What's better than personal preparedness? Helping those around you Be Prepared, too! Getting involved in your community's preparedness helps you, people you know, and people you don't know. USF CERT's mission is to increase the preparedness of our community through education and outreach, so that everyone is prepared when disaster strikes. We are just one of the many different organizations worldwide that work every day to keep our communities safe by being involved in their preparedness. Below are just a few of the different ways that you can Get Involved.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Community Emergency Response Teams like USF CERT are groups of everyday citizens that are trained in basic disaster preparedness and response so that they can assist their community in times of disaster. CERTs follow a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) curriculum that is open to everyone in an effort to reach as many people as possible. Joining USF CERT can be your first step in Getting Involved.
In a different area? Check out FEMA's CERT database or contact your local emergency management agency to find a CERT near you.
The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds. Citizen Corps programs can include, but are not limited to:
- Civil Air Patrol
- Amateur Radio Emergency Service / Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (ARES / RACES)
- Neighborhood Watch
- Fire Corps
- Medical Reserve Corps
To find your nearest Citizen Corps Council, visit FEMA's Citizen Corps database.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)
NGOs are independent organizations dedicated to disaster response and recovery, with many having an influence across the globe. There are hundreds of different NGOs, and USF CERT has strong relationships with the following:
Emergency Management Volunteer
A great way to Get Involved in your community's preparedness is start on the policy side, by volunteering with your local emergency management agency. Some EM agencies take interns and volunteers to assist with important projects that keep us safe. USF CERT members regularly volunteer with the following agencies:
USF Department of Emergency Management
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Office of Emergency Management
Hillsborough County Local Mitigation Strategy
Pasco County Emergency Management
City of Tampa Office of Emergency Management
Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)
VOADs are everyday groups such as churches, food kitchens, and other organizations that take up a role when disaster strikes. VOADs in the state of Florida are coordinated by VolunteerFlorida, and their database can be found on their website.
To find VOADs nationwide, visit the National VOAD website.