Roanoke Valley CERT

What is the Roanoke Valley CERT program?

Contact the Program Director
Alison Jorgensen
540.985.0131 Ext.502

The Roanoke Valley’s Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are groups of community-based volunteers trained in disaster preparedness and emergency response.

Roanoke Valley CERT members undergo an intensive training program that provides basic response skills needed for fire safety, light search and rescue, community disaster support, disaster medical operations, and traffic control.

Emergency services personnel are best equipped to respond to emergencies. Roanoke Valley CERT members are trained to support the area’s first responders.

During non-emergency situations, Roanoke Valley CERT members educate their communities about disaster preparedness through outreach opportunities.


To promote hazard identification and mitigation in an effort to minimize the effects of a disaster on a community and facilitate recovery.

CERT Objectives:

Upon completion of the CERT program, members will be able to:

  • Describe the types of hazards that are most likely to affect homes and communities.
  • Take steps to prepare for a disaster
  • Identify and reduce potential fire hazards in homes and workplaces
  • Conduct triage under simulated disaster conditions
  • Perform head-to-toe patient assessments
  • Employ basic treatments for various wounds, and apply splints to suspected fractures and sprains.
  • Describe ways to protect rescuers during light search and rescue operations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should I join CERT?

Your community needs you. Join Roanoke Valley CERT if you want an opportunity to:

  • Educate yourself, your family, coworkers, and others about preparing for emergencies.
  • Help your neighbors in times of disaster.
  • Strengthen your relationship with your community.

Who are CERT volunteers?

CERT volunteers are:

  • Concerned Citizens
  • Community Groups
  • Church Members
  • Businesses
  • Homeowners Association Groups
  • School Administrators and Teachers

What kind of training will I receive?

The Roanoke Valley CERT curriculum is based on the FEMA national program. Course topics are:

Unit 1: Disaster Preparedness

  • Introduction to disasters
  • Impact of disasters on infrastructure
  • Role of CERT’s in disaster response

Unit 2: Disaster Fire Suppression

  • Fire chemistry and basic fire suppression
  • Identifying and reducing potential fire hazards
  • Firefighting resources and techniques
  • Introduction to Hazardous Materials Incidents

Unit 3: Disaster Medical Operations I

  • Treatment strategies for life-threatening conditions
  • Principles of triage

Unit 4: Disaster Medical Operations II

  • Head-to-toe patient assessments
  • Establishing treatment areas
  • Treatment for burns, lacerations, fractures, sprains, and other injuries

Unit 5: Light Search and Rescue Operations

  • Search and rescue priorities and resources
  • Size-up techniques and rescuer safety
  • Lifting, climbing, and victim removal

Unit 6: Disaster Psychology and Organization

  • Post-disaster emotional environment
  • CERT organization: Incident Command System
  • CERT decision-making and documentation

Unit 7: Terrorism

  • Risk and threat analysis
  • Types of terrorism weapons
  • Travel and terrorism

Unit 8: Course Review and Simulation

  • Course review
  • Disaster simulation drill

*Basic First-Aid and CPR included in training.

How does CERT help the community?

CERT program members use a combination of training and community knowledge to serve their neighbors in times of disaster. Some community preparedness and disaster response activities include:

  • Staffing Volunteer Mobilization Centers and Assistance Centers
  • Presenting preparedness information to community groups and neighbors
  • Emergency food/water and supply distribution during power outages and similar local disasters


How do I join CERT?

Roanoke Valley CERT

Please fill out the information below and someone will be in touch about upcoming CERT training and/or events. CERT participants must be 18 years of age or 12 years and accompanied by a parent/guardian.


Need more information?

Call 540.985.0131, extension 502 or email