MALIBU—The city of Malibu is alerting residents of the upcoming Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training courses that will be held in a virtual format as a result of the pandemic.

According to the city of Malibu website, because of COVID-19, the city’s regular schedule of ongoing CERT training courses has temporarily shifted to a hybrid model where students take the classroom portion online in the safety of their own homes. Registration is now open for the online classroom portion. Upon completion of the online section, students will be eligible to take part in the in-person training portion when safe to do so. Announcements will be made for the schedule of the in-person portion and final drill once they are set and will directly notify those who have completed the online portion.

CERT provides preparation for wildfire and other disasters as individuals and for the community. The program offers free courses administered by the city of Malibu several times a year and is used by public safety agencies across the country and the world. CERT training includes disaster preparedness, fire suppression, disaster medical, search and rescue, disaster psychology and terrorism.

The CERT trained volunteers assist the City’s ability to prepare and respond to disasters. A news release from the city of Malibu noted, during the Woolsey Fire, members of the official Malibu CERT Team contributed about 300 hours of service to the emergency response by distributing food and medical supplies, assisting with evacuations, and administering basic first aid.

In 2017, the Malibu City Council adopted the official Malibu CERT Program Guidelines, an important step in formally incorporating the program and the trained, dedicated CERT volunteers into the City’s Emergency Management System. Guidelines outline the requirements to become an active member of the Malibu CERT Team, organizational structure, team responsibilities, ongoing participation requirements, and activation procedures.

In addition to first aid, search and rescue, and other training, official CERT Team members are mandated to complete Federal Emergency Manager Agency (FEMA) trainings, serve at least 30 hours per year, attend regular meetings and drills, and become registered as Disaster Service Workers.

For more information or to sign up, contact Public Safety Specialist Sarah Kaplan 310-456-2489 ext. 368, or email or visit the CERT webpage.