Awareness: take into account email, mail and phone threats/disturbing items; notify local police—may know the person; think about having someone monitoring parkingShooting in Knoxville: story about the metal detectors – before or after the greeters tableAdd in the possibility of drifters/homeless connection with community police and having someone sitting in car (joan van b story)
Safety Planning in Congregations
MidAmerica Webinar Rev. Dr. Lisa PresleyDistrict Executive, Heartland
Safety: Why? People come to us for a variety of reasons Yet underlying it all is an expectation that we will provide communities where their safety is foremost in our mind Safety first. Three areas of focus: People Places Things Two modifiers: Natural and Human Created
Matrix View For any event, ask what are the impacts on people, places, and things, both initially and as a result Examples: A storm: A tree falls on the building, creating a hole in the roof, and people rushing to help fall because the floors get slippery, and the leaks destroy the computer system with all the congregation‘s information inside Medical issue for a member may traumatize members, and there may be no indication of family/friends who have power to act
Best Thing: Be Prepared! Create policies and procedures that reflect all three levels Share information with renters Resources: UUA Website, District/Regional Staff Church Mutual Insurance Company Local Community Policing Officers Federal Government: www.ready.gov Local resources in disaster preparedness Your own insurance company
People: Medical Train key leaders in first aid annually Obtain AED and train people annually Maintain a full first aid kit, with signs as to location Include diabetes glucose tablets, etc. Post congregation‗s address in prominent location Have phone available for 911 calls Compile list of medical personnel in congregation Brief leaders on location of first aid materials Maintain Emergency Contact Files
People: Safety Guidelines Child and vulnerable adults Policies and procedures for Safe Congregations Sexual offenders Don‘t presume it doesn‘t happen in your congregation Policies and procedures: never alone, designated companions Ask for disclosure—to minister or others Safeguard member/friend contact information Travel guidelines: Guidelines for drivers for trips, chaperones, etc.
People: Stranger Danger Biggest fear, but relatively rare Awareness and preparedness first No one working with children until more than 6 months at congregation Safeguard member/friend contact information Create a response plan Train greeters, ushers, teachers, staff Point people on duty each week Be curious about who come in, but not paranoid
People: Hazard Prevention Property accessible and safe Prepare for weather: snow, ice, flooding Playground equipment follows safety guidelines Proper lighting for night-time security Buddy system when leaving building after dark System for repairs and maintenance known by all, including renters, to increase safety Maintain sufficient insurance coverage to protect congregation
People: Disaster Response Evacuation and Sheltering In plans Design evacuation route Two gathering locations, in case first unsafe Designate people to help with RE and disabled Drills at least once a year Post maps in every room/location Determine sheltering in locations Safest places in congregation Drills at least once a year Post maps in every room/location
Places Building Safety: Look for obvious nuisances – inside and outside Pay attention to potential copper theft Fire alarm and/or phone with address and emergency numbers listed Sprinkler system in kitchen Fire extinguishers throughout and annual check If fireplaces, monitor use Playground safety and cushioning material Lighting Address well posted on outside of building
Places Evacuation and Sheltering In Create routes and maps, and post Evacuation and sheltering in drills at least annually For sheltering in, obtain supplies and check annually for expiry Partner with your local disaster recovery agency
Things Data Safety Offsite Backups ―Cloud‖ storage Equipment Maintain Inventory with full details, offsite Archives Offsite Backups ―Cloud‖ storage, not member attics/basements Bottom Line: Redundancy!
Role in Community One thing to ask: what role do you wish to play Are you a congregation that wants to help members and neighbors: Do you wish to be a community shelter in emergencies? Will you train members/neighbors on preparedness? Can you support workshops on wills and estate matters for families? Will you keep up your commitments to disaster preparedness?
Final Words Be Prepared—it can happen here, and does Create and review your policies Back up everything Train your people: first aid, AED, dangers, drills Redundant systems, offsite, automatic – now readily and easily available Take care of yourselves!
Resources UUA Website (www.uua.org) District/Regional Staff Church Mutual Insurance Company (http://www.churchmutual.com/index.php/choice/r isk/page/intro/id/21) Local Community Policing Officers Federal Government: www.ready.gov Local resources in disaster preparedness (Google: disaster preparedness churches) Your own insurance company