What is CERT?
Following the events of September 11, 2001, Citizen Corps was launched as a grassroots strategy to strengthen community safety and preparedness through increased civic participation. Citizen Corps is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and within the Department of Homeland Security, but is implemented locally.
The Community Emergency Response Team program (CERT) is one of five federal programs promoted under the umbrella organization of Citizen Corps and is a critical program in the effort to engage everyone in America in making their communities safer, more prepared, and more resilient when incidents occur.
What is REACT/CERT?
Prior to the federal implementation of CERT, the City of Richmond offered its own community-based emergency preparedness organization, Richmond Emergency Action Community Teams (REACT). Once CERT was created, REACT was folded into the federal CERT guidelines and REACT/CERT was implemented.
REACT/CERT is maintained under the leadership of the City of Richmond, Fire Department Office of Emergency Services. REACT/CERT students are trained by the Richmond Fire Department and certified volunteer community trainers. REACT/CERT students receive 20 hours of free life-saving training and attend disaster drills yearly. Upon completion of the training and drill, students graduate with a certificate, vest, and a hard hat imprinted with the CERT logo.
What is Point Richmond CERT?
Under the umbrella of REACT/CERT, each neighborhood within Richmond is encouraged to develop its own neighborhood team to provide emergency assistance and be the initial responders to their neighborhood in an emergency. In addition to encouraging its members to become fully CERT trained and providing free monthly informational home-preparedness programs for Point Richmond residents, Point Richmond CERT coordinates and communicates with other CERT neighborood teams, including North & East, Marina Bay, Richmond Annex, Tara Hills, and Atchison Village.
Point Richmond CERT offers information so as to mitigate crises in within Point Richmond in the event of an emergency, plan infrastructure to address the unique needs of Point Richmond during a disaster, and offers a web of connectivity to other area services that will be vital in times of crisis. While Point Richmond CERT membership is free and open to any Point Richmond neighbor, members are encouraged to become fully CERT qualified during REACT/CERT's twice-yearly trainings.