- Volunteer Opportunities
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is a nationally supported, locally implemented initiative that teaches people how to better prepare themselves for hazards that may affect their communities. Following a disaster, CERT Team Members may be called upon to help support response and recovery efforts.
The Poway CERT Team was first organized in 2006 using a $5,000 grant from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services and is sustained with the help of an annual grant from SDG&E. Today, the Poway CERT Team has nearly 100 Members that complete thousands of volunteer hours each year. In 2019, Members helped distribute water during a week-long boil water order and in 2021, Members helped staff vaccination sites during the COVID-19 response.
CERT Team Members become advocates for emergency preparedness within the community and are trained to be Disaster Service Workers. The Poway CERT Team volunteers their time to support the community by organizing, promoting, and participating in emergency preparedness events, activities and projects.
As Disaster Service Workers, Members are better prepared to assist their families, neighbors, co-workers and other community members during emergencies when professional responders may not be immediately available to provide assistance. Before, during and after an emergency, Poway CERT Team Members may be called upon to perform basic response activities including distributing information to the public, supporting the City's Emergency Operations Center, staffing an evacuation shelter or performing community reconnaissance. The ability for CERT Team Members to perform these activities frees up professional responders to focus their efforts on more complex, essential and critical tasks.
CERT Team Membership requires graduation from a 30-hour CERT Basic Training Academy. The CERT Academy is held annually over the course of five Saturday classes. CERT Team training includes basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, simple search and rescue and basic first aid treatment. All training provided follows the national framework curriculum developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the Citizens Corps Program.
Upon graduation, CERT Team Members are registered as County of San Diego Disaster Service Workers and may be called upon to assist in the wake of a disaster.
Poway CERT Team Members must be at least 18 years of age, reside in the City of Poway and be able to commit to participating in no less than two activities each calendar year.