Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

State Administrator


CaliforniaVolunteers is the State Administrator for the Citizen Corps Program and CERT. As the State Administrator, CaliforniaVolunteers supports registered CERT programs by:

  • Vetting and registering CERT programs on the National CERT website at
  • Providing limited CERT training materials (manuals and CERT PPE kits) to registered programs
  • Providing CERT Basic, CERT Train-the-Trainer, and CERT Program Manager course guidance
  • Providing 2-3 CERT Train-the-Trainer and Program Manager courses annually
  • Vet and approve CERT Train-the-Trainer course deliveries and instructors
  • Vet and approve CERT Program Manager course deliveries and instructors
  • Administering and maintaining a California CERT Advisory Workgroup
  • Providing a communication channel between Local CERT programs, County CERT programs, the State, and FEMA
  • Provide a resource library with additional CERT training information, videos, and links. This library is a compilation of resources from CERT programs in California


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Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services cannot always meet the substantially increased demand for their services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages can prevent people from immediately accessing emergency services through 9-1-1.

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.

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens to assist in times of disaster.

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CERT Basic

The purpose of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training is to provide the individuals who complete this course with the basic skills that they will need to respond to their community’s immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster, when emergency services are not immediately available. The target audience for this course is individuals who desire the skills and knowledge required to prepare for and respond to a disaster.

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CERT Train-The-Trainer

The purpose of this Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Train-the-Trainer(T3) course is to produce competent instructors for the CERT Basic Training course.





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CERT Program Manager

The purpose of this Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program Manager course is to prepare CERT Program Managers for the tasks required to establish and sustain an active local CERT program.




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