Local government prepares for everyday emergencies; however, there can be an emergency or disaster that can overwhelm the community’s immediate response capability. While adjacent jurisdictions, State, and Federal resources can activate to help, there may be a delay for them getting to those who need them. The primary reason for Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) training is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
A success story about CERT comes from events during the wildfires in Florida. The Edgewater CERT helped emergency management and the fire department personnel by assisting with evacuation; handling donations; preparing food for firefighters, and answering the phone while the professionals were fighting the fire. This is a great example of CERT members and response personnel working together for the benefit of the community.