Emergency planning

Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs)

What is a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)? 

In times of crisis and emergency, a strong and well-prepared community can make a significant difference in effectively responding and recovering. This is where a dedicated group of people within a community come into play. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) are groups of individuals who form to assist their communities during emergencies and who provide valuable support to the official emergency responders. With their local knowledge, CERTs are best positioned to know who needs help, what parts of the community are most affected, and what resources are available within the community itself.

A Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a coordinated group of key local community members. We strongly recommend that the area’s Town or Parish Council are included and help in a leadership or coordination role. Other membership could include local elected members, local emergency volunteers, local emergency service workers, community group leaders, local school leaders, GP/doctors, pharmacies, care homes, farmers, local shop owners, businesses and more.

These teams usually come together in an Emergency WhatsApp Group linked to Central Bedfordshire Council Emergency Planning Team and some groups develop their own Community Emergency Plan. Each team is also linked to the Bedfordshire Local Emergency Volunteers Executive Committee (BLEVEC) who provide access to a large pool of resources in an emergency from our Voluntary and Community Sector.

Here you will find a copy of our Community Emergency Plan Template​.

Where are our CERTs in Central Bedfordshire?​

In Central Bedfordshire we aim to have to have a CERT in each Town and Parish Area . We have 79 Town and Parish Councils, and we currently have 31 CERTs in place across the area. See if your Town or Parish Council has a CERT: 

  • Ampthill
  • Aspley Guise
  • Biggleswade
  • Blunham
  • Caddington
  • Campton & Chicksands
  • Chalton
  • Clifton
  • Cranfield
  • Dunstable
  • Eaton Bray
  • Everton
  • Fairfield
  • Flitwick
  • Gravenhurst
  • Houghton Regis
  • Langford
  • Leighton Linslade
  • Lidlington
  • Marston Moretaine
  • Meppershall
  • Moggerhanger
  • Northill
  • Potton
  • Sandy
  • Shefford
  • Silsoe
  • Slip End
  • Stotfold
  • Studham
  • Tempsford

If you are a Town or Parish Council and are not listed above and want to set up a CERT for your area, get in touch via emergency@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

What is a Community Emergency Hub? ​

A Community Emergency Hub, as part of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) initiative, is a designated physical location within a community that serves as the focal point for coordination and assistance during and immediately following an emergency. This hub is organised, set up, and run by members of the community, with official support as necessary from the Local Authority, BLEVEC and other emergency responders.​

The purpose of a Community Emergency Hub is to provide a safe, known location, where community members can go for information, guidance, and mutual assistance during and after emergencies. The hub serves as a central point for managing resources, including the distribution of donations, and for coordinating volunteer efforts. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in the recovery and renewal phase, providing a space where community rebuilding efforts can be coordinated.​

Here you will find our guidance on Setting-Up and Running a Community Emergency Hub - Assistance Centres.