Community Emergency Response Team's (CERT) 30th Anniversary


CaliforniaVolunteers, in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NBC Universal Studios Hollywood, is pleased to announce the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 30th Anniversary! Join over 850 CERT program managers, instructors, and volunteers from across the nation as we celebrate 30 years of making positive impacts in California communities.

Following a major disaster, first responders who provide fire and medical services cannot always meet the substantially increased demand for their services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages can prevent people from immediately accessing emergency services through 9-1-1. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.

The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985, with the first class graduating in 1986. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. As a result, the LAFD created the Disaster Preparedness Division with the purpose of training citizens to assist in times of disaster.

Location Name

Event Date
September 8-10, 2016

Event Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Contact Number
916-323-7646

How to Register

Registration fee includes one three-course plated lunch, one boxed sandwich lunch, and afternoon refreshments. Conference registration is $325.00.

Please register for the conference as soon as you are able. Conference registration funds are utilized to help pay for certain aspects of the conference that require advance payment.

We are now able to collect offline registration checks. You can select this option on Eventbrite. After registering, email ame.tadeo@cv.ca.gov for instructions.

You are now also able to register via Purchase Order. You will register using the same register by check option and then email ame.tadeo@cv.ca.gov for instructions.

Please note that there is no option to pay by cash.

Register Here



Throwback Thursdays

We will be posting stories and pictures from CERT programs (regardless of if you are able to attend the conference). Please send us pictures, videos, stories, articles, videos, stats, or anything else cool or noteworthy about your CERT program. Send your emails to Ben.leaon@cv.ca.gov.

If you are sending a lot or huge files, email the files directly to our box account at: Dropbox Account.

Please note that you will still need to send an accompanying email to Ben.leaon@cv.ca.gov as the box account only receives and uploads files.

One day Registration

We understand that many CERT Volunteers work and it is hard for volunteers to take several days off to attend the full conference. To help facilitate this, we will be offering a limited number of one day registration tickets, on a first-come first-served basis. These one day passes will be prorated to the following costs:

  1. Thursday, September 8 - $160 (includes lunch and afternoon refreshment)
  2. Friday, September 9 - $160 (includes lunch and afternoon refreshment)
  3. Saturday September 10 - $60 (includes morning refreshment)

Registration Discount Tickets

NOTE: FOR VOLUNTEERS ONLY!

CERT volunteers (including volunteer Program Managers, volunteer Instructors, and general Volunteers) who are attending the conference and are paying their own registration costs (their CERT program is not paying) are eligible for a 50% discount on the conference rate.

To receive a discount, please have the CERT program manager or coordinator send an email to ben.leaon@cv.ca.gov to request discount codes for your program.

Recommended Hotels

A discount rate for hotel rooms is available on at both the Sheraton Hotel and Hilton Hotel on a first-come first-served basis. The discount will be available at both hotels starting Tuesday June 28th.

Please note that the special hotel rates are only good for a percentage of the rooms at each of these hotels and as supplies last. Approximately 300 combined rooms will be available at both hotels at these rates. Due to the number of expected participants for this event we encourage registrants to make hotel reservations as soon as possible. There are also additional hotels within a 10 mile radius of the event.

At this time almost all rooms at the Sheraton are booked. There is an elevator that connects the Sheraton Hotel and Hilton Hotel so the Hilton is a great option. The Hilton hotel are adding rooms periodically so if you call and they are sold out please let us know and we will work with the Hilton to release more rooms (if available).


Standard Rate: $250.00 per night
Conference Rate: $150.00 per night
Conference Code: CERT

Contact Number: 1-888-627-7186
Website: Sheraton Universal
Book online: https://www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/NI04AB

Other Information:

  • This is the hotel where the conference is being held.
  • The conference rate for this hotel is $150 before taxes and fees. This price is good for up to two occupants. 3rd and 4th occupants are an additional $25 each.
  • Parking is not included.
  • Reference the National CERT Conference “CERT” when booking for the discounted rate.

Standard Rate: $239.00 per night
Conference Rate: $179.99 per night
Conference Code: National CERT Conference

Contact Number: 1-818-506-2500
Website: Hilton Los Angeles Universal City

Other Information:

  • This hotel is right next to the Sheraton Hotel (5 minute walk).
  • The conference rate for this hotel is $179.99 before taxes and fees. This price is good for up to two occupants. 3rd and 4th occupants are an additional $35 each.
  • Parking is not included.
  • Reference the National CERT Conference when booking for the discounted rate.

