Be Engaged

CERTCommunity Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program trains volunteers to help themselves and others in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and to provide directed-assistance to public safety and City officials in the aftermath.

We currently have several hundred Norfolk residents and employees who have completed Norfolk CERT training. The goal is to have trained volunteers in every neighborhood.

Two Important Factors

CERT recognizes two important factors in major disasters:

  • There will be times when the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services.
    • A high number of victims, communication failures, road blockages, and flooding are among the impediments to quick fire and police response.
  • Under these kinds of conditions, family members, fellow employees, and neighbors will spontaneously try to help each other.

Basic Training for CERT Volunteers

While people will respond to others in need without training, CERT provides basic training to help volunteers respond in an organized and safe manner, and to guide others in responding effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. CERT volunteers are taught an all-hazard approach, including how to:

  • Help in their neighborhood
  • Learn basic response skills
  • Learn to triage and treat injuries
  • Prevent injury or damage in their own home
  • Quickly evaluate a rescue situation
  • Shut off water and gas utilities
  • Use a fire extinguisher

Completion of Training

Upon completion of training, each person will receive a CERT Kit with preparedness items.

Post Training
Once trained, CERT volunteers are called on for other functions, including assisting at major city events and community outreach in preparedness. CERT volunteers also participate in city- and region-wide training exercises.

How to Register

If you would like more information regarding CERT or would like to register for an upcoming class contact: Scott Mahone, Deputy Coordinator Emergency Management, 757-441-5619.

To learn more, please check out the CERT website.  

Medical Reserve Corps

Medical Reserve CorpThe Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) helps to strengthen communities by establishing a system for medical, health and community volunteers to offer their expertise throughout the year, as well as augment public health professionals during times of need. In an emergency, volunteers with a wide variety of skills are needed to assist with the public health response. Locally, the Norfolk Health Department is sponsors a MRC unit and invites medical and public health professionals and non-medical support volunteers to come together in supporting public health in our community.

At the national level, the MRC is housed under the Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response and is recognized as the Division of the Civilian Medical Reserve Corps.


Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years old. In addition to responding to public health emergencies, volunteers may be called to assist with health education and outreach, flu clinics, first aid stations, and other special public health or community events. Training is provided free of charge and includes:

  • Incident Command System / National Incident Management System (ICS/NIMS)
  • Orientation
  • Psychological first aid

To learn more about how you can get involved, please check out the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps or call 757-683-2834.


Skywarn Opens in new windowSkywarn™ is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of trained volunteer severe weather spotters. Skywarn Spotters support their local community and government by providing the NWS and their local emergency managers with timely and accurate severe weather reports.

These reports, when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform communities of the proper actions to take as severe weather threatens.

Skywarn training classes are held each Spring prior to hurricane and tornado season. For information on class dates and locations, please contact Scott Mahone at 757-441-5619.