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Austin County CERT Programs Graduates CERT Team #10

The Austin County CERT Program recently graduated its 10th class of members to their program. Austin County Judge Carolyn Bilski pictured below in the newspaper article is a long time advocate and supporter of the CERT program. She is actively engaged in training members in her community to be ready to assist in the event of a catastrophic disaster.


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FEMA Honors 2010 Achievements in Community Resilience FEMA Honors 2010 Achievements in Community Resilience

On September 22, 2010, FEMA honored the winners of the 2010 National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards. FEMA Administrator W. Craig Fugate presented winners with a certificate of achievement in ten categories of awards that recognize innovative practices and achievements of communities and individuals across the nation that make our neighborhoods safer, stronger and better prepared to manage any emergency situation. Following opening remarks and the awards ceremony, Administrator Fugate hosted a roundtable discussion with winners.

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Guadalupe County CERT Team Activated for Central Texas Flooding

The call, when it came, was unexpected. The Guadalupe County Emergency Manager, Dan Kinsey was on the phone asking for assistance from the newly formed and trained County CERT Team. Rising flood waters on the Guadalupe River and tributaries on 9 June 2010 had pushed debris unto key surface roads used by residences along low lying areas of Lake McQueeney and along the Guadalupe River. Removing the debris and opening the roads was the only way to get to residents after the flood waters crested 30 feet above flood stage.

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Volunteers trained to aid first respondersVolunteers Trained to Aid First

WESLACO — Mauricio Valles hopes to never have to use his emergency response training.

The 63-year-old Edinburg retiree joined a community readiness class a year ago to learn the basic skills he needs to aid first responders during a crisis.

“I wanted to be prepared on my own and then to help the community,” Valles said in Spanish. “When something happens, I want to be ready.”

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Lower Rio Grande Citizen Corps Awarded Trailer

TARC and the Texas Citizen Corps are pleased to announce that the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council’s (LRGVDC) Regional Citizen Corps Program was selected to receive 1 Haulmark Transport Trailer to support their programs in the Rio Grande Valley. According to Manuel Cruz, Homeland Security Director for LRGVDC, “This trailer is a great accomplishment and will be a valuable asset for the regions’ Citizen Corps Programs and Valley Volunteers.

(Hidalgo County Judge Rene A. Ramirez, Lower Rio Grande Valley First Responders

“Preparación para desastre”

Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Training En Espańol for City of Edinburg and City of Pharr Citizen Volunteers

Since January 2010, the LRGVDC staff managing the Citizen Corps Program Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) with the regions first responder community has been providing assistance and training to two CERT Teams for community volunteers from Edinburg and Pharr. The CERT course is providing the knowledge and skills citizen volunteers need to effectively serve their community with efforts to prepare for local emergencies and responding to them being the ultimate focus. Read more...

New Community Preparedness Toolkit Available on
This summer, President Obama is calling on Americans to participate in our nation's recovery and renewal by volunteering in our local communities. To encourage individuals to volunteer and develop their own "do-it-yourself" projects that can help prepare communities for disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Citizen Corps have teamed up with the Corporation for National and Community Service to provide a Community Preparedness Toolkit on

This new Community Preparedness Toolkit helps citizens create a service project to prepare their family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues for disasters in their local community. Click here for more information and to download the toolkit.  

Bexar County and the Alamo Area CERT Award 10 Trailers
Using 2007 State Homeland Security Program Grant funds, the Bexar County Office of Emergency Management presented ten (10) single-axle cargo trailers to members of the Alamo Area Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). The trailers were awarded to CERT programs in Bandera County, Comal County, City of Fredericksburg, Kendall County, Kerr County, Schertz Fire Department, Somerset Volunteer Fire Department, Wilson County, Lone Oak Volunteer Fire Department, and the International Community Development Corporation. Read more...

Fire Corps Grassroots Forum
Fire Corps Representatives from across Texas attended the Texas Fire Corps Grassroots Forum, on Friday, February 5, 2010 at the San Antonio Fire Training Academy. This regional Forum brought together representatives from local Fire Corps programs, Citizen Corps Councils, and Fire Corps State Advocates whose insight allows the national Fire Corps office to identify best practices, challenges, effective retention and recruitment practices, and garner recommendations and feedback from the grassroots level. In addition, attendees were able to network and ask questions to help improve local program implementation and sustainability. Read more...

Harris County and Denton County Win National Citizen Corps Achievement Award
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced the winners of the first annual National Citizen Corps Achievement Awards–Celebrating Resilient Communities. Our very own Harris and Denton County Citizen Corps Councils were selected as national 2009 winners and recognized for their exemplary community preparedness efforts in the categories of Volunteer Integration Award and Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award (Serving a population under 1.5 million) respectively. Read more...

