Preparing for Emergencies at Places of Worship
July 28, 2015
As recent tragic events prove, no location is safe from violent attack, including plac¬es of worship. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently creat¬ed a webpage to assist faith and community leaders with preparing places of worship for emergency situations.
The page focuses on the 2013 Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Op¬erations Plans for Houses of Worship, a multi-agency project to assist faith leaders in taking steps to identify and address threats and hazards and reduce the impact. Resources available focus on both violent acts and natural disasters with the understanding that each type of emergency requires very different types of response.
The resource page offers information on creating emergency operations plans, train¬ing on active shooter incidents and surveillance awareness, how to test emergency plans to find weaknesses, and webinars on a variety of topics.
Emergency managers are encouraged to reach out to the places of worship within their jurisdiction with these resources, inquire as to their current level of readiness, and assist as necessary in the planning and training process.