May 18, 2016
A tornado. A gas leak. A bomb threat. These are the kinds of nightmare scenarios that fill news headlines and keep church risk managers awake at night. By establishing strong emergency response procedures, your ministry can greatly reduce its disaster vulnerability.
Assemble Your Team
First, create a team to help your organization plan for possible emergency situations. Include people with experience in emergency services, communications, and the medical field.
Assess Threat Likelihood and Impact
The first rule of disaster preparation is to prioritize possible threats. Given your location, the age of your facilities, and other circumstances specific to your organization, evaluate potential threats and prioritize them according to the likelihood of their happening and then evaluate their potential impact on your church or ministry.
Plan Emergency Responses
Once you have identified high-priority threats, imagine possible scenarios for each threat, and plot appropriate responses. Document and post your response plans. Be sure each plan includes individual responsibilities, evacuation plans, headcount procedures, and notes concerning the location of emergency supplies.
Conduct drills to familiarize your members with official emergency procedures. Afterward, compare notes to identify and address problems.
Maintain a Contact List
Maintain an updated list of emergency contacts. Include 24-hour contact information for each of the following:
Plot a Recovery Plan
Ensure that your church has each of the following:
Prepared with a well-developed disaster plan, your church can respond promptly and appropriately to address the needs of the church and your community when a disaster occurs.