CERT training teaches emergency first-aid, basic rescue techniques, assessing a building to determine if it’s safe to enter, basic firefighting, disaster psychology, securing utilities, operating with a team and neighborhood search. CERT-trained citizens learn to work with other CERT members to form a team, go into their neighborhood after a disaster and “do the most good for the most people.”
The basic CERT curriculum is available to anyone. Among the many things the federal government does well is provide a well designed, easy-to-access curriculum for instructing CERT classes in your community. Lesson plans, video clips and PowerPoint slides are all available for easy download at no charge on the Citizen Corps website.
Developing an effective CERT program in a community involves more than simply instructing classes. The initial curriculum takes about 25 to 30 hours and is merely the foundation upon which a CERT Community must be built. Student enthusiasm begins with making the class worth a participant’s time. Minimize classroom lectures — CERT is about learning hands-on emergency skills.