The 2020 Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Annual Certification results are in. They provide insight into the activities of CERTs nationwide. The results are particularly striking because they highlight CERTs’ incredible diversity. This diversity includes the types of communities they serve, training they undergo, and deployment activities with which they assist.
The graphs in this article were developed from the 2020 Certification results, in which CERTs were asked to report basic information and program activities that occurred during 2020. The versatility of CERTs shown in these results highlights their great success in equipping their communities with the ability to prepare for hazards.
Over 90 percent of CERTs reported that they serve counties and/or cities, while the remainder serve universities, workplaces, neighborhoods, state, or tribal communities.
Fire departments make up 39 percent of all CERT Sponsoring Organizations, followed by county and city Sponsoring Organizations, with 23 percent and 18 percent respectively.
Although CERT Programs may have different Sponsoring Organizations, they all seek to serve a wide audience for training. Half of all CERT Programs reported those they trained were members of the general public (38 percent) or neighborhood groups (12 percent).
In addition to the CERT Basic Training Course, CERTs offered a variety of additional training opportunities to their members. One-third of CERTs listed at least one training in addition to the CERT Basic Training Course. Although first aid training was the most popular and accounted for about 13 percent of additional training offered, the training opportunities didn’t just provide support to humans. Animal-related training, such as CERT Animal Response I, CERT Animal Response II, and Other Animals and Emergencies, accounted for almost 9 percent of additional training offerings.
CERTs in Action
CERTs that responded to the 2020 Annual Certification deployed 166 times for a total of 81,150 volunteer hours in the last 12 months.
A closer look at the deployment information shows over 55 percent of CERT deployments were pandemic related. Nearly one-quarter of the remaining deployments responded to wildfires, general fires, hurricanes, winter storms, and floods.
CERT volunteers on deployment in 2020 conducted varied activities, with nearly 20 percent related to traffic and crowd control. Although some of the activities were for specific deployments (such as vaccination clinic support), many could be applied to more than one type of disaster. This highlights the importance and success of CERTs offering different types of training to their members to better prepare for a variety of disasters that may impact their communities.
The results from the 2020 Certification have provided valuable insight into CERTs nationwide and the types of deployment activities they conduct. Seeing the diversity and expertise of the CERT Program displayed in the 2020 Certification data deepens our understanding of the hardworking volunteers who make up CERTs around the nation and the communities they serve. To start reporting activities for the 2021 calendar year, log into the CERT Registration Site today and also throughout the year to update your CERT’s activities! Not only will this help generate data for the 2021 results, but it will save you and your CERT the hassle of updating all the activities at the end of the year.
This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here
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