Following a major community emergency, first responders who provide fire and medical services will not be able to meet the demand for these services. Factors such as number of victims, communication failures and road blockages will prevent people from accessing emergency services they have come to expect at a moment's notice through 911.
We also know people will spontaneously volunteer to assist their neighbors in a disaster. CERT is an effort to bring organization and provide for a communities citizens to assist in helping a community to recover.
A member of CERT will be in a position to assist their community to respond to and cope with the aftermath of a disaster.
CERT is not just working in the field, CERT needs volunteers that can organize operate computers, answer phones, process paperwork, etc.
For more information you can go to http://www.fema.gov/community-emergency-response-teams