Who? The New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an organization of federally trained volunteers.
What? CERT is a community-based emergency preparedness organization and is FEMA supported.
Where? The primary geographical support area is New Braunfels Texas and the immediate surrounding communities.
When? CERT training is mostly about post-disaster search and rescue. However, the goal is to prepare the entire community way before disaster strikes.
Why? New Braunfels Texas is located in part of “Flash Flood Alley”. The area has suffered many flash floods throughout recorded history.
How? The team provides education, information, and training to the public at large. They also help organize training for future CERT volunteers.
Good Samaritans! When called to action, these volunteers respond by utilizing their knowledge, skills and training to save lives and help the community.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is an emergency preparedness program supported by the Department of Homeland Security. FEMA began promoting nationwide the use of the CERT concept in 1994 based on a model created and implemented by the Los Angeles City Fire Department in 1985.
New Braunfels CERT was established by the City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in December of 2010 with support of the leadership of the City of New Braunfels.
NBCERT members receive special training to enhance their ability to support the OEM, city first responders and all other city departments during emergency/disaster events.
The need for a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteer group was fully realized after the June 9, 2010 flood event that affected the City and surrounding communities. This devastating flood, while it did not directly result in any reported deaths, did cause millions of dollars in destruction to homes and businesses. Many volunteers stepped forward during this time of great need to help their neighbors. As a way to help and assist future willing volunteers, it was determined that the City should provide training to these energetic and valuable resources.
With the assistance of the Alamo Area Community of Governments (AACOG), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Comal County and the City of New Braunfels, CERT now provides free, quarterly training and recruiting events. The training consists of a 20-hour certification course that includes disaster first aid, light search and rescue, fire safety, disaster psychology and terrorism awareness.
At the conclusion of this formal training, the student-participants are subjected to a mock exercise to test their knowledge and skills. This activity is a stressful, simulated incident that is unscripted and incorporates many victims in multiple states of distress. The very first training class for New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Team (NBCERT) graduated in December of 2010. There have been many additional classes since then.
As a form of continuing education and community development, NBCERT participates in various other training offerings. This includes, but is not limited to:
- National Weather Service – Skywarn Training
- American Red Cross – Shelter Operations
- Comal County Health Department – Rapid Tag, Spontaneous Volunteer Registration
- FEMA – Significant Damage Estimate training
- New Braunfels Fire Department – CPR/First Aid and AED training
- Multi-Jurisdictional – Airport Hazardous Material exercise, Rehabilitation for First Responders
- Comal County – Point of Disbursements (POD) exercise
- Christus Santa Rosa Hospital – Rapid Tag, Spontaneous Volunteer Registration
- AMTRAK – Passenger Train Emergency Response Training
- Center for Domestic Preparedness – CBRNE, WMD Awareness-level training
- TRANSCAER – Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response
NBCERT has assisted the City of New Braunfels Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and other City departments with various planned and real events. These include, but are not limited to:
- February 2010 – Wide-area search for missing 18mo old child
- Annual Wein & Saengerfest – First Aid tent
- Annual Kops & Kids – Preparedness Awareness tent and pamphlet distribution
- Annual Lowe’s Safety Saturday
- Love Your Heart 5K & Kid’s K Fun Run/Walk
- Monthly OEM Training – WebEOC exercise
- Are You Ready? – Preparedness Awareness tent and pamphlet distribution
- Fire Wise – Preparedness Awareness tent and pamphlet distribution
- LDS Preparedness Event – Preparedness Awareness table and pamphlet distribution
- NB WebEOC ’12 Exercise – Victim simulation
- NB/Christus AMTRAK Exercise – Victim simulation
Looking forward, NBCERT is currently working on various activation exercises, developing plans and procedures for many tasks that will come up during an emergency, and utilizing the Incident Command System (ICS) to operate while activated. NBCERT has also developed several NBCERT personnel to train and instruct other new members. These in-house CERT trainers also continue to train in other emergency management topics. There is no end to the training opportunities provided to NBCERT members!
NBCERT is seeking additional team members and the goal is to have a 200 member team to assist when the next flood, fire or other emergency event occurs in New Braunfels. Members range from high school students to retirees – and everyone brings something to the table.
NBCERT Misson Statement:
New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Team responds immediately to assist our families, friends and neighbors in the event of a disaster until trained first responders arrive.
“Doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people & making a difference so others may live!”
Like & follow us at:
New Braunfels Office of Emergency Management @NBEMC
New Braunfels Community Emergency Response Team @NBCERT