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Be Ready with the Community Emergency Response Team

August 1, 2019 9:00 AM
by Nick Furnari

Be Ready with the Community Emergency Response Team

This article originally appeared in the August edition of Seascape.

The Office of Emergency Management works to prepare the residents of Santa Monica for any human-made or natural disaster. One preparedness program is the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a community-based group of volunteers that have completed a federally recognized training course taught by OEM personnel and first responders. The training is a comprehensive program detailing ways to assist family, neighbors and the community before, during and after small-or large-scale disasters.

The CERT program started because of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that killed approximately 10,000 people. The Los Angeles Fire Department recognized that in a local earthquake, citizens will likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. As a result, Los Angeles started the first CERT program. CERT training includes topics on disaster preparedness, fire safety, terrorism, basic first aid, and light search and rescue, among others. The Federal Emergency Management Agency adopted the program and made the all-hazards training available to communities nationwide.

Santa Monica OEM offers two CERT classes per year. The classes are held on three consecutive Saturdays at Santa Monica training facilities. The classes are open to all experience levels and allow students to have fun, ask questions and participate in exercises to practice their new skills. This training is free and open to anyone over the age of 18 who lives or works in Santa Monica.

Upon completion of the CERT program, volunteers are asked if they would like to remain an Office of Emergency Management CERT volunteer. By agreeing to serve as a CERT volunteer, the individual may be asked to provide volunteer assistance during a major disaster event. Other nonemergency volunteer opportunities are available for CERT volunteers.

Are You Ready for a Disaster? The next 3-part CERT course begins August 10!

More information:

Sign Up for Emergency Notifications from SM Alerts!

Are you signed up to receive emergency notifications from the City of Santa Monica? Santa Monica’s SMAlerts notification system allows City officials to provide you with accurate, critical information in an emergency situation.

To sign up, please visit

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