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About CERT


Community Emergency Response Team's (CERT) mission is simple:

"Do the greatest good for the greatest number of people" when a major disaster strikes our community.

CERTs are formed by members of a neighborhood or workplace who want to be better prepared for the hazards that threaten their communities. Your Lomita CERT Volunteers in cooperation with the Los Angeles County Fire Department are committed to this community's disaster preparation.

Lomita CERT provides the necessary training required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to our fellow citizens. When a major disaster does strike, you will have the skills and knowledge to assist neighbors, co-workers and professional rescue personnel. Your leadership and care will help those around you after a major disaster until professional emergency services arrive.


The CERT concept was developed and implemented by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in 1985. They recognized that citizens would very likely be on their own during the early stages of a catastrophic disaster. Accordingly, LAFD decided that some basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would improve the ability of citizens to survive until responders or other assistance could arrive. The Whittier Narrows earthquake in 1987 underscored the area-wide threat of a major disaster in California. Further, it confirmed the need for training civilians to meet immediate emergency needs.

The training program that the LAFD initiated proved to be so beneficial that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) felt that the concept and the program should be made available to communities nationwide. In 1994, the Emergency Management Institute (EMI), in cooperation with the LAFD, expanded the CERT materials to make them applicable to all hazards.

CERT MapIn 2003, President Bush asked all Americans to volunteer in the service of their country. The Citizen Corps program was created to spearheaded this effort to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds. CERT was selected as one of the primary programs offered to the American public to meet this challenge.

At the present time there are over 2500 active CERT programs in 50 States and 3 territories. CERT programs are also being adopted by a number of foreign countries. The map on the right shows the location of CERT programs throughout the country. Click on the map for a fully up to date pdf version. A description of the various State programs can be found by clicking here.

CERT in Lomita

The CERT program started in Lomita in 2006. As of the spring of 2009 some 190 members of the community have been trained and are ready to assist their neighborhood in the event of an emergency.

Training courses are held approximately every quarter and regular meetings of CERT graduates are held at City Hall. See the Training and News & Events pages for the latest information.