Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, there are emergencies and disaster that can overwhelm the community’s immediate response capability. While adjacent jurisdictions, State and Federal resources can activate to help, that help may be delayed. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making and physical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.
A success story about CERTs comes during the wildfires in Florida. The Edgewater CERT helped emergency management and the fire department by assisting with evacuations, handling donations, preparing food for firefighters, and answering the phone while the professionals were fighting the fire. It is a great example of CERT members and response personnel working together for the benefit of the community.