One of five federal programs promoted under the umbrella organization Citizen Corps, which is funded in part by the Stafford Act.
An implementation of the federal CERT program, administered by a local sponsoring agency, which receives Stafford grant funding, and provides standardized training and an implementation framework to community members.
An organization of volunteer emergency workers who have received specific training in basic disaster response skills, and who agree to supplement existing emergency responders in the event of a major disaster.
Sometimes programs and organizations take different names, such as neighborhood emergency response team (NERT), or neighborhood emergency team (NET).
The concept of civilian auxiliaries is similar to civil defense, which has a longer history.
The CERT concept differs because it includes nonmilitary emergencies, and is coordinated with all levels of emergency authorities, local to national, via an overarching incident command system.