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What is CERT?

The CERT program/training is a Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) created community program that educates residents about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area.  CERT volunteers will be trained by a certified CERT trainer in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.  Using training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT volunteers can assist others in their community following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help.  CERT volunteers are also encouraged to support their emergency response agency by taking an active role in emergency preparedness projects.


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CERT is about readiness - people helping people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people during a disaster. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where community members will initially be on their own.  The actions of the CERT members can make a difference.  Through training, they can manage utility shut-offs, and put out small fires.  They can treat victims by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock.  They can provide basic medical aid, search for and rescue victims safely, and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective in disaster situations.

Be a CERT Ham

CERT Hams play the role of communicators in several ways during a disaster.

Bodega Bay CERT Hams are FCC licensed amateur radio operators who prepare for Bodega Bay potential disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and a variety of other emergencies.

CERT Classes and Training


"Introduction to Community Emergency Response Teams," IS-317, is an independent study course that serves as an introduction to CERT for those wanting to complete training or as a refresher for current team members. It takes between six and eight hours to complete the course. Those who successfully finish it will receive a certificate of completion. It has six modules with topics that include:

  • Introduction to CERT

  • Fire Safety

  • Hazardous Material and Terrorist Incidents

  • Disaster Medical Operations

  • Search

  • Rescue

IS-317 can be taken by anyone interested in CERT. However, to become a CERT volunteer, one must complete the classroom training offered by a local government agency such as the emergency management agency, fire or police department.


Contact your local emergency manager to learn about the local education and training opportunities available to you. Let this person know about your interest in taking CERT training.

Today is a good day to start preparing.

Every step you take moves you closer to readiness.

In the event of a disaster, you may be alone for up to 5-7 days. Bodega Bay CERT provides information and training to keep you and your family safe, warm, and fed in the event of a disaster

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PO Box 451, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of DHS. Bodega Bay CERT is a California non-profit corporation exempt from federal tax under section 501 (c) (3 ) of the Internal Revenue Service.


© 2019 by Bodega Bay CERT