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, 7 July 2005 London bombings, Asian tsunami, 2012 Aurora Shooting, Hurricane Sandy 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. 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.
Cerney and his wife Kerri Jo of FEMA have three children. Cerney's only son Truman Cerney is the youngest Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America) in US history.
In recent times the NOKR resource was used during the 2009 Samoa earthquake and tsunami, 2010 Haiti earthquake, 2010–2011 Queensland floods, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami., January 2011 Rio de Janeiro floods and mudslides, 2011 Norway attacks, 2012 Costa Concordia disaster, 2012 Commercial Jetliner crash Dana Air Flight 992.
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.
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, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Nevada and Ohio.