About NET

About the Portland Neighborhood Emergency Team Program

The Portland NET program is based on the nationwide Community Emergency Response Team Program (CERT) a program of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It serves most of Portland Oregon’s many neighborhoods.

Team Posing

The Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program trains and organizes people who live and work in Portland to be volunteer emergency responders. Since its inception in 1994, Portland NET has worked closely with Portland Fire & Rescue to train over 4000 volunteers. The 30-hour program of basic training covers disaster medical evaluation and triage, search and rescue, small fire suppression, basic radio communications, disaster psychology, and more. Once a volunteer completes the basic program, they are enrolled as volunteer emergency response team personnel, become part of their neighborhood team, and may deploy in the event of an emergency or a major disaster. NET volunteers keep themselves sharp and confident in their response skills through operations planning and ongoing training opportunities.

Assisting evacuees

NET members assist at evacuation center during major fire.

Major gas explosion where NET members kept public at safe distance.

Group Photo

NET members preparing to unpack supplies for cooling center


NETs are Portland residents trained by PBEM and Portland Fire & Rescue to provide emergency and disaster assistance within their own neighborhoods. Members are trained to save lives and property until professional responders can arrive. These volunteers are specially trained to help others without putting themselves in harm’s way. NET members are:

1. Prepared to be self-sufficient for two weeks during any emergency.

2. Able to provide emergency assistance to their family and immediate neighbors.

3. Able to work within an emergency response team to save lives and property in their neighborhood.

4. Able to guide untrained volunteers who want to help others during a disaster / emergency.​

5. Leaders in their communities, promoting and teaching emergency preparedness to their neighbors.


While trained to respond in the event of a major disaster like an earthquake, NETs have recently deployed to provide assistance at COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics, staffed warming and cooling shelters, packed and distributed food and supplies, assisted in the Emergency Coordination Center, and in coordination with 211, dispatched transportation to vaccine clinics as well as warming and cooling shelters.

NETs have regularly staffed first aid stations at community events. NETs are also deployed to support professional first responders at more localized emergencies such as downed power lines or trees, where NETs monitor a site to free up police and firefighters to tend other issues.

When wildfires in 2020 forced many in Clackamas County to evacuate, NETs helped to operate an evacuation camping area at Clackamas Town Center.


Portland NET is one of the oldest CERT programs in the United States. Established in 1994, the program has trained and graduated over 4,000 volunteers.

Of Portland’s 91 neighborhood associations, 87 host active NETs led by a Team Leader.

Over the years NET teams have raised over $56,000 to improve disaster resilience in their communities.

NETs participate in ongoing refresher and advanced training provided by The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

There are over 2,000 active NET volunteers, and over 1700 applicants, awaiting training as of Feb 2022.

In 2021, NETs volunteered over 8,000 hours serving our community.

Join us: volunteer, donate and advocate.

[email protected]

Friends of Portland NET, PO Box 14591 Portland OR 97293