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CERT - FAQ


 
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What is NYC CERT and what do they do?
NYC CERTs are groups of dedicated volunteers who help to prepare their neighbors and communities for different types of disasters. They are also trained in how to respond to emergencies by supporting emergency services personnel throughout the city. NYC CERT falls under NYC Citizen Corps, the managing entity for all organizations and agencies with an interest in emergency preparedness.

How is NYC CERT different from the national FEMA CERT program?
NYC OEM, along with FDNY and NYPD, have taken the national program and adapted it to reflect the unique circumstances of living and working in New York City. Risks and hazards in NYC are different than anywhere else in the world. New York City also has more first responders than most other areas in the country, so NYC CERT supports them, rather than responds themselves.

NYC CERT is like every other agency in the City and does not self-deploy. OEM's Watch Command deploys teams to emergencies and planned events. NYC CERT recognized teams are those that:

  • Have gone through the NYC OEM training.
  • Recognize and follow the NYC CERT Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Are credentialed to participate in training and deployments through NYC OEM.


Who is eligible to join the CERT training program?
NYC CERT is a public program and training is available to all City residents, as well as those who work in NYC, provided they are interested in becoming a resource during disasters. The requirements are:

  • Be 18 years of age, or older AND
  • Be a resident of, or work in, NYC, AND
  • Pass an NYC OEM background check.

Members are affiliated with a community team by their legal residence. The volunteer commitment is for at least one year of service following graduation.


How do I join the NYC CERT program?
You can sign up in one of the following ways:
  • E-mail the NYC CERT program at cert@oem.nyc.gov
  • Call 311, or contact 311 online
  • Look for NYC CERT members in your community. They have green NYC CERT shirts and green NYC CERT vests

If you are interested in becoming an active member of your community team, please contact OEM to be put in contact with the current team chief. You will be asked to meet with the team prior to attending the training to make sure your expectations meet the expectations of the program. Please note that there is no cost to the participant to attend training.


Where can I learn more about emergency preparedness for myself and family?
OEM's Ready New York guides provide information on hazards that New Yorkers may face and how they can best prepare for them. There are 11 guides in up to 23 languages. Guides are available either by calling 311 (TTY: 212-504-4115) or online.


I am a medical professional (i.e., MD, RN, etc.). Can I join the NYC CERT if I already belong to the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)?
There are many NYC CERT members who wear multiple hats in their communities. We ask that members are clear as to which group they will represent during an emergency situation and be active with their teams during planned events, such as Ready New York presentations and community fairs.