CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team, an initiative that came out of President Bush’s call in 2002 to Americans to volunteer service to their country.
CERT is one of the primary training initiatives to prepare the public to meet the challenge of a natural or man-made calamity or disaster in their community. It is one of five programs that fall under the umbrella of The Citizen Corps Program (CCP) which was created to spearhead this effort to harness the power of individuals through education, training and volunteer service. Other CC Programs include Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS), Fire Corps, and Medical Reserve Corps.
The program envisions that trained citizens who volunteer can make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues and disasters of all kinds.
Hundreds of communities in all 50 states and Puerto Rico have established CERT programs.