Workshops

Conference workshops are still being finalized. Here is a list of workshops that should make the final agenda. Workshop times should be finalized in time for the next CERT update email:

  • Thursday, September 8th - Afternoon Breakout Session 1
    • CERT Tools for Leadership Success

      In this workshop, CERT members will learn how CERT Basic Training concepts relate to leadership, the characteristics, skills and responsibilities of team leaders. We will also cover how leaders and team members interact, different styles of leadership and how they apply to CERT situations, and examples of how CERT leaders run successful team operations.

    • Utilizing Volunteers in an Emergency Operations Center

      Learn how CERT volunteers were utilized in the Emergency Operations Center in two different incidents.The City of Santa Barbara CERT program will discuss using CERT volunteers for the 2015 Refugio Oil Spill. Hear about the Carlsbad CERT response to the 2014 Poinsettia Fire, including EOC operations and CERT roles and functions.

    • Using Twitter to Save Lives

      Learn where Twitter and social media fit in for field teams, at the staging area, and at the battalion station. Hear how San Francisco’s Neighborhood Emergency Response Team (NERT) trains its volunteers how to gather and use key information the public shares on Twitter during an emergency, allowing first responders to be better prepared for a possible search and rescue mission. You will learn and practice how to quickly report and verify critical issues, send informative messages between NERTs in 140 characters, and report critical issues directly to the battalion chief for rapid and strategic deployment of emergency response resources. You will also gather and report information online to decrease the number of 911 calls, freeing the system up for the most critical issues.

    • How to Start a Successful Campus CERT Program

      Campus CERT program managers from Mississippi and New York will share how they began and built their campus CERT programs. Discussion will include the challenges of building a realistic and respected educational outreach and response CERT unit. Learn about obtaining campus administrator support, networking with other programs, innovative preparedness campaigns, and consistency in training and team-building. Additionally, this session will cover lessons learned from conducting tabletop and functional exercises, emergency evacuation and active shooter drills, and real life floods, hurricanes, and fires on campus.

    • Volunteer Weather Awareness and Safety Preparedness

      Weather awareness and preparedness are important aspects of CERT volunteer safety. This session will include methods to acquire and maintain weather awareness, provide examples of basic weather preparedness training, and provide local National Weather Service office contacts for further information and training.

    • Adding Teen CERT to Your CERT Program

      Establishing and managing a CERT can be complex enough, but what about a Teen CERT program? What are the similarities and differences between these two programs when tackling issues like recruiting, training, exercises, equipment, mission, and liability? Learn how both programs can thrive when built to be complementary pieces of your community’s preparedness and outreach program.


  • Thursday, September 8th - Afternoon Breakout Session 2
    • CERT Tools for Leadership Success

      In this workshop, CERT members will learn how CERT Basic Training concepts relate to leadership, the characteristics, skills and responsibilities of team leaders. We will also cover how leaders and team members interact, different styles of leadership and how they apply to CERT situations, and examples of how CERT leaders run successful team operations.

    • Disaster Psychology

      This practical workshop will focus on the impact of loss, crisis and trauma on each family member. Participants will learn practical grief and trauma counseling. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the issues and the ability to know how to help especially in the initial stages of an incident. Trauma events including sudden incidents, long term terminal situations, etc. will be discussed. A major emphasis is upon practical identifiable steps of healing including those directly traumatized as well as secondary. “What to do and say” and “What not to do and say” will be identified. The most current and helpful resources will also be identified.

    • Disaster Service Worker Volunteer Program Overview

      This session will cover the benefits and components of the program for disaster service worker volunteers, roles and responsibilities of authorized registering entities, requirements for workers' compensation claims, and the status of the 2016 DSWVP Guidance revisions.

    • Using Technology to Manage Your CERT Program

      Capitalizing on CERT members’ existing disaster response and technological skills can lead to innovative ways for CERT organizations to retain members’ interest in serving their community. The session will discuss virtual activations by Montgomery County CERT in Maryland, including lessons learned, best practices, and examples of strategies that CERT organizations could enhance and adopt within their organization. Technology can make running your CERT program much simpler and greatly improve volunteer retention. You don't need to know HTML or be a nerd to run a great website! Come see how hundreds of CERT programs are keeping their members engaged and informed, and eliminating the hassle of maintaining rosters and team management.

