Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


Each year many Nebraska communities are impacted by severe weather such as tornadoes, floods, flash floods and winter storms. In addition to these concerns, we also have to be prepared for "man-made" disasters including hazardous materials incidents, acts of terrorism or other targeted violence.

The damage caused by such disasters can affect everyone. Disasters can severely restrict and overwhelm emergency response resources, communications, transportation and utilities, leaving individuals and neighborhoods cut off from outside emergency support.


Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training prepares community members for emergencies. Upon completion of the CERT training, the participants will be able to:

  • Describe the function of CERT and its roles during an immediate response
  • Take steps to prepare themselves for a disaster
  • Describe the types of hazards most likely to impact their homes and communities
  • Conduct scene assessments and basic medical triage
  • Perform head-to-toe assessments
  • Select and set up a treatment area
  • Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding and treating shock
  • Employ basic treatments for various wounds
  • Describe the techniques for searching a structure
  • Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes and workplaces
  • Identify planning and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations
  • Use safe techniques for debris removal and victim extrication
  • Work as a team to use standard equipment to apply basic fire suppression and safety measures to extinguish a fire

Course Agenda (Instruction Modules)

  1. Disaster Preparedness
    Introduction to disasters, impact of disasters on infrastructures and the role of CERT in disaster response.
  2. Disaster Fire Suppression
    Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards, basic fire suppression strategy, resources and techniques.
  3. Disaster Medical Opera
    Treatment strategies for life-threatening conditions and principles of triage. Head-to-toe assessments, treatment for various injuries.
  4. Light Search and Rescue Operations
    Techniques for size-up and search, lifting, cribbing and removing victims, rescuer safety.
  5. Pre-Storm Operations
    Protecting your home from severe weather, personal readiness, CERT equipment, organizing your team.
  6. Post-Storm Operations
    Organizing, deploying teams, communications and recovery.
  7. Weapons of Mass Destruction
    Important things you need to know about chemical, biological and nuclear terrorism.

Get Involved

First, contact your local Emergency Management Agency to find out about the availability of courses in your area. Or contact the CERT Administrator for the state of Nebraska.

Second, recruit 25 to 30 interested people from your community, neighborhood, school or business interested in participating.

Third, determine your class meeting schedule. It could be over a weekend or during the week depending on the availability of instructors, the CERT course can be completed in a weekend or scheduled to meet once a week until all the course modules are covered.

Fourth, determine a suitable location for your training. The instructors bring all the equipment and supplies need for the classroom presentations and practical exercises.

Additional Information

The CERT program for Southeast Nebraska is administered by Lancaster County Emergency Management. You can call the Nebraska CERT administrator at 402-441-7441. For more information or presentations on a number of topics contact us at: 402-441-7441