Contact: Virginia S. Nicols, (949) 733-1778


IRVINE, CA, May 14, 2018

Boosting the Impact of FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team Training

New guidebook series helps CERT graduates extend disaster preparedness and survival skills within their communities

Citizens emerge from the 24 hour CERT training with a deeper understanding of what to expect in a disaster. They have knowledge about how to help others, including First Responders who may be overwhelmed. After that last class, however, most CERT grads head back into their neighborhoods on their own. Their valuable training is submerged and may even be lost within their community.

Survival SeriesA new series of guidebooks aims to fulfill the promise of CERT, giving committed grads a way to leverage their training by reaching out and connecting neighbors and even whole neighborhoods.

The Disaster Survival Series, by Virginia S. Nicols, offers step-by-step guidance for building a local, neighborhood emergency response team customized for a particular type of neighborhood. The Series’ titles:

  • Emergency Preparedness for Apartment Communities
  • Emergency Preparedness for Mobilehome Communities
  • Emergency Preparedness for Homeowner Communities

“Of course, some preparedness information is the same for every type of community,” says Nicols. “But building a team in a multi-family apartment building can be very different from building a team in a spread-out complex of single family residences. However you put it together, a team adds a lot more to the community’s safety and security than a single individual can.”

Nicols is a CERT graduate and long-time activist in her own community, where her neighborhood team has responded to major emergencies and won an award for its continued engagement. In each of the books, Nicols shares how her team recruits new members, maintains interest through regular trainings and projects, and deals with the inevitable hurdles to building any volunteer group. Detailed lists, activity reviews and sample materials help readers customize their approach to suit their own communities.

Disasters have surged 400% over the past 20 years, bringing emergency preparedness into ever greater focus. Community Emergency Response Team training is now offered by more than 2,700 local communities, usually at no cost to participants. Instructors, following a nationally-approved curriculum, have delivered more than 600,000 trained citizens back into their communities.

Buy all three CERT follow-on guides at Amazon in ebook or paperback format. The links below will take you directly to Amazon Kindle books:

For more about the history behind the books, and about author Nicols, go to