Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
About Us

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-based curriculum designed to teach adults of all ages and abilities how to help themselves, their families, and their neighbors during an emergency or disaster when police, fire, and medical services are overwhelmed.

The NEMCo CERT academy offers a full eight-week CERT training course. CERT graduates become members of their neighborhood's CERT team and can join NEMCo. Ongoing monthly training and skill refresher classes are offered frequently. CERT team members are invited to participate in local drills. CERT leaders and instructors are available for public outreach engagements (like wellness fairs), and are available to give disaster preparedness presentations to community groups and organizations.

The NEMCo CERT program will educate participants about local hazards, basic disaster preparedness, and provide hands-on training that includes fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. After completing the CERT academy, volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in additional drills and exercises to keep their skills sharp and continue to enhance their knowledge and abilities.

NW Region Risks

We offer CERT/Teen CERT because our region is ranked number four in the U.S.A. for being disaster-prone. A disaster is a sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life. In a disaster, first responders will be overwhelmed and CERT-trained volunteers have the skills to help themselves, their families, neighborhoods, and the community. The Washington​ Emergency Management Division recommends being Two Weeks Ready.

If you asked people to list the hazards and risks in Western Washington, most would include winter storms, power outages, flooding, forest fires, earthquakes, volcanoes, liquefaction, lahars and now pandemics. The Northshore Council PTSA has a useful website that explains why we should prepare and provides information about types of hazards. NEMCo has a Preparedness page that provides a simple 4-step process for being prepared to handle these hazards.


NEMCo offers Teen CERT training, sponsored by FEMA, a national program of volunteers trained in disaster preparedness and emergency response. Teen CERT training teaches students about the potential disasters that could affect this area and how to safely and responsibly respond to them. Through Teen CERT Students can serve the community and help take care of their schools and homes. Students will fulfill 24 hours of Community Service Hours towards graduation and college applications. There will also have be other volunteer opportunities to obtain service hours during the year. Scholarships are available upon request. 

In Northshore School District, Woodinville High School (WHS),  now offers a one-semester elective CERT course (VEC100) to students grades 9 to 12.  In addition to CERT, students will participate in the American Heart Association (AHA) first aid training (certification upon demonstration of knowledge and skills), radio communications, active shooter training, and other emergency response skills. NEMCo is proud to participate in this training and recommends it to all our students. Click here for more information


  • Disaster Preparedness: Addresses hazards specific to the community. Materials cover actions that participants and their families take before, during, and after a disaster, as well as an overview of CERT and local laws governing volunteers.

  • Fire Suppression: Covers fire chemistry, hazardous materials, fire hazards, and fire suppression strategies. However, the thrust of this session is the safe use of fire extinguishers, controlling utilities, and extinguishing a small fire.

  • Medical Operations Part I: Participants practice diagnosing and treating airway obstruction, bleeding, and shock by using simple triage and rapid treatment techniques.

  • Medical Operations Part II: Covers evaluating patients by doing a head-to-toe assessment, establishing a medical treatment area, and performing basic first aid.

  • Light Search and Rescue Operations: Participants learn about search and rescue planning, size-up, search techniques, rescue techniques, and rescuer safety.

  • Psychology and Team Organization: Covers signs and symptoms that might be experienced by the disaster victim and workers, and addresses CERT organization and management.

  • Course Review and Disaster Simulation: Participants review and practice the skills that they have learned during the previous six sessions in a disaster activity.

CERT Academy Curriculum

The CERT Basic Course is delivered in the community by a team of first responders and other qualified volunteers. The organization and timing of training and meeting varies from program to program. It is  broken up into three-hour blocks over a series of evenings, weekdays, or weekends.

What can I do in advance of the class?

All participants can obtain a FEMA Student Identification (SID) Number (PDF) and take the online FEMA Independent Study course IS-317.


  • IS-317 is an introduction to CERT. Completing the online training ahead of time will allow us to minimize lecturing from PowerPoints and instead, focus on hands-on experience during our class time. 

  • Bring a copy of your completion certificate, which FEMA will email to you.

  • Online CERT 2020 Training is available, please contact NEMCo for more information.

Please consider taking the FEMA's ICS 100.C and NIMS IS-700.B courses.

You can continue your training beyond these to include CERT Team Leader training.

FEMA is now in the process of defining this role and the training components.

See the attached October 2020 FEMA CERT Team Leader Proposal for discussion only

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For additional
information contact
Carl Lunak
Emergency Manager

Created by NEMCo volunteers. Proudly serving the Kenmore and Lake Forest Park communities.