Citizens Corps

Citizens Corps

What is Citizen Corps?

Citizen Corps is a grassroots initiative to strengthen America’s communities and increase their resiliency to the wide array of natural and man-made hazards that threaten our safety and security. The program was created by the President in 2002 and is headquartered in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Community Preparedness Division. Inspired by the vast outpouring of spontaneous volunteer support after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Citizen Corps strives to answer the essential questions “What can I do?” and “How can I help?” in a meaningful way. Citizen Corps does this by providing local opportunities for Americans of all abilities to prepare, train and volunteer to help address all types of natural and man-made hazards. Please visit for more information.

What is the Citizen Corps mission?

Citizen Corps’ mission is to bring community and government leaders together to coordinate the involvement of community members and non-governmental resources in emergency preparedness, planning, mitigation, response, and recovery.

How does Citizen Corps work?

With so many different roles and functions to play in an emergency, successful response and recovery must be supported by well-coordinated planning, training, and preparation. Citizen Corps Councils are designed to bring together government, community leaders, first responders, emergency managers, businesses, non-profit and volunteer organizations, and other groups with a direct interest in strengthening their communities. When disaster strikes, everyone knows what their role is, who they need to coordinate with, and how to get support where and when it is needed most.

What are Citizen Corps Partner Programs and Affiliates?

Citizen Corps works with five national Partner Programs through partnerships with other federal agencies and national organizations. The five programs—Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Fire Corps, USA On Watch/ Neighborhood Watch (NWP), and Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS)—provide national resources for training and exercising citizens at the state and local levels. In addition, 25 Citizen Corps Affiliate Programs and Organizations offer community resources for public education, outreach, and training; represent volunteers interested in helping to make their community safer; or offer volunteer service opportunities to support first responders, disaster relief activities, and community safety efforts. Visit for more information.

Where are Citizen Corps Councils located?

More than 2,200 state, local, tribal and territorial governments in all 56 states and U.S. territories have formed Citizen Corps Councils, and every day new Councils are formed in communities around the country. These Councils help drive local citizen preparedness and participation by assessing possible threats, identifying local resources, developing community action plans, and coordinating Citizen Corps programs to train and exercise volunteers.

Is there a local Citizen Corps Council?

Yes.  The Albany County Citizen Corps Council enhances Albany County’s public health preparedness, citizen preparedness, and volunteer recruitment efforts through collaboration with government leaders, emergency managers, first- responders, non-profit and volunteer organizations.  Local initiatives address citizen training and preparedness, volunteer recruitment, and development of a spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer plan.

How can my organization join the Albany County Citizen Corps?

Contact the Albany County Citizen Corps Coordinator via e-mail using the button below.