After September 11, 2001, America witnessed a wellspring of selflessness and heroism. People in every corner of the country asked, "What can I do?" and "How can I help?" Citizen Corps was created to help all Americans answer these questions through public
education and outreach, training, and volunteer service.
Citizen Corps Councils help 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.
The DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) works with several area volunteer groups/programs.
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We all have a role in hometown security. 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. Visit
https://community.fema.gov/Register/Register_Search_Programs to find a Citizen Corps Council in your area.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
CERT is about readiness, people helping
people, rescuer safety, and doing the greatest good for the greatest number. CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens will be initially on their own and their actions can make a
difference. Through training, citizens can manage utilities and put out small fires; treat the three killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock; provide basic medical aid; search for and rescue victims
safely; and organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective. To find a CERT program near you, visit
Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)
The Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program is a Citizen Corps program.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) manages and implements the VIPS Program in partnership with and on behalf of the White House Office of the USA Freedom Corps and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department
of Justice. The program's goal is to enhance the capacity of state and local law enforcement to utilize volunteers. The Volunteers in Police Service website is the foundation of this national initiative to help state and local law
enforcement agencies. The Web site serves as a gateway to information for law enforcement agencies and citizens interested in law enforcement volunteer programs.
Fire Corps is a partner program under Citizen Corps launched in 2004. Fire Corps is managed by the National Volunteer Fire Council. Fire Corps works to create valuable resources and foster programs that will bring community members into local fire and emergency service departments to assist them with non-emergency tasks.
National Neighborhood Watch
The National Neighborhood Watch Program (formerly USAonWatch) is the portal for training to assist
law enforcement agencies, and their communities, technical assistance, resource documents, watch stories, networking and assistance to the field. It empowers citizens in our communities with the opportunity to volunteer to work toward
the safety of our homeland.
Medical Reserve Corps
The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of volunteers engaging local communities to strengthen public health, reduce vulnerabilities, build resilience, and improve preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities.
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD)
In addition to the above mentioned programs, there are many types of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) for you to find a meaningful way to serve. Check out the National Organization Members list of community-based, faith-based and other types of non-profit groups in your community that have active disaster programs and need volunteers.
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National Weather Service (NWS) Skywarn Spotter Training
The National Weather Service (NWS) Skywarn Spotter training classes cover severe weather hazards including thunderstorms and tornadoes. This includes the general structure and movement of severe thunderstorms, identification of important storm features, and safety concerns.
Additional classes can be added. Please check back for updates.
- All classes last about 2 hours.
- They are free and open to the public.
- Classes are appropriate for all ages. Ages 10 and up will likely get the most out of the training.
- Pre-registration is NOT required unless specifically noted for a particular class.
- Classes are scheduled in collaboration with local emergency management officials.
- You may attend a class in any location, offered by any NWS office, regardless of where you live.
In the Weather Forecast Office Chicago area, spotter training classes are conducted from early February through early April. Scheduling of spotter training classes begins around the New Year.
Click to view more information, including the training schedule, FAQs, etc.
Online Spotter Training Course:
The online course is a great introduction to storm spotting and can also be used as a refresher or a way to reinforce what you have learned in an in-person class.
Online Spotter Training Course
You Are The Help Until Help Arrives
The You Are The Help Until Help Arrives (Until Help Arrives) program can educate you on how to take action in emergencies. A multiagency effort led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and response (ASPR) and the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), the Uniformed Services University's (USU) National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health NCDMPH), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) developed the base of the program.
To access the course and its three components, which are the interactive video, the web-based
training, and the instructor-led training, visit www.ready.gov/UntilHelpArrives.