC. Patrick Gorman
County CERT Coordinator Contact List (12k pdf)
Downloadable CERT Training Materials in English and Spanish - http://training.fema.gov/EMIWeb/CERT/
The CERT T-T-T course is open to all police, fire emergency management and other approved personnel who will be implementing the CERT program in their communities. The course will provide the basics in managing and implementing the CERT program. There is no cost for attending this course.
“BECOME A CERT VOLUNTEER BROCHURE”
For use in promoting the CERT program in your community, the " Become a CERT Volunteer" brochure [pdf - 201k] is available for download.
INFORMATION ABOUT CERT FOR MAYORS AND OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS
A "Dear Mayor" letter issued jointly with the NJ League of Municipalities on May 5, 2003. It provides an overview of the CERT Program and resources provided by FEMA and NJOEM to support it.
Attachment A [pdf - 125kb] - List of NJ State Citizen Corps Council Members
Attachment B [pdf - 12kb] - County CERT Coordinators
Attachment C [pdf - 245kb] - Registration Form for Citizen Corps Councils.
Attachment D [pdf - 148kb] - CERT Brochure
Flyer [pdf - 72kb]
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CERT PROGRAM
I'm already a volunteer or career EMT/Firefighter/Police Officer. Can I help train the CERT Teams?
If you are interested in becoming a part of the instructional team for the local CERT, contact your municipal emergency management coordinator, or the county CERT Coordinators listed above.
I'm a municipal emergency management coordinator. Can I use a CERT to address other emergency management needs ? Can team members respond to the EOC and help with phones, conduct damage assessment, etc. ?
This is a question the community must address during the planning stages of its CERT program. Some individuals will be very willing to assist in the EOC or help out with tasks outside their home or neighborhood. Others will not. The core principle of CERT is "neighbor helping neighbor," but if you view an expanded mission for the CERT, then you must discuss it with potential team members. FEMA's website provides examples of how CERT teams are used across the country.
Another alternative is to provide [optional] additional training for CERT members who are willing to meet help out the municipality with basic emergency management tasks.
Two key points to remember are:
NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAMS
CERT - USEFUL LINKS
CERT - USEFUL LINKS
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