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CERT Curriculum and Mock Disaster

The following curriculum is typical in our training: 

Mock disaster

Lesson #1 – Disaster Preparedness

  • Recent disasters & emergencies
  • Impact on the infrastructure
  • Structural and nonstructural hazards
  • Home and workplace preparedness
  • Community preparedness

Lesson #2 – Fire Safety

  • Fire chemistry
  • Reducing fire hazards in the home & workplace
  • Hazardous materials
  • Fire suppression safety

Lesson #3 – Disaster Medical Operations #1

  • Treating life-threatening conditions
  • Triage

Lesson #4 – Disaster Medical Operations #2

  • Functions of disaster medical operations
  • Establishing treatment areas
  • Conducting head-to-toe assessments
  • Treating burns, wounds, fractures, sprains & strains
  • Splinting

Mock Disaster


Lesson #5 – Light Search & Rescue

  • Search and rescue size up
  • Conducting search operations
  • Conducting rescue operations

Lesson #6 – CERT Organization

  • CERT organization
  • CERT decision making
  • Documentation

Lesson #7 – Disaster Psychology

  • Team well-being
  • Working with survivor’s trauma
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Lesson #8 – Terrorism

  • What is terrorism
  • Terrorist targets
  • Terrorist weapons
  • B-NICE indicators

Lesson #9 – Course Review & Disaster Simulation

  • Course review
  • Mock disaster simulation

Mock Disaster

CERT team members are broken into 5 person teams, with one designated as the “team leader.” Teams are rotated through four scenarios, each utilizing skills they obtained during the training sessions. The primary purpose of each station is to reinforce concepts learned during their training. The stations include:

Search and Rescue

Teams search a damaged room, provide rapid triage and remove any trapped victims as needed and can be safely done. Fire Department mannequins and volunteers are used as “trapped” victims.


Teams set up and organize a triage area. Upon completion of the set-up, each team separately triage’s five to six victims and provides treatment as necessary. Volunteers are used as disaster victims, with victims some requiring immediate treatment, some delayed and some deceased.

Fire Extinguisher

Teams review fire extinguisher use with Fire Department staff.

Crowd/Media Control

Teams set up a crowd control area where parents can wait for updates on the status of the incident. Teams also attempt to set up a media staging area to await official briefings by emergency services professionals. Volunteers are used to attempt to “talk” their way into the disaster scene.