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The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an emergency preparedness program supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA began promoting nationwide use of the CERT concept in 1994 based on a model created and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. Following a series of earthquakes in the United States and Mexico that left hundreds dead, injured and without emergency services, the LAFD recognized that well-trained civilian emergency work force teams are vital for disaster situations when the scope of incidents overwhelm conventional emergency services.

What is a CERT?

photo of class graduating CERT classA "CERT" is a group of people that is organized under the leadership of a local jurisdiction and receives special training that enhances their ability to recognize, respond to, and recover from a major emergency or disaster situation. Emergency responder’s train citizens and emergency management personnel in areas that will help them take care of themselves and others before, during and after a major emergency.

Why do we need CERT?

The ability of a community to recover from the devastating effects of a disaster requires that citizens actively plan and participate in preparedness. By encouraging preparedness efforts, hazard identification and mitigation, CERT members can minimize the effects of a disaster and facilitate recovery.

CERT training enhances a community’s ability to be self-sufficient through the development of response teams that can assist others by providing vital services in the absence of emergency responders.

Morgan Hill CERT and the Morgan Hill Office of Emergency Services (OES)

The CERT team that serves the City of Morgan Hill falls under the direction of the Morgan Hill Office of Emergency Services (OES). The Office of Emergency Services (OES) is located in the Morgan Hill Police Department and is directed by the Special Operations Commander of the Police Department. The Coordinator of OES organizes the meetings and activities of cooperating groups (CERT, RACES/ARES ham radio operators, and others); prepares plans and processes for Citywide emergencies; provides information to the public and to city employees about emergency preparedness and response; maintains and inventories emergency supply caches; and, trains employees and volunteers in the management of shelters and Emergency Volunteer Centers

What has Morgan Hill CERT been used for?

  • Provide event monitoring and first aid at most city events
  • Disaster preparedness training for Morgan Hill residents
  • Response to disasters such as the city-wide flooding in January 2008
  • Controlling helicopter landing zones for CalStar at special events
  • Traffic control at city functions to assist Police resources

View recent activities that Morgan Hill CERT members have participated in.