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North Carolina
Community Emergency Response Team Program
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 not immediately available to help. CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.
CERT Values
Safety, safety, safety.
Teamwork: stronger together than alone.
Community members helping each other in the neighborhood, workplace, schools and other venues.
Valuing volunteers and CERT as an asset to the community.
Importance of each individual's contribution.
Practice, practice, practice.
Self-sufficiency and problem-solving rather than the victim role.
Ability to do the greatest good for the greatest number in the shortest amount of time.

In North Carolina, we are proud to have....

  1. 84
  2. 292
    CERT Instructors
  3. >1200
    Active Volunteers
  4. 57
    Counties with CERTs
CERT Basic Training Includes:
  1. 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, etc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 medical care.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 victims.
  6. 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 team operations.
  7. Disaster Psychology
    CERT members might see and hear things during a disaster that are unpleasant and uncomfortable. They must prepare themselves for their response role by learning about the possible impacts of disasters on themselves and others, emotionally and physically.
  8. 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.
  9. Course Review & Disaster Simulation
    This unit brings it all together as we review everything we have learned and put it to the test in a full-scale exercise.