The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program
at the University of the Nations-Kona, Hawaii Campus, trains students, faculty and community members in disaster preparedness for hazards that likely will impact their community and equips them in basic disaster response skills such as fire suppression, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Graduates of the CERT training may apply to join the UofN-CERTeam, other teams on the island or across the country...there are thousands.
Hawaii is the most isolated population for it's size in the world and the Big Island (Hawaii County) is at risk from more types of disaster than any of the 3130 counties in the United States.
The UofN-CERT team gives lead to any emergency incidents arising on the campus of approximately 2000 staff and students, such as response to earthquakes, fire or tsunami evacuations. The UofN-CERT also supports the Kailua-Kona community and Hawaii County Civil Defense.
With it's first members trained in 2009, the UofN-CERT has grown to 57 active members as well as another 15 associate members with the campus medical staff and and student resident managers. Three UofN-CERT members have received training as CERT Instructors and the campus program has hosted basic CERT courses as well as numerous re-certifications and exercises.
When the 2011 Tsunami struck Kailua-Kona causing millions of dollars of damage, the UofN-CERT team became one of the first teams ever mobilized by the State of Hawaii to help mitigate injuries and property loss in downtown Kona.
In December 2011 they were invited to train with local EMS and fire personnel during the Trianual Kona Airport Disaster Simulation and were mobilized again by County Civil Defense in February 2012 when a large (52 acre) wildfire threatened the university and several residential neighborhoods.
Outreach into the community has included providing educational booths on Emergency Preparedness and Community Resiliency at events like the UofN Campus Fair and the the High School State Robotics Expo. CERT members staffed the Medical Tent at State High School competitions and at the Ironman Triathlon World Championships.
The UofN-CERT program hosts two basic CERT training courses on campus each year for the entire community, as well as offering numerous supplemental seminars on topics from Emergency Radio Communication to Critical Incident Debriefing.
Geographic Area Served
Core focus area: the University of the Nations-Kona Campus, (Kailua-Kona)
The UofN-Kona campus has a night-time population of up to 900 people swelling during the day to over 1300 people. The 90 acre UofN campus extends North-South between Queen Kahumanu Hwy. and Kuakini Hwy. and East-West between the Kamaaina Hale apartments, Kamehameha Schools trust land and Hualalai Road on the north and the Hillside residential neighborhood on the South.
Larger Area of Responsability: Kailua-Kona town, on the island of Hawai`i; bounded by Keahou to the South, the community of Holualaloa and Hualalai Volcano on the East, the Pacific Ocean on the West, and by Kalaoa to the North.
Live Tsunami Map
UofN-CERT Staging Areas
University of the Nations-Kona Campus,
75-5851 Kuakini Hwy., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
808 345-0940 or 808 960-4828
Building 1 Parking Lot / Plaza of the Nations
(Top of UofN drive, just past "flags")
IMPACT Building Parking Lot
First parking lot on the right on entering malka entrance
Campus Services Office (Building 3)
Top floor on east end of Building 3.
UofN-CERT Phone Tree