Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

"Neighbors helping neighbors" is the motto of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training program. CERT was created to help fulfill the need for a well-trained civilian emergency work force. The primary goal of CERT is to train residents to care for themselves, their family, their neighbors, and then to assist the overall neighborhood during an emergency.

CERT is an opportunity for residents to learn basic skills to save lives and protect property in the aftermath of a major disaster when traditional emergency response resources may be limited or not immediately available. The training program provides for community self-sufficiency through the development of multi-functional teams, who will act as an adjunct to the City’s emergency services during major disasters.

Regional CERT Program
The City of La Palma has joined with other west Orange County cities to develop a regional CERT training program, West County CERT. Along with La Palma, the cities of Buena Park, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Westminster, each provided instructors and students for this valuable disaster preparedness training program. For more details about the regional West County CERT program, please visit:

Becoming a member of CERT

To become a member you must attend a 20-hour FEMA approved course which includes Disaster Preparedness, Medical Ops I & II, Light Search and Rescue, Fire Suppression, Team Organization and Disaster Psychology. The 'basic CERT training course' in general offered twice a year; for more details, please visit: