• FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards

    Apply for FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards...

    That's right - awards from FEMA for doing what your should already be doing!


    Individual and Community Preparedness Awards highlight innovative local practices and achievements by individuals and organizations that made outstanding contributions toward making their communities safer, better prepared, and more resilient.

    To be considered for this year’s awards, all submissions must be received by March 28, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EDT, and they must feature program activities between January 1, 2015, and March 28, 2016. Submit applications to citizencorps@fema.dhs.gov.

    Gear up and be Prepared! Gear up and be Prepared!

    Award categories include:
    • Outstanding Citizen Corps Council
    • Community Preparedness Champions
    • Awareness to Action
    • Technological Innovation
    • Outstanding Achievement in Youth Preparedness
    • Preparing the Whole Community
    • Outstanding Inclusive Initiatives in Emergency Management (new category)
    • Outstanding Private Sector Initiatives (new category)
    • Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives
    • Outstanding Citizen Corps Partner Program
    • America’s PrepareAthon! in Action (new category)

    Go here to download the application, and to read the application guidance.  

    Visit Ready.Gov for more information

  • CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Update

    Are you a member of your local CERT? Are you active? Are  you Updated?

    CERT Gear & Supplies CERT Gear & Supplies

    Citizen Corps and CERT Information Deadline

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has improved the online Citizen Corps/CERT Registration System and needs you to update your information by Friday, December 4. This will help FEMA provide you with better support. You can use this link to log into the system. A slide presentation is also available to help guide you through the update process:Cert+

    There are several reasons to update your program’s information:

    You will soon be able use the registration system to generate a printable report that will feature your specific program’s information. If your information in your profile is up-to-date, the information in your individual program report will be, too.

    This information is used  to develop reports, presentations, and talking points to promote Citizen Corps and CERT to internal and external stakeholders. The numbers that they use are far more effective and reliable when more programs update their information.

    FEMA has begun sharing some CERT registration data through Open FEMA. Please help to ensure that this information is accurate.

    By updating your information, you ensure that your program’s information is accounted for in the National Preparedness Report.

    When members of the public and other stakeholders look up your programs online, much of the information you provide through the system is visible on your public-facing online profile.
    All of the information that you provide is helpful, but the following data points are of the highest priority for the December 4 deadline:

    • Number of Volunteer Service Hours (Citizen Corps and CERT)
    • Number of Volunteers (Citizen Corps only)
    • Number of Individuals Who Have Completed CERT Basic Training Since Start of Program
    • Average Annual Deliveries of the CERT Basic Training
    • CERT Classes Graduated Since Start of Program
    • Citizen Corps Council Membership
    • CERT Response Activities

    If you have any questions, please direct them to your state point of contact. If they are unable to resolve your request, you can also contact us at citizencorps@fema.dhs.gov or cert@fema.dhs.gov.

  • Reach the 'Corps' of Preparedness in Your Community

    Are you a Team Player? We're not talking at work, nor sports... are you involved in assuring that your community is ready in case of emergency?

    FEMA_PrepareAthon Poster_Hurricane Artwork-500Want to get your community involved in disaster preparedness? Join Citizen Corps - through their invovement there is a national open network that uses outreach, training, and volunteer service to bring together leaders from volunteer programs, community and nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and government. Examples include CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) and the Youth Preparedness Council.

    You can get involved and help make your neighborhood safe in any calamity from hurricanes to wildfires, tsunamis to droughts, there are numerous types of disasters that require individual and community preparedness.

  • Prepare & Share

    OK - National Preparedness Month is almost over... and we'll end with a bang on 9/30 with America's PrepareAthon...

    You've done your part, right?

    You are Prepared at Home, at Work, and in your Car... now what?


    Once you’ve prepared yourself and your family, become a leader in preparedness.

    Teach others to be prepared and serve as an advocate for safety and emergency preparedness within your community.  Join the National Preparedness Coalition to get outreach resources, sample social media messages, and connect with other 'leaders in preparedness' around the county.

