Clark Regional CERT Program: Citizen Emergency Response Teams

Clark Regional CERT Program


What is a "CERT"?

In Clark County, Washington, "CERT" stands for Citizen Emergency Response Team. A Citizen Emergency Response Team is a volunteer team of ordinary citizens committed to disaster preparedness and response. They have gone beyond the level of personal preparedness recommended for all citizens. They are trained through a 7-week course to care for their neighborhoods in a disaster situation.

Why are CERTs needed?

During the first 72 hours of a disaster or other large-scale emergency, public safety professionals are overwhelmed with requests for help. Spontaneous citizen volunteers actually make eighty percent of successful rescues following a disaster. Unfortunately, many Good Samaritans are themselves killed or injured in the process. They may also cause further harm to injured or trapped victims by improper first aid or inappropriate extrication techniques.

Since people naturally respond to help spontaneously in a disaster, it is better if they have some training in how to help others more effectively. CERT training provides a structured curriculum that not only tells them how to help, but reinforces the rules of disaster safety to keep rescuers safe.

CERTs save lives and protect property that otherwise would be lost in the early hours of a disaster. They also relay valuable information to responders that will lead to better resource allocation when professional resources are overtaxed. CERTs are a critical human resource when disaster strikes.

Our CERT members have made a personal commitment to disaster preparedness. How about you?


©2002 Clark Regional C.E.R.T. Program

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