Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)


Each year many Nebraska communities are damaged 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 that could include hazardous materials incidents and acts of terrorism.

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


CERT training prepares a community for emergencies. Upon completion of the CERT training the participants will be able to:

  • Apply techniques for opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating shock
  • Conduct triage under simulated conditions
  • Describe the function of CERT and their roles in immediate response
  • Describe the most common techniques for searching a structure
  • Describe the types of hazards most likely to affect their homes and communities
  • Describe ways to protect rescuers during search and rescue
  • Employ basic treatments for various wounds
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in their homes and workplaces
  • Identify planning and size-up requirements for potential search and rescue situations
  • Perform head-to-toe assessments
  • Select and set up a treatment area
  • Take steps to prepare themselves for a disaster
  • 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

  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 Nebraska.

Second, if trainers are available to recruit 25 to 30 interested people from your community, neighborhood, school or business.

Third, determine how your class will be conducted. It could be over a weekend or during the week depending on the availability of trainers.

Fourth, determine a location for your training. The instructors bring all the equipment needed including a laptop computer and projector - therefore a darkened room is needed. The room needs to be in a classroom setup so that the class can take notes. A large area is also needed for the exercise on the last day.

Additional Information

The CERT program for Southeastern 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