Get involved before a disaster strikes! Volunteer to support disaster efforts in your community. Get trained and volunteer with a Community Emergency Response Team, Medical Reserve Corps unit and/or other Citizen Corps Partner Program or Affiliate organization.
The mission of Citizen Corps is 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. > Find out more
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
The Fire Corps promotes the use of citizen advocates (volunteers) to support and augment the capacity of resource-constrained fire and emergency service departments at all levels: volunteer, combination, and career. Fire Corps is funded through the Department of Homeland Security and is managed and implemented through a partnership between the National Volunteer Fire Council and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.
This represents only a few of the many ways that individuals and community organizations can help communities lessen, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Many local faith-based and community organizations have programs active in supporting disasters too. For additional opportunities that may be unique to your community, contact your local emergency management agency or Citizen Corps Council in your area. > Find out more
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a network in the U.S. of community-based units initiated and established by local organizations to meet the public health needs of their communities. The MRC consists of medical and non-medical volunteers who contribute to local health initiatives, such as activities meeting the Surgeon General’s priorities for public health, and supplement existing response capabilities in time of emergency. The MRC provides the structure necessary to pre-identify, credential, train, and activate medical and public health volunteers. It provides an organized way for retired and practicing physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to volunteers their skills and expertise during local crises and throughout the year. > Find out more
Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)
The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program serves as a gateway to information for law enforcement agencies and citizens interested in law enforcement volunteer programs. The program’s ultimate goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement agencies by incorporating the time and skills that volunteers can contribute to a community law enforcement agency. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages the VIPS Program in partnership with and on behalf of the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. > Find out more