CERT Training

I went through CERT training in early 2019, but seems like folks went their separate ways afterwards and the local EMA sponsor lost interest.  There’s a number of CERT teams in our area according to the FEMA CERT website, but a random phone call to the numbers listed result in either “no longer in service” or “we don’t do that anymore.”

If you’ve been through CERT training, what was your experience afterwards?  Is your group still active?


  • Comments (7)

    • 2

      Our community follows a “catch and release’ model. I did CERT training a few years ago  – and no continuing group has been formed.  If CERT is ever utilized, we will all be strangers – not the best way to work productively

    • 2

      I did it maybe a decade ago, I know maybe 2 of the people that I could possibly contact maybe with some digging.

      It’s deff an oversight, cuz a decently trained person with only the basics can only do so much without other people with any training.

      I did do the train the trainer thing but never used it

    • 3

      Overcaffeinated, I went through basic CERT in a state different from where I’m living now. Some of the instructors were amateur radio operators and encouraged CERT graduates to get their amateur radio license. From there, people were encouraged to get into amateur radio emergency response organizations.

      I’d call it the CERT “catch and release” model, with no expectation that the CERT basic graduates would be a cohesive group after the class. The CERT organizers taught a class each year. People with a strong interest in preparedness were encouraged to continue learning and bonding  with others in a different venue. 

      • 1

        Typo — I meant emergency communications, not emergency response

      • 1

        I feel like something similar happened, not necessarily by design, in my CERT program: The people who were really serious about learning the stuff (and, frankly, more competent) tended to get into ham radio, and there was another group (connected to CERT) of licensed amateur radio operators who the county could draft into service in a disaster. My likely next move is to get my license and contact the folks I knew in CERT who were in that group and move forward that way.

    • 1

      My county has enough of a formalized CERT program that they can direct basic training grads to neighborhood-specific sub-groups. It does not have enough of a formalized CERT program to mentor the leaders of those neighborhood-specific sub-groups or provide examples of or templates for activities the groups can do together to advance their training. My neighborhood group was not well managed, and the meetings really tried my patience, so I am hesitant to plug back in. :/ 

    • 4

      Hi, overcaffeinated — “Catch and release” is a common model that is used to train individuals how to cope with disaster scenarios and possibly spread that knowledge to help neighbors/family in a disaster.  I trained in CERT about 14 years ago when I retired.     Our particular group is VERY active with drills, etc., and has a superb network of HAM enthusiasts.  Our training Captain at the Fire Station said each person trained is one less person to rescue when emergency responders are spread too thin.   

      I participated in continuing ed and classes and drills and presentations to the general public until 2 years ago when I told my CERT group that I was quitting because my health would make me a liability instead of a resource in a disaster situation.    In my extended family of 6 adults, all of us have CERT experience.    In my opinion, CERT is the single greatest way to prep!

      San Diego County CERT