5 Ways to Improve the Safety and Security of Your Place of Worship or Community Spaces

Director of the DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Marcus Coleman and Senior Advisor to FEMA’s Preparedness Grants Division Mark S. Silveira talk about 5 methods to enhance the protection and safety of your home of worship or neighborhood areas.

Many folks spend time in church buildings, mosques, synagogues, temples, gurdwaras or different locations of worship and public areas. People ought to really feel protected once they collect to precise their religion or serve their neighborhood.

As we proceed to be taught from religion and neighborhood leaders on the right way to enhance the protection and safety of those areas, we recognized 5 methods your neighborhood can get began immediately.

1. Take Preparedness One Step at a Time, Year Round

Whether you might be getting ready for disasters or maintaining your area protected from acts of violence, it is very important be ready at any second.

There are some ways you’ll be able to shield your area from acts of violence. To start, we advocate watching this recorded webinar the place a number of leaders present a multi-faith perspective on “preventing acts of targeted violence and protecting the safety and security of places of worship through faith and community based approaches in the U.S. and Europe .”

Other methods to organize can embrace making a plan that helps folks know what to do within the occasion of an unexpected incident. This means taking trainings like Until Help Arrives and finishing a plan for the way you’ll communicate with loved ones in case of an emergency. An essential step everybody can take is creating and practising a plan. During an incident, it helps to know the right way to contact each other and reconnect household and neighborhood members if separated.

2. Know How to Respond to Threats

If you understand that man-made incidents or threats are potential in your protected area, it’s essential to understand how to reply to them..

Contact your native first responders  for suggestions on trainings reminiscent of what to do in case of an active shooter

The  Mitigating Attacks on Houses of Worship  Security Guide additionally gives low-cost to no-cost measures to mitigate in opposition to assaults for locations of worship. 

Use the  Houses of Worship Security Self-Assessment to assist decide any weaknesses in your constructing and discover methods to enhance bodily security and safety enhancements for the constructing and the folks it shelters.  Additionally, community-based non-profits such because the Organizations Preparing for Emergency Needs (OPEN) checklist assets that may assist establish particular actions on your distinctive scenario.  

3. Learn More About Resources Available to You

Although there are some low to no-cost methods to organize, extra assets could require funding. Often your group could not have sufficient funds to implement wanted security and safety measures. However, there are grants out there that may assist join you to totally different assets that can assist fund these tasks.

On FEMA’s Preparedness Grants web page, there are assets such because the Preparedness Grants Manual, case research and informational bulletins. You can get tips and recommendation on the federal authorities grants course of at Grants.gov Community Blog – Connecting the grant community to #LearnGrants.

4. Consider the Nonprofit Security Grant Program

One choice to help your efforts is the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which supplies funding help to nonprofit organizations, together with homes of worship, which might be at excessive danger of terrorist assault. This funding will help your group implement bodily safety enhancements and actions.

These grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations to fund actions reminiscent of:

  • Safety and safety planning, coaching and workout routines
  • Contract Security Guards
  • Access/Entry Controls
  • Close Circuit Security Cameras
  • External Lighting
  • Security Fences/Gates and Bollards

Before making use of, it’s advisable to evaluate all earlier 12 months supplies at Nonprofit Security Grant Program | FEMA.gov.

5. Always Ask for Help

There are many federal companions that wish to help you on the federal, state, native, tribal and territorial degree.  Many of those companions are on the lookout for alternatives to give you the assets and help you want. Collaborating with legislation enforcement or utilizing your Department of Homeland Security Protective Security Advisor also can make an enormous distinction.

The DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is one other federal entity that helps religion and neighborhood leaders enhance the protection and safety of their services. It connects organizations to the assets they should put together for, reply to and get well from emergencies. It additionally acknowledges the essential function your group has in emergency response, and the ways in which it might assist shield the entire neighborhood and assist them on the street to restoration.

The work you do immediately helps to guard not simply your neighborhood, however your entire nation. Start getting ready now to maintain your home of worship or neighborhood area protected and safe.

If you’d wish to be taught extra about extra issues on your place of worship, please go to FEMA.gov/religion for extra info.

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