Frequently Asked Questions

How Does CERT Benefit the Community?
People who go through CERT training have a better understanding of the potential threats to their home, workplace, and community. They have been trained to commence activities that will lessen the effects of a variety of hazards on themselves, their homes, and their workplace. If a disaster happens that overwhelms local response capability, CERT members can apply the training learned in the classroom and during exercises to give critical support to loved ones, neighbors, and associates in their immediate area until help arrives.

Why Take CERT Training?
Local government prepares for everyday emergencies; however, there may be an emergency or disaster that can overwhelm the community's immediate response capability. The primary reason for CERT training is to give people the decision-making, organizational, and practical skills to offer immediate assistance to family members, neighbors, and associates while waiting for help. While people will respond to others in need without the training, the goal of the CERT program is to help people do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger.

Who Can Take the Training?
Individuals who are interested in learning how to be better prepared for emergencies as well as groups like Neighborhood Watch, community organizations, communities of faith, school staff, workplace employees, and other groups that come together regularly for a common purpose. Training is available free of charge to individuals who live, work, or worship in Greenville County.

What Happens After Taking the Training?
After completing the 20-hour Basic Training course, CERT graduates can apply to be a part of our volunteer program. Those who meet the training qualifications and have passed a background check can volunteer with Emergency Management. Volunteer opportunities include assisting with exercises and during actual events by helping with logistics, setting up and staffing first responder rehabilitation areas, and providing Ham radio support. Volunteers will also be encouraged to help with community events and to support disaster preparedness initiatives in their communities.

Visit the National CERT website at