St. Edward's University Campus C-CERT Program Receives Junior Auxiliary Grant
St. Edward's University announces the receipt of a $7,482-dollar grant from the Junior League of Austin. The grant will provide training resources for Campus-Community Emergency Response Team(C-CERT), which is comprised of university staff volunteers and managed by the University Police Department. Read more...

Victoria County Completes First CERT Training
Victoria County began 2009 by training its residents to be more aware and better prepared in the event of a disaster. They are pleased to announce the completion of the first Victoria County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on January 24, 2009. Read more...

Argyle High School Begins TEEN CERT
Victoria County began 2009 by training its residents to be more aware and better prepared in the event of a disaster. They are pleased to announce the completion of the first Victoria County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training on January 24, 2009. Read more...

Trent, Texas CERT Members Help Their Community
A mineral blockage caused water to stop running to residents in Trent, Texas on Tuesday, December 23 that left residents without water over Christmas. Throughout this problem, residents coped with this inconvenience by helping one another. Read more...

Hays County CERT receives LCRA Grant Making Possible Search & Rescue Upgrade
Representatives of the Lower Colorado River Authority board of directors recently presented Hays County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) representatives a $20,643 grant which will enable the organization to provide state-of-the-art search and rescue capabilities in support of county first responders. Read more...

City of Austin Receives Award to Pilot Citizen Corps National Emergency Technology Guard (NET GUARD) Program
The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that $320,000 will be awarded to four jurisdictions to pilot, test, and develop tools for a potential new Citizen Corps National Emergency Technology Guard (NET Guard) program. Read more...

What is NET Guard?
Following authorization in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the NET Guard program concept was developed through a DHS scoping initiative and work group involving stakeholders and potential partners including state and local government representatives, emergency managers, potential private sector partners and DHS divisions. DHS/FEMA will use the NET Guard Pilot Program to test and further evaluate and develop the NET Guard program concept as a potential Citizen Corps Program. Read more...

Texas Citizen Corps Partners with St. Edwards University to Introduce the Campus Community Emergency Response Team Initiative
University and community college representatives and local government officials from various jurisdictions across the state met at St. Edward’s University in Austin earlier this month to learn how to better prepare students and faculty for disasters of any kind.  This training was hosted by St. Edwards’s University and sponsored by the Texas Citizen Corps Program. Read more...

Texas Citizen Corps Leaders Attend White House Event
On September 8, 2008, Texas Citizen Corps leaders from across the state gathered on the South Lawn of the White House to hear President George W. Bush give remarks on the importance of volunteering. Attends from Texas were Josh Garcia, of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo CERT, Nicole Gonzalez of Concho Valley Citizen Corps, Michael Kahlenberg of Fort Bend County CERT, Whitney Laning of Rowlett Citizen Corps, Rosalyn Martinez of South Plains Citizen Corps, RJ Thomas of Ingleside Fire Corps, Chief Mark Wallace of McKinney CERT, Mark Sloan of Harris County Citizen Corps, and Judge Ed Emmett of Harris County Citizen Corps. Read more...

Fort Bend County CERT Coordinator Receives Award
Michael Kahlenberg, Fort Bend County CERT Coordinator, was awarded the President’s Volunteers Service Award on August 20, 2008, at the National Citizen Corps Leadership Forum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Read more...

Rowlett Citizen Corps Celebrates Five Years of Service
On May 3, 2008, the Rowlett Citizen Corps Program celebrated five years of service to their community with an anniversary banquet and volunteer appreciation night at the Rowlett Community Center. The Rowlett Citizen Corps Council was established in 2003 as one of the first programs in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area and sponsors the Rowlett Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Rowlett Fire Corps, Volunteers in Police Service, and Neighborhood Watch programs. RCCC has developed a healthy working relationship with the City of Rowlett, including the City Council and numerous city boards and commissions. Together, they have built a partnership based on public safety with the community. Read more...

Sulphur Springs Police Department Honors Volunteers in Police Service Program
On March 27, 2008 Sulphur Springs Police Department honored their Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) at an awards ceremony. Master of Ceremonies was Lt. Rex Morgan. Police Chief Jim Bayuk and Lt. Morgan proudly presented 15 of their volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Award and a Certificate of Recognition from Texas Governor Rick Perry. In addition to expressing his appreciation to the volunteers, Chief Bayuk reminded them of the valuable contribution they have each made to their community. By utilizing volunteers at local shopping areas, the police department noted that there had been a decrease in vehicle burglaries and shoplifting where the volunteers patrolled. Sulphur Springs Police Department has also utilized volunteers to assist them in issuing handicapped parking citations. Read more...

