Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

In an emergency, whether resulting from a natural disaster, crime, terrorist-related act, or an emergency of any kind, local government resources will be the first responders and the first line of defense.

Following a major disaster, first responders who provide emergency services won’t be able to meet the demands placed upon Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)them. Factors like the number of victims, communication failures and roadblocks may prevent people from accessing the type of services they’ve come to expect at a moment’s notice through 911. People will have to rely on each other for help to meet their immediate needs until professional emergency responders can reach them.

Our Mission

The mission of the Mahwah Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is to harness the power of every team member through education and training to make our community safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

During a disaster, the number and scope of incidents can overwhelm conventional emergency services. The goal of the Mahwah CERT team is to respond as a team to assist first responders and to the immediate needs of the community when emergency services are not available.

Mahwah CERTCERT table set up with volunteers

The Mahwah Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a program that provides residents with basic training on what to do before, during and after a disaster. Most importantly, the training aids the participant in protecting themselves and their families during emergency situations. Trained CERT members may also participate in helping their community through organized or county-level emergency management.


The team traces its origins back to 2003 and is lead by Allan Becker, CERT Coordinator. Mahwah CERT currently has a membership of over 50 active members, meets monthly and participates in frequent team-building drills and exercises. Many members are CPR-certified and/or American Red Cross-certified trained in Shelter Management. The CERT team meets the third Tuesday of the month at the Mahwah Senior Center.

CERT Training

Completion of a 9-week “Basic CERT Training” course is required to join. Classes are offered sporadically at the Bergen Law and Public Safety Institute in Mahwah and cover an introduction to:

  • Disaster fire suppression
  • Disaster medical operations
  • Disaster preparedness
  • Incident Command System
  • Light search and rescue operations
  • Terrorism awareness

At the completion of the program, basic CERT safety equipment is issued to each successful participant. Class size is limited so immediate registration is encouraged when classes are announced.


There is no cost to participate in training courses. At the completion of the program, basic CERT safety equipment is issued to each successful participant. For further information email Allan Becker, Coordinator Mahwah CERT.

Mahwah residents should call Raymond Roe, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Coordinator at 201-529-1000, ext. 275 to register for more information. 


The Mahwah OEM members span in age from young adults to members who are Senior Citizens. Mahwah OEM meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Emergency Operations Center on the lower level of the Township Police Station. Inquiries can be made by calling 201-529-1000, ext. 275.

Schools / Daycare Centers

For schools and day/childcare centers, important information is available for your needs at the State of New Jersey Office of Emergency Management website.