New to group.... Wills Point TX
As VOAD chair I have been working on a disaster plan template for churches. I you would like a copy just send me an email and I will send it.
The plan only touches disaster plan for the facility but I am working on a 'how we can help the community' guide as well.
This is Joseph - I am one of the Community Managers. It sounds to me like there is a real need for some step-by-step guide or how to prepare your faith based communities.
I strongly encourage you to fill out the Community Evaluation and let us know that this would be helpful to you.
Also, if you have already or are in the process of making a guide - I'd love to see what you've put together and perhaps combine all of them into a guide we can collectively produce and share with the community. If you do, please reply to this message link if it is only and if not, I will message you privately. Thanks!
I serve as co coordinator of my church conferences disaster response ministry team, I would suggest that you check to see if your denomination has such a coordinator and they can walk you through what you should be doing. Again, CERT training is wonderful, it connects you to your local or county emergency response agency and they are armed to the teeth with info and training. This then gives you a wonderful network of people to share trainings with, also Citizens Corps is another great networking opportunity as well. Check out the FEMA website too, much info is to be found there. Good luck and take a deep breath, it's not as foreboding as it seems.
With all the interest in disaster preparedness, let me suggest an easy, positive method of preparing...join a local Red Cross Disaster Action Team...the local DAT that is. The first ones to be alerted, by your local Emergency Operation Center, are the Red Cross DAT. They have the training to staff a shelter, and supply the immediate needs...usually a day or so before FEMA can be on the scene. The Red Cross also has a specific training module for organizations, such as churches, that want to operate on their own...without using the resources of the Red Cross...and that's fine as long as they have been trained in what to do, and how to do it. It's one thing to be handed a violin, but some training does help.
I think using material from www.ready.gov is a great idea. Identify some nurses to take courses from Red Cross ReadyRn www.redcross.org. Thats what I'm doing today! Anyone can join the Red Cross also and get free training which would help you grow your team of volunteers. Start a Food Bank!
Hi Sharon, and welcome.
First, I want to congratulate you for taking on this role. Your church members wouldn't have asked you to do this unless they had confidence in you.
Second, while this may seem overwhelming, you have tapped into a group of people who have great expertise in emergency management. Many of us have been in your situation and have done well. You can do this too.
I suggest that you start by getting some others from your parish to help you. It's always best to have a variety of opinions. You can share the work load, talk over your ideas and build consensus. People are much more willing to support things that they have been a part of developing.
The first step in developing a preparedness plan is to identify and prioritize your risks. Be open minded and brainstorm all of the possible things that could happen to your church; not just the building but your church community (members, families, etc). Rate them in terms of their likelihood and the severity of their impact. In my part of the country, for example, it is common to have winter blizzards with snowfall measured in feet. Because we are used to it and equipped to handle it, the risk here is relatively low. If the same were to happen in Atlanta it would be a much bigger problem, but it's also much less likely there. Focus first on the thing that have high likelihood and high severity. You are in the best position to do that because you know the history of your area.
Now look at each risk. Think about things that you can do to reduce the impact ... what will you do before, during and after the event? How will you know it's coming? How can you get the word out to others? What things can you do to minimize the potential impact? What materials and manpower will you need? What things can the church members do and what will you need outside help with? There are lots of tools and resources that can help you with this process. As you work your way through the risks, you will likely find that a lot of the activities will be the same. Organize teams around similar tasks.
Document your plans and exercise them. Use your experiences to make the plans better. Develop mutual aid agreements with businesses and other organizations (including faith based) locally and outside of your area. Coordinate with other emergency response agencies. Identify ways that you can help them as well as their helping you.
That's the process in a nutshell. Obviously there's a lot more to it than what I've summarized here, but there are many resources to help you along the way. The members of this group are involved so that we can all help each other. Feel free to e-mail us or post your questions as you go along. I wish you the best in your new role and am confident that you'll do fine.
Pastor you can go to Ready.gov and it will help you out on how to be better prepared .and also you can go to Preparedness Caolition for more Infomation on how to prepare your Community for a Disaster. I am a CERT Member for OHIO and I am a Ready.gov Board Member too so it will help you and your Congregation if you can have a CERT Member or some one from the EMA Office to see if they have anything about preparedness Sincerely Carl Buckley OHIO CERT Member
Here in Dallas, my wife is the Disaster Coordinator for our church (Methodist).I think I can get a copy of the plans we built, and the coordination we had with the local police & fire departments. I'm also in CERT and am a trainer for the Methodist Early Response Teams. Please contact me if you would like more info.
469 330 7619
Just wanted to say thanks for joining the community, and for posting your ask for information to the other members! I am sure there are many in your situation, and it is extremely helpful for others when you just ask for help - they can learn as well. Nice going!
Here are some resources:
EDEN: Extension Disaster Education Network: www.eden.Isu.edu/ -Pandemic Influenza Preparedness for Faith Based Organizations & other planning resources
Project G.R.A.C.E. (Getting Ready Ahead of Catastrophic Events): http://www.volunteerharrisonwv.org/Grace.aspx Harrison County Faith Based Initiative for Disaster Recovery
New York Disaster Interfaith Services: www.nydis.org/nydis
My name is Nancy Carlson and I am the Behavioral Health Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health in our Office of Emergency Preparedness. In 2007, Central MN developed the “Preparing for a Disaster: A Guide for Faith Communities” that might be of assistance to you in your planning efforts. The guide can be found at: