You are here

CERT - Community Emergency Response Team

Contact us

What is CERT?

CERT stands for Community Emergency Response Team. Members are all volunteers who play a role in supporting professional first responders. CERTs teach people about how to prepare for disasters that can happen in their communities. CERTs learn basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue and medical operations.

As a CERT member, you can play an important role in helping people in your neighborhood or workplace before, during and after an emergency.

Download the CERT Brochure [PDF]  

How does Serve Washington support CERT programs?

Serve Washington does not run local CERT programs.  We work with local CERTs to make sure their programs meet credentialing and other state requirements for volunteers and disaster workers. We provide support to organizations, groups and individuals who wish to start a CERT program in their community. We also help connect interested volunteers to CERT programs in their area.

What can CERT volunteers do during emergencies?

CERT members talking to a child with a sling on his arm

  • Provide basic first aid
  • Check on neighbors
  • Support local emergency centers
  • Connect disaster survivors to resources
  • Serve meals
  • Distribute information to the public
  • Staff lost child booths at booths and at disaster preparedness events during non-emergency community  events

Who can be a volunteer on a CERT?

CERT instructors believe that everyone can serve their communities before, during and after a disaster. CERT welcomes participants of all backgrounds and abilities. Teens and adults of all ages can participate on a CERT.

Anyone 18 or older can receive CERT training and join a local CERT. Teens between 13-17 can participate with written permission from their parent or guardian. Youths between 11 and 12 must obtain written permission from their parent or guardian and the parent or guardian must accompany them to CERT trainings and events.

How do I become part of a CERT?

The first step to becoming a CERT volunteer is to complete a CERT basic class. Then you can join a CERT team in your area. Click here to find an active CERT near you.

If you still can’t find an active CERT team in your area, contact our state CERT Coordinator, Celso Rangel.

Where do I find a CERT Training?

The Washington Department of Emergency Management has a training calendar you can search for CERT classes in your area. All CERT classes are FREE!

Instruction and course materials are available in Chinese (simplified and traditional), English, Korean and Spanish. Braille materials are available on request.

If you still can’t find a CERT class you need near you or you would like to work with a local CERT sponsoring organization to hold a class in your area, contact our state CERT Coordinator, Celso Rangel.

CERT Resources

View a list of useful resources for current and prospective CERT members.

This page also has tools for CERT prorgam managers and instructors.

Other Citizen Corps Programs

Find a local opportunity to help in your community through one of our Citizen Corps partners. 

CERT logoCitizen Corps logo