Community Emergency Response Team

Client: New York City Office of Emergency Management
Faculty: David Hansell And Regina Quattrochi
Team: Jamila Baucom, Elana Bekerman, Danielle Iavarone, Rhodes Perry, Dana Weisberg, Ellen Zielinski
Year: 2006
Since 2003, the New York City Office of Emergency Management (NYCOEM) has operated the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program as a part of its emergency response and preparedness strategy. The program consists of an 11-week training that uses the basic curriculum established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and adjusted to incorporate some of the unique aspects of an urban environment like New York City. The purpose of this Capstone project was to conduct the first formal evaluation of the CERT program since it began in New York City in 2003 and give NYCOEM the tools to assess the effectiveness of the CERT training curriculum and evaluate the CERT team’s ability to integrate within their communities post-training. The Capstone team presented NYCOEM with a product they could use to educate, train, and guide all present and future CERT team members, including best practices for team building, communication, outreach and fundraising strategies. The areas the Capstone team chose to focus on were (1) an analysis of the current CERT program and trained teams, (2) recommendations for an outreach/communications addendum to the CERT curriculum, and (3) fundraising strategies for CERT teams to self-sustain and empower themselves. Methodology used to collect necessary information were direct analysis, one-on-one interviews, focus groups and surveys.

This Capstone was made possible with the support from an anonymous donor through FJC: A Donor-Advised Fund.