FEMA CERT Liability Guide

A Risk Management Overview for Local CERT Programs

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program at FEMA has published the new CERT Liability Guide.

It is available for download on the Supplemental Information page of the National CERT website CERT Liability Guide (PDF).

CERT programs across the nation support post-disaster response and help ensure that CERT efforts are as safe and effective as possible.  CERT advocates have understood that program activities can create risk and adverse consequences; however, perceptions about liability may become a larger barrier to CERT formation, activities and partnerships than is justified by reality.  The purpose of this Guide is to offer information and suggested techniques to help local CERT programs overcome this barrier.  The audience includes local programs, their sponsoring government agencies and legal advisors, and CERT members themselves.

The new CERT Liability Guide presents the benefits of risk management for CERT programs, including building confidence and a positive public image for the program, reducing the cost of insurance and avoiding other costs, helping to preserve a local program’s investment in its members, and increasing overall participation in CERT.

The Guide also presents five steps to effective risk management for local CERT programs:

  1. Securing leadership support
  2. Collecting information to identify liability exposure
  3. Identifying and analyzing risks
  4. Adopting strategies to manage risk
  5. Adopting standard practices for ongoing risk management.

Specific activities and considerations are described under each of the five steps.
Local CERT programs that consistently follow the process described in the new Guide can benefit themselves, their sponsors, their members, and the community.


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