In 1986 the Los Angeles City Fire department started local citizen disaster groups to help some citizens prepare for disasters. These teams are called Community Emergency Response Teams or CERT. Many other departments have copied LAFD's concept and even FEMA has developed a curriculum program for CERT. You can see FEMA's CERT website at

http://www.fema.gov/emi/cert/

Also, there was a national confrence held at the Emergency Management Institute last fall (1998) on CERT. There were many departments from around the country that have CERT in their communities. From this confrence was born a newsletter for anyone to see. You can find The Connection newsletter at

http://www.naem.com/connection.html

If there are any questions about CERT you can e-mail me at ofdusar@oz.sunflower.org

Bill Schneider
Fire Apparatus Operator
Olathe Fire Department-Kansas

Rescue Team Manager
Missouri Task Force-1
USAR Team