New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Insider Guide



CERT Your Staff

They started after 9/11, became essential during Hurricane Sandy, and are now sought-after by property managers, supers, and a growing number of co-op and condo board members. They’re Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) classes, which teach people how to deal with natural and manmade disasters, including storms, floods, fires, building collapses, and terrorist attacks. The next class session begins September 12. The classes are held in Manhattan and run from 6 P.M. to 9 P.M., once a week for 15 weeks. The cost is $350 plus $30 for an optional gas mask. Successful graduates will receive certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, including an ID card, at a cost of $10, that allows them to cross certain police lines.

“We require all our supers be trained and certified,” says manager Ellen Kornfeld, vice president of Lovett Realty. “By now, about 90 percent have the CERT certificate. We were probably the first to do this. Already, after 9/11, we got our supers involved in all kinds of emergency training.” Douglas Elliman, FirstService Residential, and Halstead Management are among the many management companies that participate in the program.
Peter Rufli, resident manager of the 65-unit co-op at 784 Park Avenue, graduated from the CERT course four years ago. He already had a medical background as an emergency medical technician, and he now teaches the medical portion of the courses. “At this point it’s very important to me to get more people in the building to take the course,” Rufli says. “I intend to convince the board to get more people certified.”

To register your building staff for a CERT course, send an email to Peter Morici at, or call 718-490-2681.

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