    • CERT Around the World

      Come learn about training programs outside the United States that are utilizing CERT training methods.


  • Friday, September 9th - Breakout Session 3
    • Program Manager Q & A

      Do you have any questions about CERT? If so, then this is the session for you! Come to this open Q & A session with the California state administrator of CERT and a FEMA representative.

    • Using CERT to Staff PODs

      This session will cover how to use CERT in response to a bioterror attack. San Diego CERTs are currently trained to work a Point of Dispensing (POD) in order to facilitate medication delivery. These CERTs have been trained in the ICS and fit perfectly into a Department of Public Health response of this nature. Come learn more about this unique program.

    • Social Media Tools to Market Your CERT Program

      This hands-on session is designed to review and implement a variety of tools to increase the effectiveness of your social media programs, help you build your social media audience and expand your CERT program. Come learn design tools and elements, the importance of photos and videos, how to make the most of social media algorithms, and creating teams to design content.

    • Pulsepoint Response App

      PulsePoint instantly connects nearby citizen responders with cardiac arrest victims in real-time and also inform them of AEDs in the immediate area. This empowers CPR-trained citizens, including off-duty professionals and CERT members, to improve patient outcomes by reducing collapse-to-CPR and collapse-to-defibrillation times. Come learn how to use this innovative app to save lives!

    • Beyond the Budget: Fiscal and Political Strategies for CERT Program Survival

      This presentation will review fiscal and political strategies utilized by the Newport Beach Fire Department CERT program over the last several years to enhance and promote the CERT program. Topics that will be explored include the structure of the Newport Beach CERT program, methods for raising funds through both internal and external sources, use of CERT volunteers for cost savings, and how to effectively engage and educate your elected representatives on the benefits of CERT. The Newport Beach CERT program was selected as the 2012 FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Awards for Outstanding CERT program initiatives and received an Honorable Mention for Volunteer Integration.

  • Friday, September 9th - Breakout Session 4
    • Team Building is More Than Building a Tower

      Come learn unique ways to build a team or strengthen the one you already have. We have all done the tower game in the CERT course but did you know there are many team building games that can be incorporated throughout the course to build on the skills your community members just learned. Bring your fun attitude and get ready to become part of a team.

    • Using CERT to Deploy an Emergency Call Center

      This session will explore the training program, operation, and mobilization/demobilization steps of a call center based on lessons learned from two major wildfire seasons in the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska. The call center, partially staffed by CERT volunteers, has successfully alleviated the phone burden off the 911 dispatch system.

    • Training Volunteers in Disaster Relief Volunteer Points Of Distribution

      Immediately following a Whole Community Disaster, trained volunteers will be called upon to respond to and provide relief in impacted communities to local area neighborhoods. Initial disaster relief commodity supplies will be stored in local area Volunteer Points Of Distribution (V-POD). In this session, we will present the Public Private-Sector Partnerships that have been formed to Be MorePrepared in every V-POD Community.


  • Friday, September 9th – Breakout Session 5
    • Animal Issues in Emergency Management

      This session will expose CERT members to emergency preparedness for animal owners and how to recognize specific animal behaviors. Animal Response will also prepare CERT members for situations involving animals that they may encounter in performing their broader CERT response functions.

    • How to Put on an Annual CERT Competition

      This session will provide information on how to prepare a team/program for the Southern California Regional CERT Invitational Challenge as well as lessons learned and best practices to start your own CERT Challenge in your region. Presenters will provide information on how teams can prepare for the future Southern California Regional CERT Challenge as well as what benefits teams get out of participating. Information will include the various event/skill stations, scoring and feedback provided to teams. Not able to attend the Southern California CERT Invitational Challenge? Don’t worry, the presenters will provide lessons learned, best practices and tips for you to start your own regional event.

    • How to Plan and Execute a CERT Refresher Drill/Exercise

      Learn the process to develop an exercise design team, design and develop CERT refresher drills or exercises, best practices for conducting a CERT exercise, and provide After Action documentation and Improvement Planning.

