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Frequently Asked Questions for Adults

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This page offers responses to questions frequently asked by adults about the Teen CERT program, and is primarily intended for individuals not already familiar with Teen CERT.

For answers to questions not listed here, individuals should contact their state point of contact for CERT (all listed here:, the national CERT program office at, or the FEMA Youth Preparedness Technical Assistance Center at

Q: How long is the training?
A: The Basic CERT Training takes approximately 20-30 hours. Additional time will be required if the school will offer certification in CPR, First Aid and AED.

Q: Who delivers the training?
A: All lead instructors should be CERT certified instructors. Other staff to consider as trainers include school resource officers; emergency management professionals; local fire, police, and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel; school nurses, health or physical education instructors or school counselors and other disaster relief personnel like CERT volunteers. If the community already has a CERT Program, trainers from the program should also be tapped.

Q: What if I want to start a Teen CERT but do not want to be an instructor?
A: There is plenty you can do without teaching the training. Look at the Establishing and Maintaining Teen CERT Training Guide for important steps and background information.

Q: What is included in the Teen CERT curriculum?
A: The Teen CERT curriculum is FEMA's standard CERT Basic Training course. It consists of nine units; each unit has goals and learning objectives. The units teach students to keep themselves safe while helping others; to identify and anticipate hazards; reduce fire hazards in the home and workplace; use a fire extinguisher to put out small fires; assist emergency responders; conduct light search and rescue; set up medical treatment areas; apply basic first aid techniques and help reduce survivor stress. At the end of the course, students participate in a disaster drill to reinforce learning. Students also take pre- and post-tests to evaluate learning.

Q: What is in it for the school?
A: A trained CERT will be able to provide assistance in the immediate aftermath of a disaster when professional response may be delayed or limited. CERT members can also assist in a range of school safety projects and activities. They may point out unsafe conditions, identify students who have become disenfranchised or serve as role models who take on new leadership responsibilities within the school.

Q: What is in it for the student?
A: Students learn life skills, fulfill community service requirements, give back to the community, develop leadership skills and help make their schools safer.

Q: What is the school's liability?
A: No matter what is done, liability is a concern. Many high schools who offer CERT training to students handle the potential liability as they do with sports and other school-sponsored activities. The question is: "Can the school reduce their risk and liability by having qualified student responders who are trained in first aid and who know how to react in the face of danger or disaster, immediately available in their school?"

Q: Can students use this material for fulfilling community service credits for graduation?
A: Yes and it is encouraged. It is recommended that participants receive 20-30 community service hours toward graduation.


Last Updated: 
09/23/2015 - 16:39
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