Community Emergency Response Team

Emergency Management

Emergency Management

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

CERT program of Douglas County, Kansas.

What does a CERT Volunteer do?

Affiliated Volunteers:

The DCEM CERT volunteer works under the direction of Emergency Management staff to prepare themselves, family members and friends for a local disaster event. Members participate in trainings and exercises to help ensure the community is ready for disasters and emergencies. They also assist in supporting community outreach events and planned events to hone their skills. Affiliated volunteers may be assigned different tasks by Emergency Management based upon the requests for support.

As an individual:

The CERT training is designed to help you help others in the first seventy-two (72) hours of an event. By taking the CERT class, you will gain knowledge and skills to prepare yourself for emergencies and may be able to provide basic emergency response assistance in a disaster to family members, co-workers or neighbors.


CERT Background

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet their immediate needs. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens and private and government employees.

The training program that LAFD initiated makes good sense and furthers the process of citizens understanding their responsibility in preparing for disaster. It also increases their ability to safely help themselves, their family and their neighbors. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes the importance of preparing citizens. The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) and the National Fire Academy adopted and expanded the CERT materials believing them applicable to all hazards.

The CERT course will benefit any citizen who takes it. This individual will be better prepared to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster. In order to effectively respond to and recover from any emergency or disaster, each individual must take an active role in their own preparedness. You can take the following steps to be better prepared:



How do I register to take the next CERT class?

You can register for the next CERT class by filling out the Registration Form. The next CERT Weekend Course will be offered in April 2024. If no class is scheduled or registration is full, you will be placed on the list to be notified of the next scheduled offering. 


How do I become a Volunteer?

For information on volunteering, please visit the Volunteer Application and Requirement section.



Meeting Location

All CERT meetings, unless otherwise stated, will be held at:

  • Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 2nd floor
  • Douglas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
  • 111 East 11th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044