Zone Lead Emergency Response Template

EG CERT Emergency Response Template for Zone Leads
First Draft — Updated August 28, 2022
To post your comments and suggestions, please scroll down to Comment, below.

Preparation Prior to Emergency

  1. CERT backpack, complete with all equipment, is ready to go. (If you don’t have a CERT backpack, set up your own backpack with necessary equipment.)
  2. FRS radio or radios are charged, ready to go.
  3. The following information is printed on paper and stored in your backpack:
    • Cell phone numbers of your EG CERT teammates: Block Captains and other teammates within your zone, and members of the EG CERT leadership team.
    • FRS radio channel # for your zone in the event of an emergency. 
    • Information that you’ve collected about residents in your zone.
    • Maps of your zone, to be used for search purposes.
  4. Have plans in place for your home and family. What will each person do, and what will be necessary to secure your home, if shelter in place is needed, or if evacuation is needed?
  5. Have a plan in place for your zone gathering point. Where is it? What equipment will be needed? What supplies will be needed? How will it get there, and who is responsible?

When an Emergency Occurs and CERT is Activated

  1. If possible check in by cell phone or text with the Neighborhood CERT Lead (April Larsen), and Block Captains and CERT teammates within your zone. 
  2. Determine whether this is a shelter-in-place emergency, or an evacuation emergency.
  3. Take care of your home and family first, according to your plan.
  4. Coordinate with teammates on getting your Zone Gathering Point set up. Make sure to bring your backpack and any other necessary personal supplies and equipment.
  5. Check-in on FRS on channel #4 with EG CERT Net Control. Check on any immediate needs for supplies and assistance. Determine what information is needed, and how it will be gathered and reported.
  6. Set up your tent if you have one, triage center, and supplies as needed. 
  7. Prepare to assist people who show up. For urgent medical needs, report to EG CERT Net Control.
  8. Work with CERT teammates and neighbors in your Zone — as practiced in our emergency drills — for them to walk the streets of the Zone, and report damage and needs for assistance via FRS to the Zone Gathering Point.
  9. Zone Gathering Point forwards these reports and requests for assistance to EG CERT Net Control.
  10. Document all damage, medical needs, and requests for assistance.

4 Replies to “Zone Lead Emergency Response Template”

  1. This is a good list. I do have a couple of questions.

    1. Not for the list, but how would we know we are being activated. I’m unclear on that process but I assume Cal Fire would initiate through the CERT leadership.

    2. What is the difference in CERT roles for in-place vs evacuation emergencies. Are there other categories? I would think during an evacuation CERTs would be leaving and not activated.


    1. Hi Grant,

      Thanks for the feedback, and great questions. I’m cc’ing the leadership team on this, since I don’t have authoritative answers. My educated guesses:

      Dave Cosgrave & Cynthia Sherill will inform April L. who will inform the leadership team. Email? Text? Phone?

      For a shelter-in-place emergency, we’ll set up at each zone’s meeting place, as well as neighborhood command center at the old fire station — as we’re doing in the drills. For an evacuation emergency, we’ll set up in two places if possible: the old fire station, and in the old Monster Chef parking lot. And if any or all of us have to leave EG for our safety, that always comes first.

      April & leadership team: how would you respond to Grant’s questions? Thanks!

  2. Grant raises some good questions, particularly with respect to activation. It’s very likely that we will know that an emergency is developing before we receive notice that CERT has been activated. It woudl be helpful to give us CERT’s an indication of the likliehood of activation as soon as an emergency occurs: e.g: “activation not expected at this time” or “standby for activation call” or “all CERT’s shelter in place” or “all CERT’s evacuate”.

    Also, what roll (if any) would we play in an evacuation?


  3. All good questions… with no easy answers.
    1st off, the self-actions and neighborhood level actions are what I see a lot of neighborhoods working on are very valuable and probably going to 1 of the key responses that will help in the incipient stages of an emergency (put small fires out before they grow, stop the bleed early…)
    CERT Training is based on giving the skills to do these things safely.
    Official Activation will lag and be sent to leads via whatever methods are available to us at the time.
    The DSW coverage will only start after official activation and members sign into the incident on their 214’s with at least 1 other member.
    At this time there are no activations based on standard operational procedures (SOP’s) I could see a policy that says something to the effect of a post-earthquake, with a complete communication failure evident, CERT members may activate to their neighborhood level if there are immediate needs within the scope of the CERT members training and ability….
    As far as evacuation, CERT members will need to evacuate as would the rest of the population, the green vest will not protect from what ever is prompting the evacuation. Their may be a role for CERTs outside of the evacuation area if called upon by Red Cross or other organization.

    The “No CERT Activation Expected” message, is a good idea. I could see that going out post earthquake(large) with no disaster in the community.

    Hope this helps,

    David Cosgrave

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