Mississippi Office of Homeland Security
Featured Video: MOHS Rankin County Training Excercise Video MOHS Contact Button

Mississippi Citizen Corps

  Citizen Corps is a nationwide grass roots movement to actively involve everyone in America in making our communities and our nation safer, stronger, and better prepared for emergencies of all kinds. We all have a role in hometown security and Citizen Corps provides local opportunities for everyone to prepare, train, and volunteer.

Put simply, Citizens Corps is a means through which volunteers can become trained and educated so that they can help their neighbors during times of crisis as well as keep themselves safe.

Remember that volunteers will be turned away if they are not trained, as was seen during the Hurricane Katrina response and recovery.

Citizen Corps was launched in 2002 as part of Pres. Bush's USA Freedom Corps initiative and is coordinated nationally by the Department of Homeland Security

In 95 percent of all emergencies, the victim or a bystander provides the first, immediate assistance at the scene. We all need to get training in emergency prevention, preparedness, and response and maintain these skills to help others in a critical situation. Citizen Corps training includes: first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), how to use an automatic external defibrillator, fire safety, search and rescue procedures, Community Emergency Response Teams, and crime prevention and terrorism awareness training.

The Citizen Corps Program is comprised of five different but equally important programs:

1. Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT)
2. Neighborhood Watch
3. Volunteers in Police Service
4. Fire Corps
5. Medical Reserve Corps

“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.” The 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 programs and will carry out a local strategy to have every American participate.

Currently there are: 56 State/Territory Citizen Corps Councils.
And there are: 1,993 County/Local/Tribal Citizen Corps Councils.
Which serve 207,308,414 people or 72 % of the total US population

Everyone can do something to help make our families and 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.

Local Citizen Corps Councils will:

  • promote and strengthen the Citizen Corps programs at the community level, such as Volunteers in Police Service programs, CERT teams, Medical Reserve Corps units, and Neighborhood Watch groups;
  • provide opportunities for special skills and interests;
  • develop targeted outreach for the community, including special needs groups;
  • provide opportunities of training in first aid and emergency preparedness;
  • organize special projects and community events;
  • encourage cooperation and collaboration among community leaders; and
  • capture smart practices and report accomplishments; and
  • create opportunities for all residents to participate.
Starting a Citizen Corps Council in your area will help create the groundwork for the long-term security of our neighborhoods, our communities, and our nation.

Our Teams at Work


CERT preparing for water rescue exercise

CERT leader briefs team prior to water rescue training

CERT diving teams prepare to enter the water

CERT group rescues a victim in a training manuever

CERT officer checks life vest before training

CERT officer steadies his boat during a rescue

Featured Video: MOHS Rankin County Training Excercise Video Button Mississippi's Official Website