Main Content

Citizen Corps Grant Information and Financial Resources

Citizen Corps Whole Community and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Core Capabilities Tool

FEMA's Individual and Community Preparedness Division would like to announce that the Citizen Corps Whole Community and CERT Core Capabilities Tool has been completed.

The Citizen Corps Whole Community and CERT Core Capabilities Tool can assist State Administrative Agencies (SAAs)  in demonstrating how Citizen Corps and CERT programs support most of the target capabilities and help implement the whole community approach to emergency management. This tool can help SAAs and Citizen Corps Councils at all levels develop strategic investment justifications with a high return on investment.

Last year, a working group of state and local Citizen Corps program managers organized by the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division developed this tool to map out all of the core capabilities identified by the National Preparedness Goal, and highlight those relevant to whole community engagement in each mission area. For each relevant core capability, the tool provides a definition of the capability from the National Preparedness Goal, a description of how Citizen Corps Whole Community supports it, and concrete examples. The Core Capabilities Tool also provides a whole community toolkit with a list of links to individual and community preparedness resources that may be helpful for jurisdictions to build and sustain core capabilities.

For questions on the tool, please contact the FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division at

Download the Citizen Corps and CERT Core Capabilities Tool (74-page PDF, 1.8 MB)

Download information on Citizen Corps and the National Planning Frameworks (2-page PDF, 54 KB)

Download the Citizen Corps and CERT Core Capabilities Companion document (4-page PDF, 52 KB)

Fiscal Year 2013 Information

Citizen Corps Program activities eligible under SHSP and UASI: The mission of the Citizen Corps Program (CCP) is to bring government and non-governmental organizations together (i.e. non-profit, for-profit, and civic sectors as well as organizations that advocate on behalf of individuals, such as those with access and functional needs, children, etc.) to involve the Whole Community in all phases of emergency management. Eligible activities under the CCP include Citizen Corps Whole Community Councils, community preparedness strategic planning, public information/education and awareness campaigns, volunteer programs, and reporting. See below for specific page references. 

Although the FY13 HSGP Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) does not include a specific allocation for Citizen Corps, CCP activities are still allowable under this year’s HSGP. The State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSP) and Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) may be used to support all CCP activities and programs allowable within the scope and mission of the SHGP and UASI and in alignment with overall strategy and targeted investments.  This includes appropriate planning and associated activities that support terrorism preparedness and response.  CCP activities are not allowable under Operation Stonegarden.

Priority Four: Innovation and Sustained Support for the National Campaign for Preparedness

In addition to the base allocations for SHGP and UASI, the FY13 FOA identified additional funding “to foster individual and community preparedness and resilience by identifying needs; mobilizing partners; and creating innovative and effective solutions that can be grown, sustained, and replicated.”  Citizen Corps Councils and all eligible activities under the Citizen Corps Program are directly aligned with this objective. 

Citizen Corps Whole Community and CERT Core Capabilities Tool

FEMA has developed an interactive tool to aid programs and State Administrative Agencies (SAAs) in determining the core capabilities achieved through the Citizen Corps Program. The tool provides information on 32 Core Capabilities that both Citizen Corps and CERT provide support. The tool is available at the top of this web page ( 

Citizen Corps Whole Community Engagement: Eligible Activities

Examples of relevant individual and community expenditures still allowable under the FY13 HSGP include, but are not limited to:

Citizen Corps Whole Community Councils

  • Establishing and sustaining Citizen Corps Councils (HSGP p. 67 and 72)
  • Leveraging already existing structures and mechanisms, such as Citizen Corps, for sharing information and engaging members of the Whole Community (HSGP p. 56)
  • Conduct risk-driven, capabilities-based planning through whole community councils (HSGP p. 6)
  • Developing whole community partnerships (HSGP p. 57)
  • Developing plans to educate youth on disaster preparedness (HSGP p. 70)
  • Designing programs to target at-risk populations and engage them in emergency management planning efforts (HSGP p. 67)
  • Training and exercises for public or civilian volunteer programs supporting first responders before, during, and after disasters that address the needs of the Whole Community (HSGP p. 43 and 78)

Community preparedness strategic planning

  • Work with youth-serving organizations and houses of worship to develop and sustain youth and faith-based preparedness programs. (HSGP p. 72)
  • Sustain partnership efforts by leveraging existing structures and mechanisms, such as Citizen Corps for information sharing and community engagement including private sector, non-profit, faith-based and youth serving organizations. (HSGP p. 73)
  • Community-based planning to advance “whole community” security and emergency management. (HSGP p. 66 and69)
  • Developing and implementing a community preparedness strategy for the State/local jurisdiction (HSGP p. 72)
  • Incorporating government/non-government collaboration, citizen preparedness, and volunteer participation into State and local government homeland security strategies, policies, guidance, plans, and evaluations (HSGP p. 69)

Public information/education and awareness campaigns

  • Develop related terrorism prevention activities through public information coordinated through local Citizen Corps Councils (HSGP p. 68)
  • Promote preparedness activities that empower communities to organize themselves and take direct action by putting local residents in leadership roles for successful local disaster management. (HSGP p. 43)
  • Developing and conducting public education and outreach campaigns (HSGP p. 51-52 and67)
  • Supporting innovative approaches for reaching the Whole Community, to include translated material for individuals that are blind or have low vision capability and those with English as a second language and coalitions among citizens (HSGP p. 73)

Volunteer programs

  • Encouraging volunteer programs and other activities to strengthen citizen participation (HSGP p. 68)
  • Establishing, expanding, and maintaining volunteer programs and volunteer recruitment efforts that support disaster preparedness and/or response, including Citizen Corps and its Partner Organizations and jurisdiction specific volunteer efforts (HSGP p. 72)
  • Developing or enhancing plans for donations and volunteer management and the engagement /integration of private sector/non-governmental entities in preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery activities (HSGP p. 70)
  • Developing or enhancing plans to prepare for surge capacity of volunteers (HSGP p. 70)


  • Demonstration of whole community engagement though Citizen Corps and CERT requires registration of each active program and informational updates by existing programs at the National website (  It’s recommended that all grant recipients update/validate their Citizen Corps information, activity and contacts twice a year.  
  • Updates to program information include on-going collection of the number of volunteers and the number of volunteer service hours utilized throughout the year by registered programs.

2013 Homeland Security Grant Program Funding Opportunity Announcement Resources

Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) Guidance from Previous Years

2012 Homeland Security Grant Program Guidance

2011 Homeland Security Grant Program Guidance

2010 Homeland Security Grant Program Guidance

2009 Homeland Security Grant Program Guidance

2008 Homeland Security Grant Program Guidance