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Emergency Preparedness for Houses of Worship

Natural hazards reminiscent of tornadoes or flooding and artifical hazards together with fires or cyberattacks can happen with little to no warning. We encourage our County’s homes of worship to be ready for every type of emergencies and disasters to not solely shield their amenities, however to assist shield their congregations as effectively. Houses of worship can begin by following the 4 steps of emergency preparedness together with Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Getting Involved.

Be Informed: Be conscious of the potential hazards, each pure and artifical, that will happen in your neighborhood. Learn what protecting measures to take earlier than, throughout, and after an emergency. Here are a number of methods to be told:

  • Use the Houses of Worship Security Self-Assessment to assist decide weaknesses in your constructing and discover methods to enhance bodily security and safety for the constructing and the individuals inside it.
  • Learn extra about potential hazards and put together for them by requesting a preparedness presentation in your workers and/or congregation.
  • Sign as much as obtain free emergency alerts through textual content, cellphone name, or e mail on to your cellular gadget at alertannearundel.civicready.com.
  • Subscribe to the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s weekly Worship Watch e-newsletter, offering examples of terrorist and legal exercise in opposition to homes of worship and hyperlinks to free security-oriented seminars.

Make a Plan: We encourage homes of worship to evaluate the wants of their amenities and congregation to create a tailor-made plan for emergencies.

  • Check out the DHS Developing Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship for tips on making a plan in your particular wants.
  • Think about the way you may shelter in place together with your congregation or how you’ll evacuate them out of your facility.
  • The Anne Arundel County Police Department presents Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) coaching, with sensible suggestions on what to do in case of an energetic assailant occasion. The Crime Prevention Unit additionally schedules bodily safety assessments of spiritual amenities, with written suggestions particular to every facility. To schedule both, contact the Crime Prevention Unit at [email protected] or name 410-222-SAFE.
  • Plan for a way you’ll keep in communication with workers and your congregation earlier than and after a disaster.
  • If your facility has a faculty or supplies childcare, you should definitely plan on how you’ll reunify kids with caretakers ought to it’s good to evacuate or shelter in place for an incident.
  • Check your insurance coverage and try your financial preparedness.

Build a Kit: Building an emergency kit ensures you might have the mandatory gadgets readily available earlier than disaster strikes to be self-sufficient for no less than 3 days.

  • Think about what gadgets you could have to proceed companies within the occasion of a disaster reminiscent of an influence outage.
  • Build your package over time including gadgets like non-perishable meals, water, flashlights, additional batteries, a primary assist package, and hygiene gadgets.
  • Collect these gadgets and retailer them in an simply accessible space.

Getting Involved: The remaining step is to become involved in emergency preparedness.

  • Include your workers and congregation in your emergency plans and apply collectively.
  • Involve children within the course of to assist cut back stress and anxiousness throughout emergencies.
  • Check on weak neighbors, particularly these with continual sickness or access or functional needs.
  • Host a First Aid, CPR/AED, or Stop the Bleed Class in your workers or congregation.
  • Volunteer for a neighborhood disaster aid group.
  • Stay situationally conscious: If you see something-say something! Call 9-1-1 when you observe one thing amiss and let the professionals examine.

Additional Resources

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