What is CERT?

If a Major Disaster hits, do you …

  • have enough supplies for a minimum of 72 hours up to an entire month for all family members, including pets?
  • know how to turn off the gas?
  • know how to safely turn off the power?
  • know how to apply first aid?
  • have enough water for all of your family and your pets?
  • have provisions for living outside your home for a length of time if the structure is compromised?

It is important to know, if a major disaster occurs, the fire dept., paramedics, police…WILL NOT COME! They will be deployed FIRST to major incidents such as collapsed buildings. That is why you constantly hear…You MUST be prepared to take care of yourself. In the CERT course they say…
“The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number of People.” When you are trained, you are far more equipped to deal with your circumstances without needing aid from outside sources.

CERT members are trained in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations. You will learn how to prepare for emergencies, what supplies you should NOW have in your house, how much food, how much water but most importantly, how to protect your family in an emergency!

Local government prepares for everyday emergencies. However, during a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.

CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. In the CERT training, citizens learn to:


  • manage utilities and put out small fires,
  • treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock,
  • provide basic medical aid,
  • search for and rescue victims safely,
  • organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective,
  • and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.

                                 WHY DO THE CERT TRAINING?

Well, it’s like paying for car insurance. You might never need either; you’d hope not to. But if the occasion arises, having the CERT training, just like having car insurance, means you’re as ready as you can be to help yourself, your family and your neighborhood.

                                     Sign-up for the FREE Training

                                                 HOW DO I JOIN?

CERT members receive 20 hours (one day a week for eight weeks) of initial training. The 8-week course is followed by full-day biannual refresher drills.

CERT is provided free of charge within the Parish of Calcasieu to anyone 18 or over.

The current schedule is always available on the internet at mylert.org on the Calendar. To register for a class, Please fill out the form on the Contact Us page to verify the date, time and location of the class.  If you miss a class, you can do a make class. When you arrive at the make-up session, inform the instructor that you are making up a class.

You can also organize a class for your neighborhood, business or community group. You need a minimum of 20 people to be trained and a location to hold the training. Call CERT at 337-602-8411 or fill the form on the Contact Us page to schedule your class.

The CERT of Calcasieu Parish only conducts non-discriminatory classes. Non-discrimination includes race, religion, gender, and group affiliations.