    In your outreach, we also encourage you to use resources like FEMA’s Are You Ready? Guide. The guide also has a Facilitator component (available to order through the FEMA Distribution Warehouse) and will give you helpful tips while serving as a good supplemental guide for families, neighbors, colleagues, businesses, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, community organizations and other groups interested in preparing for emergencies.

    Our partner organizations also offer instructional materials for trainers and educators:

    • FEMA-Sponsored Courses - Emergency Management Institute
    • CERT Training – National CERT ProgramCERT
    • Stop.Think.Connect.™ - The Department of Homeland Security’s national cybersecurity awareness campaignStop.Think.Connect. offers free resources for leading cybersecurity awareness activities and presentations for groups of all ages.
    • Crime Prevention Presentations - National Crime Prevention Council
    • Community Disaster Educator Certification - You can also lead by serving in an outreach and communications role.  Join our preparedness coalitions and look for local activities that are a part of these events:  National Preparedness Month, Resolve to be Ready, Minor League Baseball and more.

    Make your pledge to preparedness known by promoting your efforts and activities through local media and other promotional opportunities.  Being a leader means you are getting the word out – influence others to prepare by sharing your success as a community leader and providing opportunities for others to Get Involved.

    *** Don’t miss all our great Disaster Preparedness Articles, Tips, Survival Plans, Guides and Emergency Preparedness Recommendations in the National Preparedness Month Blog

  • History of the CERT Program

    The CERT program started in Los Angeles, California before making its journey across the United States and abroad. Officials from LA travelled to Japan in February of 1985 to study its disaster response plans. The team discovered that Japan had extensive training programs that were neighborhood-based, focusing on fire suppression, light search and rescue operations, first aid, or evacuation.   The LA group traveled to Mexico City following a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that killed more than 10,000 people. Although there had been no pre-disaster training, groups of volunteers conducted light search and rescue operations. The volunteers were credited with saving over 800 people, but over 100 volunteers died in the effort. Having determined that pre-disaster training was a valuable resource for the city, officials began training leaders of neighborhood watches to perform basic fire suppression, light search and rescue, and first aid. This first team of 30 people completed training in early 1986 and proved that the concept was viable through various drills, demonstrations, and exercises.

    Following the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake Los Angeles created the Disaster Preparedness Unit within the Fire Department. Their goals were to:

    • Educate and train the public and government sectors in disaster preparedness
    • Research, evaluate, and disseminate disaster information, and
    • Develop, train, and maintain a network of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs).

    In 1993, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decided to make the concept and program available to communities nationwide. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI), in cooperation with the LAFD, expanded the CERT materials to make them applicable to all hazards.

    The First CERT Program in Massachusetts

    The success of the Arlington, Massachusetts CERT program is due to the vision and dedication of a few individuals who believed that citizens have an important role in community preparedness, response and mitigation. Sticking with their vision for decades, Joe Marshall and a few other individuals are creating a thriving CERT program that recently graduated its first class of twenty-five people, from middle-school kids through retirees in their late sixties.

    This is the story of that community’s path in readiness.

    Be Prepared

    One of the founders of Arlington CERT, Joe Marshall, told me about its origins. “As Eagle Scouts, we began an Explorer Post, recruited other Scouts and girls who were interested in community service, particularly in the area of preparedness and emergency response. We asked for and received our Post number, which was ‘911,’ and became junior members of the Arlington Auxiliary Fire Department [a Civil Defense program dating from the beginnings of the Cold War].”

    As Joe and the kids got older, there was less interest in the training and activities. As he puts it, “I really started out basically as a big kid so I spoke their language. Then I got older and it got harder to keep them engaged.” Joe’s interest, however, never waned. Looking at the decline of archaic Civil Defense programs, he knew that the Auxiliary Fire Department program was going to end. He looked for other opportunities to serve and provide opportunities for others to be engaged.

    9-11 and the Citizen Corps

    Following 9/11/2001, the concept of the Citizen Corps gained ground. Joe attended a leadership program at the Emergency Management Institute in Maryland, and came back with additional skills and knowledge, including a sense of the direction preparedness was taking in the post-9/11 world.

