As I write, our area is under a flood watch and high wind warning as Hurricane Sandy approaches our area. My family took precautions to prepare for the storm by securing outdoor items, putting down the storm windows, clearing leaves from the storm drains and stocking up on bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries and flashlights.
In the same way, ministries should be prepared for emergencies (weather-related and otherwise). Help your ministry be ready by keeping the following items on hand for each classroom:
- First aid kit
- Spare batteries
- Portable radio
In addition, make sure that you have an evacuation plan established.
- Train your volunteers on your evacuation plan. You should set aside time at each volunteer training to address this issue. Include a written plan, including diagrams, in their handbook. You may also find it beneficial to walk your volunteers through the process, showing them where to exit and what to do. Have a designated place for each class to meet outside of your building that is a safe distance away. Instruct volunteers to take their attendance roster and conduct a head count when they arrive at their designated evacuation location.
- Be sure that parents know your evacuation plan. They should know where to meet their children and what the procedures are for retrieving their children at the designated evacuation location.
- Ensure that your plan includes procedures for babies and children with special needs or physical limitations.
- In addition to a written plan, have an evacuation route map and plan outlined and posted in each classroom. Your map should include your church’s address and an emergency phone number and/or contact number to be reached. It should also outline your current location, the nearest exit and their designated evacuation location.
Contact www.redcross.org for additional information on how to prepare for emergency situations. You can also request a copy of our ministry’s emergency plan by leaving a comment below.
What steps have you taken to ensure that your ministry is prepared in the event of an emergency?