    • Collaborative Efforts Between Schools and County Services

      This session will demonstrate how collaborative efforts between schools, law enforcement, fire/EMS and public health agencies have come together in a small rural county to train CERT teams. The collaborative efforts expand both Teen and Adult CERT team training.

    • CERT Communication Methods

      Learn how CERT programs can communicate internally and externally before, during, and after a disaster response. Discussion includes the elements of a communications plan and partnering agencies that are vital to communications success. Radio equipment of various kinds will be on display.


  • Saturday, September 10th – Morning Breakout Session 6
    • Lessons Learned - Volunteer Reception Center and Managing Spontaneous Volunteers

      This session will focus on disaster responses that utilized CERT volunteers, including the June 2016 Coal City, Illinois Tornado, the June 2010 Streator Tornado and April 2013 Historic Flooding. Participants will learn how to integrate volunteers in the response process and throughout the other mission areas of emergency management.

    • Moulage 101

      Learn how to create realistic wounds and injuries to simulate disaster and medical emergency situations. The realism triggers the visual process of patient assessment, allowing all aspects of the first responders “experiences” to come in to play.

    • Social Media Tools to Market Your CERT Program

      This hands-on session is designed to review and implement a variety of tools to increase the effectiveness of your social media programs, help you build your social media audience and expand your CERT program. Come learn design tools and elements, the importance of photos and videos, how to make the most of social media algorithms, and creating teams to design content.

    • Prepare Your Neighborhood

      Disasters can change what our neighborhoods look like, where we shop, and how we live. First, learn about the 5-Step Neighborhood Preparedness program moves us from being individually prepared to community preservation and resilience. Training is not required to use the Action Kit, but people with CERT skills are well suited to lead the effort and organize neighborhood teams. The program is effective to prepare for large-scale disasters as well as smaller emergencies. Then learn about other neighborhood preparedness programs that train those who would not be able to attend CERT training how to prepare.


  • Saturday, September 10th – Morning Breakout Session 7
    • Disaster Psychology

      This practical workshop will focus on the impact of loss, crisis and trauma on each family member. Participants will learn practical grief and trauma counseling. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the issues and the ability to know how to help especially in the initial stages of an incident. Trauma events including sudden incidents, long term terminal situations, etc. will be discussed. A major emphasis is upon practical identifiable steps of healing including those directly traumatized as well as secondary. “What to do and say” and “What not to do and say” will be identified. The most current and helpful resources will also be identified.

Agenda

The conference agenda is still being finalized. Here is a rough outline of the conference agenda:

Wednesday, September 7th

Early conference registration
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Networking event
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Thursday, September 8th

Conference Registration
7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
VIP Breakfast
7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Opening Plenary and Keynote
9:00 AM - 11:10 AM
Group Photo and break
11:10 AM - 11:30 AM
Awards Luncheon
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Breakout session 1
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Breakout session 2
3:20 PM - 4:50 PM
Networking event
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

*The LA City EOC tour will be conducted three times on this day, with 30 spots per trip.

Friday, September 9th

Opening Plenary
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Breakout session 3
9:40 AM - 11:15 AM
Lunch (provided)
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Vendor event
12:30 PM - 1:00 PM
Breakout session 4
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Breakout session 5
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Networking event
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Saturday, September 10th

Breakout session 6
8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
Closing Plenary
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Lunch on your own
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Breakout session 7
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Currently the plan is to have the LA City EOC tour on Friday, September 9th. A bus will pick participants up from the hotel and drop them off back at the hotel after the tour. Total time including travel time is roughly 2 hours. The tours are scheduled so that participants will only miss one breakout session on Friday. This activity is limited to roughly 90 participants. Make sure to select this when you register for the conference to be put on the list.

Breakfast, VIP Tour of NBCUniversal, and LA City EOC Tour

Two additional events have been added to the CERT conference on Thursday, September 8th! NBCUniversal will host a breakfast on their premises the morning of September 8th and host a special VIP Tour of NBCUniversal Studios after lunch on the 8th.

We have also previously announced a tour of LA City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The EOC tour is scheduled for Friday, September 9th. This tour will be roughly 2 hours in length, including travel time.

There are a limited number of spots for these three opportunities. Conference registrants will be randomly selected to receive a free ticket for these events. There are no extra costs to attend these events if selected.