City of Mesquite Management Utilizes Area CERT Volunteers to Search for Young Drowning Victim
Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) volunteers from Rowlett, McKinney, Dallas, Garland and Coppell, as well as the Mesquite Fire Corps provided critical support to the City of Mesquite in search and recovery efforts during a recent flash flood that claimed the life of one citizen. Mesquite officials noted that “it is unfortunate it takes such events to highlight the importance of regional response teams, but it is such times when we also find the value of that service. No one city can provide for all of the resources needed to meet all hazards, which is why we are stronger and more effective working together than we are as individual communities.” Read more...

Dr. David Lakey, Department of State Health Services Commissioner, was joined by Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw and Chief Jack Colley of the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management in encouraging Texas to “HAVE A PLAN” during the April 28th press conference on the south steps of the Capitol.

Texas Citizen Corps Program Participates in the Texas Department of State Health Services Press Conference for the Ready or Not? Campaign Urging Hurricane Preparedness
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) launched the third phase of its Ready or Not? HAVE A PLAN bilingual public education campaign, emphasizing family preparedness for the spring and summer storm season. “The time for families to plan is now,” said Dr. David Lakey, DSHS Commissioner. “It’s too late to prepare when you hear a weather forecast predicting an approaching hurricane, tornado or flood.”

Ready or Not? HAVE A PLAN campaign Partners, which included Red Cross, 211, Pets America, Travis County Health and Human Services Department and the Texas Citizen Corps Program were present to provide attendees with additional information on how to become more aware, better prepared, and involved in supporting local first responders.

The year-long “Ready or Not? HAVE A PLAN” campaign focuses on three key elements: family, essentials, and information. The Ready or NOT? Community outreach tour, which has 18 events in the fall and winter, launched another round of visits April 28 in Austin. Additional stops are planned during April, May and June in Houston, Beaumont, Victoria, Galveston, Brownsville, and Corpus Christi.

The Texas Citizen Corps Program, a partner in this campaign, encourages local citizen corps councils to participate in these events.

For more information on the “Ready or Not? HAVE A PLAN” campaign, go to or

Tom Green County CERT Assists at Shelter for Women and Children from YFZ Ranch
Photo The Tom Green County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) was recently called into action by local officials after women and children who identify themselves as members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints were removed from the group’s YFZ Ranch near Eldorado, in rural Schleicher County. The women and children were placed into shelter facilities in San Angelo in what has been described as is one of the largest child custody operations in the nation’s history. Read complete article....

West Texas Wildfires Blaze Up – CERTs Assist
CERT volunteers assist with Red Cross shelters and door-ro-door evacuation notice. Read the complete article....

Highlights from the Harris County CERT Rodeo
Harris County Citizen Corps hosted its second annual Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Rodeo Round Up on Saturday, February 9th, at the Harris County Fire and Sheriff's Training Academy in Humble, Texas.View highligts and photos....

Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas receives CERT Training
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Ingleside Fire Corps Volunteers Visit Schools During Fire Prevention Week
The Ingleside Fire Department and Fire Corps volunteers held a series of events in October to promote fire safety as part of National Fire Prevention Week. On Tuesday, October 17 and Wednesday October 18, , the Ingleside Fire Corps provided fire safety tips to K-2 students at Ingleside Primary Elementary, third and fourth graders at Gilbert J. Mircovich Elementary, and fifth- and sixth-graders at Blaschke Sheldon Elementary. Read more...

Bexar County Citizen Corps Volunteer Receives Presidential Volunteer Service Award
President Bush honored local Citizen Corps Volunteer Gloria Sanchez for her service to the local Fire Corps and Community Emergency Response Team Thursday during a presidential stop in Texas. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, President George W. Bush launched the Citizen Corps initiative to inspire and enable Americans to find ways to serve their communities and their countries. The President has called on all Americans to dedicate at least two years of their lives – the equivalent of 4,000 hours – in service to others. Read more...

Fort Bend County Office of Emergency Management Graduates First CERT Class
The first official Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Class for Fort Bend County graduated at a ceremony held at the Sugar Land Fire Administration building. Fort Bend County, in cooperation, with Sugar Land Emergency Management graduated its first CERT class of 30 volunteers. Read more....

Amateur Radio Information
Want information on amateur radio and how to become FCC certified? Visit the American Radio Relay League website for an introduction to this communication tool. You can also view this introductory video (Windows Media File) for additional information and details.


National Incident Management System Resources
Resources, Documentation, Templates, and Executive Orders in the Emergency Preparedness Section of TARC's Resource Center

Wimberly CERT News Available Online
Visit the Wimberly CERT News page for the latest information.

Liability Issues and Community Emergency Response Teams
Presentation and Information by Claire Lee Reiss, J.D., ARM, Public Entity Risk Institute

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