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Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

CERT Update

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Logo

On December 6, 2019, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) terminated its management of Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). This doesn’t mean CERT teams in Vermont need to cease their operations; those teams are encouraged to continue to provide this valuable service.

Starting February 1, 2020 Vermont CERT teams will no longer be under Vermont Emergency Management (VEM) for purposes of activation, insurance coverage, equipment distribution, and mileage reimbursement. The dissolution of federal management of the program enables CERT teams to establish standalone 501c3 non-profits. This allows individual teams to fundraise and apply for grants to support future operations.

CERT teams are made up of volunteers who are trained by other CERT members. Vermont communities are frequently struck by a disaster or events that can affect its citizens in one way or another. These emergency events can impact communications, transportation, utilities, and emergency response capabilities. In addition, they leave many individuals and neighborhoods cut off from essential and emergency services. CERT members offer support to emergency services by performing smaller tasks like traffic control in order to allow all emergency responders to carry out critical functions.

If you have questions please contact Vermont Emergency Management at 800-347-0488

**Note from FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division on the dissolution of FEMA management of CERT:

“Since 2002, Citizen Corps Councils have contributed to the resilience of the communities that they serve. More than 1200 registered councils across the nation have produced Individual and Community Preparedness Award winners, FEMA Citizen Corps Achievement Award winners, and received numerous state and local service awards. These councils provide a framework for cooperation amongst local community organizations and national affiliate organizations to advance community preparedness and emergency response.

While state, local, tribal and territorial Citizen Corps programs can and should continue their outstanding efforts to create resilient communities, FEMA is no longer managing the Citizen Corps program at the national level. Whole community coalitions come in many forms and bear many names. The value of Citizen Corps always was, and will remain, in the hard work and efforts of council members and representatives at the state and community level.

This decision has no effect on partner programs such as FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team Program, or non-FEMA organizations such as Volunteers in Police Service, Fire Corps, or any of the many Citizen Corps Affiliate programs. Citizen Corps Councils, affiliates, partners, and members may continue to utilize FEMA’s preparedness programming and resources, including ordering resources from the FEMA publications warehouse, participating in local as well as national readiness exercises, and downloading all of FEMA’s preparedness products and guides available at

If you have further questions related to this message, you may contact FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division at


  • For more information on CERT teams please contact Vermont Emergency Management at 800-347-0488.