CERT Training


New member kit

Intro to Emergency Prep

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is based on a foundation of modules that educate individuals about disaster preparedness for hazards that impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search-and-rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.

Our 23-hour basic CERT course utilizes material provided to CitizenCorps by FEMA's Emergency Management Institute, augmented by material that is specific to the northwestern California region. Continuing education is an important part of the program.

Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their community, tribe, neighborhood or workplace following a disaster when professional responders are not immediately available to help.

Our intensive course is typically held over a long weekend: Friday afternoon, all day Saturday, and all day Sunday. Training is often free, thanks to generous grants and community donations.

While we had temporarily suspended our in-person CERT trainings during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now cautiously reintroducing classes.

To maintain safety and facilitate the large numbers of people desiring training, we have developed a hybrid course with 12 hours online and hands-on skills in-person.  (Details are available in this flyer and video explaining the new model.)

For information on upcoming CERT trainings, please contact:

Graduates from this course receive a CERT hard-hat, reflective vest, leather work-gloves, goggles, a dust mask, flashlight, and CERT backpack, thanks to California Volunteers.


  • Disaster Preparedness
    • Addresses hazards to which people are vulnerable in their communities.
    • Provides materials covering actions participants and their families should take before, during and after a disaster.
    • Discusses the expanded response role for civilians as disaster workers and the applicable laws governing volunteers.
    • Customized for expected Northern California natural and man-made disasters.
  • Team Organization
    • Addresses CERT organization and management principles, plus the need for documentation.
  • Disaster Medical Ops, Part 1
    • Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.
  • Disaster Medical Ops, Part 2
    • Covers evaluating patients by doing a head-to-toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, performing basic first aid, and practicing in a safe manner.
  • Disaster Psychology
    • Covers signs and symptoms of stress or trauma that might be experienced by the disaster victim and worker.
  • Disaster Fire Safety
    • Briefly covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards and fire suppression strategies.
    • Teaches the safe use of the fire extinguishers, sizing up the situation, controlling utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.
  • Light Search-and-Rescue Ops
    • Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, and most important, rescuer safety.
  • Terrorism and CERT
    • Defines terrorist goals, weapons, and risks posed by various threats. Identifies cues when a terrorist attack may be imminent.
  • Review and Drill

In-class instruction


Learning to apply dressings


Working as a team to find and help people in a mock emergency


Fire-safety practice


Observing safety drills

Already trained? Advance your skill with continuing education at our additional training events or join us on Facebook under Humboldt CERT Coalition.