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Parish Emergency Planning


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Presented in May 2010 for representatives of parishes throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Texas to learn about preparing their churches for emergencies.

Presented in May 2010 for representatives of parishes throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Texas to learn about preparing their churches for emergencies.

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  • 1. 2010 Diocesan Preparedness Month
  • 2. Why Prepare? Photo:
  • 3. Why Prepare? Photo:
  • 4. Why Prepare? Photo:
  • 5. Why Prepare? Photo: NASA
  • 6. Why Prepare? ‣ Acknowledge our vulnerability in considering the worst possible scenarios that could affect us. ‣ Take precautions to minimize the effects of a crisis situation and maximize our ability to recover quickly. ‣ Equip ourselves to assist others, responding with love to an affected community.
  • 7. How do I prepare? ‣ Put together a team. ‣ Establish parish priorities. ‣ Identify your risks. ‣ Make preparedness part of your regular maintenance schedule. ‣ Secure your facilities.
  • 8. How do I prepare? ‣ Make an evacuation plan. ‣ Create a communications plan. ‣ Help to ensure that your parishioners are protected. ‣ Connect with community disaster groups. ‣ Review and update your plan annually.
  • 9. Step One: Assemble a Team ‣ Elect a Parish Emergency Coordinator. ‣ Form a Parish Emergency Committee. 11
  • 10. Step Two: Establish Priorities Mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Times of Crisis: To serve Episcopalians and their neighbors. 13
  • 11. Step Two: Establish Priorities ‣ Consider the composition, culture, and particular needs of your parish. ‣ Consider partner ministries associated with and/or included in your church community. ‣ Identify priorities specific to your parish. 13
  • 12. Step Three: Identify Risks ‣ Research local crisis history. ‣ List out all events of the past 50 years, including both man-made and natural disasters. ‣ Think about crises that could affect your community, including even the most extreme. ‣ List out all possible crises. 15
  • 13. Step Three: Identify Risks ‣ Rank historical and possible crises, and identify the emergencies most likely to occur. ‣ Mentally walk through each of the most likely disasters. ‣ Find out how you will receive warning, and what the procedures are for evacuation or shelter-in-place, if necessary. 16
  • 14. Step Three: Identify Risks ‣ Walk through parish facilities, noting areas of particular vulnerability. ‣ Identify ways to reduce hazards. 18
  • 15. Step Four: Maintenance ‣ Complete a full inventory of parish property and holdings annually. ‣ Store a copy of the completed inventory off- site or online. ‣ Record insurance contact information. 19
  • 16. Step Four: Maintenance ‣ Check all hazard alarms, including fire and carbon monoxide. ‣ Install additional alarms or replace where necessary according to the recommendations of local authorities. Photo: 19
  • 17. Step Four: Maintenance ‣ Train all staff and ministry leaders in the use of fire extinguishers. ‣ Post instructions for us and local fire officials contact information. ‣ Check extinguishers to ensure that you’re using the right type for each type of fire. 19
  • 18. Step Four: Maintenance Classifications:
  • 19. Step Four: Maintenance ‣ Put together at least one first-aid kit. ‣ List out the parishioners, staff, and ministry leaders trained and certified in first aid and CPR. ‣ Encourage others to get trained. Photo: 21
  • 20. Step Five: Secure Facilities ‣ Know who has access to the building at all times. ‣ Train staff, vestry members, and key ministry leaders in disarming the security system. 23
  • 21. Step Five: Secure Facilities ‣ Record the location of and instructions for shutting off each utility. ‣ Train, staff, clergy, and ministry leaders. Photo: 24
  • 22. Step Five: Secure Facilities ‣ Identify important files and records. ‣ Store securely on-site and off-site or online. ‣ Keep a list of passwords and user names for all computers, software, and Photo: websites utilized by the parish. 25
  • 23. Step Six: Plan for Evacuations ‣ Identify essential items to remove from parish in an evacuation. ‣ Create a “church in a box” containing all items essential to holding services. ‣ Identify alternate operations/worship sites. 27
  • 24. Step Seven: Communications ‣ Gather information from all parishioners, including phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and evacuation destinations. ‣ Create a plan for contacting parishioners and update annually. ‣ Identify persons authorized to address the media. 29
  • 25. Step Eight: Serving Parishioners ‣ Never assume your parishioners will be safe in an emergency, or that they have taken the recommended precautions. ‣ Identify vulnerable persons within your congregation and help to ensure that they will also be safe. 31
  • 26. Step Nine: Connect ‣ Identify community organizations and officials who are or will become active in disasters. ‣ Introduce yourself, know how to contact them, and let them know how to contact you when disaster strikes. 33
  • 27. Step Nine: Connect ‣ Partnering with another parish provides an opportunity to both serve others and to receive services in an emergency. ‣ Establish a relationship with a parish in another region of the diocese, not susceptible to the same emergencies at the same time as your parish. 35
  • 28. Final Steps ‣ Fill out the summary at the end of the workbook and send to Russ Oechsel, Co- Diocesan Emergency Coordinator for the Diocese of Texas. ‣ Set an annual review date. 39
  • 29. Questions?