Mark Cerney

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Mark V Cerney
Mark Cerney and Mark Sanford.jpg
Mark Cerney (left) at the 2007 Emergency Preparedness Conference with Governor Mark Sanford (right)
Born (1967-04-10) April 10, 1967 (age 52)
San Diego, California United States

Mark V. Cerney (born April 10, 1967 in San Diego, California, U.S.) is the founder of an American nonprofit organization. He is best known for creating the Next of Kin Registry (NOKR) model.

His background includes graduating the St. John's Military School and serving with the US Marine Corps 1986-1993. He is married and has three children. The Next of Kin Registry became internationally known after appearing on CNN and Larry King after Hurricane Katrina. NOKR is an international free resource for the public to register emergency contact information that is only accessible to emergency agencies during times of urgent need. The organization was founded in 2004 and has been a resource used during Hurricane Katrina, the 7 July 2005 London bombings, the Asian tsunami, the 2012 Aurora shooting, Hurricane Sandy,[1] the Orlando nightclub shooting,[2] Hurricane Harvey,[3] Hurricane Irma,[4] Hurricane Maria,[5] the 2017 Las Vegas shooting,[6] the 2019 Virginia Beach shooting,[7] and other disasters to include daily emergencies. The NOKR organization has volunteers in 50 US states and 87 countries. NOKR is the central depository for emergency contact information in the United States. The NOKR resource is used by more than 400 million registrants.

In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, Senator Barack Obama (now former US President) introduced the National Next of Kin Registry to the 109th United States Congress in S.1630, The National Emergency Family Locator Act. The Next of Kin Registry was referenced in this bill as a standard for the Secretary of Homeland Security to consider in establishing the National Emergency Family Locator System.

In 2006 the American Red Cross partnered with the Next of Kin Registry.[8] The American Red Cross, along with many familiar partner agencies, such as FEMA, the United States Postal Service and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, wanted to ensure that families have a bevy of resources and options to use in order to communicate in times of disaster.

In 2007 the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) consulted with the Next of Kin Registry in an effort to answer HR5441 (Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007), SEC. 689c. NOKR put forth the requested solution for the National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS), which was established in compliance with Congressional legislation SEC. 689c of H.R. 5441 to help family members separated after major disasters to communicate with one another.

Mark serves as the President of NOKR in Washington, D.C., a non-profit public benefit resource used globally by emergency agencies to reunify families when emergencies happen or national disasters occur.

Early life[edit]

In 1989 Mark Cerney worked at the San Diego County Medical Examiners office. Cerney is shown removing the bodies of Dan Broderick and Linda Broderick on this San Diego KGTV 10 news clip, [9]. Mark Cerney is the front person handling the stretcher for the San Diego County Medical Examiners office[10]. Betty Broderick was convicted for this double murder that took place on November 5, 1989 at 1041 Cypress Avenue in the Marston Hills neighborhood near Balboa Park in San Diego.

International usage[edit]

In recent times the NOKR resource was used during the 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami,[11] 2010 Haiti earthquake,[12] 2010–2011 Queensland floods, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.,[13] January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides, 2011 Norway attacks, 2012 Costa Concordia disaster, 2012 Commercial Jetliner crash Dana Air Flight 992, 2017 Saint Petersburg Metro bombing,[14] 2017 Manchester Arena bombing,[15] June 2017 London Bridge attack,[16] Grenfell Tower fire,[17] 2017 Central Mexico earthquake.[18]

Management and organizational history[edit]

In July 2009, Michael D. Brown the former Undersecretary of Emergency Preparedness and Response (EP&R), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a position generally referred to as the director or administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became the Chief Executive Officer of NOKR.


On February 4, 2013, Microsoft officially partnered with NOKR to link the international resource with Microsoft HealthVault.[19]

Department of Motor Vehicles[edit]

The Next of Kin Registry model is now being used by many state Department of Motor Vehicles in the United States. These states have opted to create legislation and use an in state only version of the Next of Kin Registry South Carolina,[20] Colorado, Delaware,[21] Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey,[22] Nevada[23] and Ohio.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Cerney and his wife Kerri Jo of FEMA have three children.[citation needed]


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  7. ^ "Sorry, this content is not available in your region".
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  9. ^ "Dan Broderick home". Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  10. ^ "Growing up in San Diego".
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2012-03-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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  13. ^ "Massive quake, tsunami slams Japan List Your Emergency Contacts find Family".
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  20. ^ "Wsav-Tv". Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2011-08-19.
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  22. ^ "Sara's Law creates next-of-kin registry". 2011-04-12.
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  24. ^ "State of Ohio BMV".


  • Fearn-Banks, Kathleen. Crisis Communication: A Casebook Approach Lawrence Erlbaum; 3 edition January 29, 2007. ISBN 0-8058-5773-7.
  • CNN NEWS. Katrina: CNN Reports: State of Emergency by CNN News. Andrews McMeel Publishing October 1, 2005. ISBN 0-7407-5844-6.
  • Moyer, Susan M. Stories of Rescue, Recovery and Rebuilding in the Eye of the Storm. Spotlight Press LLC, September 25, 2005. ISBN 1-59670-030-0.
  • Christopher, Michel P. A Comprehensive Guide to Your Military and Veterans Benefits. Simon & Schuster, November 29, 2005. ISBN 0-7432-6946-2.
  • Military Family Network (MFN) Your Military Family Network: Your Connection to Military Friendly Businesses, Resources, Benefits, Information and Advice. Capital Books (January 18, 2008). ISBN 1-933102-35-7.
  • Douglas B. Reeves, Elle Allison Renewal Coaching Workbook. Jossey-Bass Books (March 2010). ISBN 978-0-470-41497-2.
  • Douglas B. Reeves, Elle Allison Renewal Coaching Fieldbook, How Effective Leaders Sustain Meaningful Change. Jossey-Bass Books (November 2011). ISBN 978-0-470-41498-9.

External links[edit]

United States legislation
Media coverage