Selection process – Starting Wednesday, July 20th and continuing each week through Wednesday, August 24th, the conference planning team will be randomly selecting names from the list of conference registrations.

For the Breakfast and VIP Tour of NBCUniversal, all current registrations up to 8:00 am on the day of the random selections are eligible (including discounted and Thursday-only registrations).

For the EOC tour, all current registrations up to 8:00 am on the day of the random selection that checked “Yes” for the Tour on the online registration form are eligible (including discounted and Friday-only registrations).

We want to thank NBCUniversal and the LA City Emergency Management Department for hosting these events.

Here is the list of people who have been “randomly selected” and are ok with us sharing their names:

  • Breakfast at NBC
    • Jerry Myers, Laguna Beach CERT (July 20 drawing)
    • Maggie Lang, Marin County CERT (July 20 drawing)
    • Anonymous (Santa Maria Valley CERT)
    • Anonymous (San Manuel Tribal Emergency Response Team)
    • Anonymous (LASD – Norwalk CERT)
    • Anonymous (San Manuel Emergency Response Team)

  • NBCUniversal VIP Tour
    • Bonnie Ross, Wrightwood CERT (July 20 drawing)
    • Steve Chiu (Cerritos CERT)
    • Anonymous (Del Norte CERT)
  • LA City EOC Tour
    • Fred Bretsch, FEMA Region X (July 20 drawing)
    • Cody Rauh, El Paso County OEM (July 20 drawing)
    • Erin Fox (Apple Valley CERT)
    • Andrew Cheng (Moreno Valley CERT)
    • Teresa Greenhalg (San Diego Rural CERT)
    • Anonymous (Newport Beach CERT)
    • Anonymous (Julian Cucamaya CERT/Teen CERT)
    • Anonymous (Richmond CERT)
    • Anonymous Christian County Citizen Corps)
    • Anonymous (LAFD CERT)

Presenters

Thank you to everyone who submitted presentation proposals. The workshops are now set.

Conference Awards

As we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of CERT, we would like to recognize all the great CERT programs, volunteers, and partners that have contributed to making CERT so successful. An awards ceremony will be held during the 30th Anniversary National CERT conference on September 8, 2016. We are asking for nominations for the following categories:

  • Outstanding Community Emergency Response Team Initiatives and/or Innovation
  • Outstanding Inclusive Initiatives in Emergency Management
  • Most Valuable CERT Volunteer
  • Outstanding Private Sector Initiatives
  • Preparing the Whole Community

Please submit your nomination form by August 11th for consideration.


Conference Award Form

Sponsors & Vendors

We want to showcase sponsors and vendors from around the country. If your CERT program works with a company or organization that would be interested in being a sponsor or exhibitor at the CERT conference please have them contact Suu-Va Tai at Suu-Va.Tai@cv.ca.gov.

There are a limited number of spots available for CERT programs and non-profit organizations to have a free booth. Any booth staff will still need to pay regular conference registration fees.

Thank you to all the nonprofit organizations that are interested in a booth at the conference. We will be finalizing our booths the week of August 8th and will get back to you soon.

CERT Patches

All Conference participants will receive an embroidered CERT patch. CERT Program Manager and CERT Instructor patches are also available for those that qualify.

Please advise, to receive these patches CERT program managers must email Ben Leaon at ben.leaon@cv.ca.gov with a list of conference participants that should receive these patches. Only conference attendees are eligible for CERT patches.

Program Managers

CERT Program managers who are attending the conference will receive a Program Manager patch if they:

  1. Checked their role as Program Manager on their conference registration
  2. Are listed as the main point of contact on their CERT Program Registration on the FEMA website. If they are not listed as the main point of contact they can have the main point of contact or sponsoring organization email us to verify that they should be receiving a CERT Program Manager patch. Only one person from each program should receive this patch.

Instructors

CERT Instructors who are attending the conference will receive an Instructor patch if they:

  1. Checked their role as Instructor on their conference registration
  2. Their program manager emails us to verify that they are an instructor for their program
  3. Have taken a state or FEMA approved CERT Train-the-Trainer course

Stay Connected

Conference updates are emailed to registered CERT programs. If you do not receive these emails directly from your State CERT program manager or FEMA ICP officer, and would like to receive update emails regarding the CERT conference, please email Ben Leaon to be added to the conference email list at ben.leaon@cv.ca.gov.