CERT educates individuals 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 training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are nor immediately available to help. CERT volunteers are also encourages to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.

TEEN CERT-As a teen, this is one very important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your friends in case of a disaster. This training teaches you about the potential disasters that could affect your area and how to safely and responsibly respond. The training also qualifies for community service credit hours for students.

CERT Basic Training Includes:

  • Disaster Preparedness -Emergency personnel are trained to handle all kinds of disasters, but they may not be immediately available in a catastrophic disaster. In such situations, members of the community may be on their own for several days or longer. They may have to rely on their own resources for food, water, medical care, etc.
  • Fire Safety & Utility Controls- CERTs play an important role in fire safety by extinguishing small fires before they become major fires. In this unit, we learn how to use an extinguisher and how to recognize when a fire is too big for us to attempt suppression. Also covered is how to shut off utilities when necessary.
  • Disaster Medical Operations - Part I - Simple Triage and Rapid Treatment (START) is a critical concept for initially dealing with casualties in a disaster. History has proven that 40% of disaster victims can be saved with simple and rapid care. 
  • Disaster Medical Operations - Part II - When disaster victims are sheltered together for treatment, public health becomes a concern. Measures must be taken to avoid the spread of disease. This is covered, along with some basic treatments. 
  • Light Search & Rescue Operations - This unit focuses on the three components of an effective search-and-rescue operation - sizeup, search, and rescue - and the methods and techniques that rescuers can use to locate and safely remove survivors.   
  • CERT Organization- The Incident Command System (ICS) is used by emergency response agencies to manage emergency operations. When CERTs activate, they become part of that system. ICS is also used for day-to-day operations.
  • Disaster Psychology- CERT members might see and hear things during a disaster that are unpleasant, uncomfortable, and upsetting. They must prepare themselves for their response role by learning about the possible impacts of disasters on themselves and others, emotionally as well as physically.
  • Terrorism and CERT  - As CERT members, we will not respond directly to a terrorist incident, but it is important that we have an awareness of possible threats. In this unit, we discuss what terrorism is, targets, weapons, indicators, preparations, and incident protocols for CERT.

The Basic CERT Training takes a total of approximately 20-30 hours.

For more information, and to see a complete list of current CERT programs in NC, please visit: ReadyNC.org.