About Citizen Corps
Following the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, state and local government officials have increased opportunities for citizens to become an integral part of protecting the homeland and supporting the local first responders. Officials agree that the formula for ensuring a more secure and safer homeland consists of preparedness, training, and citizen involvement in supporting first responders. In January 2002, the President of the United States launched Citizen Corps, to capture the spirit of service that emerged throughout our communities following the terrorist attacks.
Citizen Corps was created to help coordinate volunteer activities that will make our communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to any emergency situation. It provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from the threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds.
Citizen Corps programs build on the successful efforts that are in place in many communities around the country to prevent crime and respond to emergencies. Programs that started through local innovation are the foundation for Citizen Corps and this national approach to citizen participation in community safety.
Citizen Corps is coordinated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency. In this capacity, FEMA works closely with other federal entities, state and local governments, first responders and emergency managers, the volunteer community, and the Corporation for National & Community Service.
The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.
Citizen Corps Councils
Citizen Corps mission is accomplished through a national network of state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils. These Councils build on community strengths to implement the Citizen Corps preparedness programs and carry out a local strategy to involve government, community leaders, and citizens in all-hazards preparedness and resilience.
Citizen Corps asks you to embrace the personal responsibility to be prepared; to get training in first aid and emergency skills; and to volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief, and community safety.
Community Preparedness Principles
- Collaboration: Government must collaborate with community leaders from all sectors for effective planning and capacity building.
- Integration: Non-governmental assets and resources must be fully integrated in government plans, preparations, and disaster response.
- Personal/Organizational Preparedness: Everyone in America must be fully aware, trained, and practiced on how to prevent, protect, mitigate, prepare for, and respond to all threats and hazards.
- Volunteer Service: Citizen activism and volunteer service provides ongoing support for community safety and critical surge capacity in response and recovery.
Citizen Corps Councils encourage citizens to help make our communities safer through:
- Personal responsibility: Developing a household preparedness plan and disaster supplies kits, observing home health and safety practices, implementing disaster mitigation measures, and participating in crime prevention and reporting.
- Training: Taking classes in emergency preparedness, response capabilities, first aid, CPR, fire suppression, and search and rescue procedures.
- Volunteer service: Engaging individuals in volunteer activities that support first responders, disaster relief groups, and community safety organizations. Everyone can do something to support local law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, community public health efforts, and the four stages of emergency management: prevention, mitigation, response and recovery efforts.