    CERT Gear CERT Gear

    Learning how to write grant applications became a key skill. Joe notes that, “for a while, there was no grant money available, but I knew it was only a matter of time. When the RFPs started coming out, I applied, and finally received a couple of thousand dollars to replace the some of the aging equipment, and buy supplies. We applied for and received more grants, and were able to continue to replace our 30 year-old vehicle, obtain training and other equipment, and more supplies.”

    “We had a long track record of helping the town with public events and emergencies, and the support of the town. Even then we weren’t successful with every application. But I met with people who had gotten some grants who helped me improve the applications, and I became better at it.”

    Joe’s vision was to rebuild the community of volunteers who would be available to support the town and improve its readiness: now he had new resources and a new understanding of how the CERT program fit into the national readiness effort.

    We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

    Finally, in 2013 Joe was ready to begin to reach out to the wider community. He and the other members of the training team hoped that thirty people would show up for the informational meeting, and maybe twelve would complete the training program. They advertised the informational session, then waited, not knowing what to expect. In the words of training team member John Casey, “We had no idea how many people were going to show up. We were ready to spend the evening staring at each other.”

    Instead, thirty-five people showed up, aged 15 through the mid-60s. Joe and the training team were stoked. Thirty people showed up for the first class, and the trainers had to order more kits. In the end, twenty-five people completed the course, and are more prepared to protect their families, neighbors and community, as well as participate in additional training programs.

    The original CERT members responded to multiple incidents, including weather-related emergencies, water main bursts, and disease outbreaks. They have engaged in residential /neighborhood checks, general evacuation, sandbagging (when two lakes that were geographically separate began to flow into each other through a neighborhood), traffic and crowd management, staffing Emergency Operating Centers and shelters.

    They also have performed hazard and threat assessments, mitigation activities, support for emergency planning in neighborhoods, schools, and town-wide, and public safety activities at community events. That original team is excited about expanding its ability to prepare and protect the community with additional volunteers.

    The Town of Arlington, Massachusetts

    Arlington, MA is a medium-size community west of Cambridge and Boston with a population of 42,844. Seventeen percent of the population is over 65, which is higher than the national average (14%).

    The town has few industrial hazards, but due to its location, its central roads carry trucks bearing significant amounts and varieties of hazardous materials. It is also subject to weather-related emergencies, including snow, damaging winds, and flooding.

    Modified by Thomas Francisco - Community Manager (Contractor) - GovDelivery

  • CERT - Community Emergency Response Team

    CERT Gear CERT Gear

    CERT is a training program that prepares you to help yourself, your family, and your neighbors in the event of a disaster. During an incident, emergency service personnel may not be able to reach everyone immediately. By getting trained in CERT, you will have the skills to help emergency responders save lives and protect property. CERT participants will learn how to: - Identify and anticipate hazards - Reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace - Extinguish small fires - Assist emergency responders - Conduct light search and rescue - Set up medical treatment areas - Apply basic medical techniques - Help reduce survivor stress - Join your local CERT - and Get CERT Gear & Supplies!

    Cert Supplies Cert Supplies

    CERT GEAR-Community Emergency Response Team Supply, Clothing, Kits & More

    CERT GEAR - Community Emergency Response Team Equipment

    CERT Guides, CERT supplies, CERT Kits, CERT Apparel & Clothing: All Community Emergency Response Team Supplies - Community Emergency Response Team, CERT, leaders and CART Team members... We offer all your CERT specific emergency supplies, kits - Even CERT Hats, Patches with logo, ponchos, guides, form, handbooks and staging supplies... New CERT Member will lover our CERT Starter Pack, and CERT teams be sure to contact us Toll Free for quantity purchasing needs - especially for CERT Vests, Helmets, Action Response Units and CERT Team response Gear.

    CERT Supplies - From CERT Starter Kits to CERT Shirts & Apparel, we've got all your Community Emergency Response Team Equipment

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