Resources for congregations and individuals for being prepared for disasters and emergency situations. Please also check your district website, many districts have listings for local and state resources.
We especially recommend these resources to help you with this issue:
- UUA's Handling Trauma in the Aftermath of Disaster Page - www.uua.org/safe/response/index.shtml
- The Life Cycle of a Disaster (video) - www.uua.org/safe/response/120488.shtml
- Resource Page of the UU Trauma Ministry Team - www.traumaministry.org/resources
- Church Mutual's Safety Resources (you do not need to be a customer to request or download these) - www.churchmutual.com/index.php/choice/risk/page/intro/id/21
- An Emergency Preparedness Guide from Buildingsguide.com - a very comprehensive listing of resources for all types of emergencies. http://www.buildingsguide.com/buildingsguidecom-presents-emergency-preparedness-guide
Where to Start
Make a Plan
- Develop a congregational communications plan. Know how you will reach those who are in need of medication, the home-bound, etc
- Inventory your assets
- Create a plan of how to provide shelter in place, safety in the congregation’s building
- Create a plan for evacuation
Getting Ready for that "We Hope it Never Happens Here Event" that Just Might Happen
- Keep insurance policies up to date with realistic coverage levels
- Do not keep the insurance policy in the church building to avoid it being lost or damaged if the building should be damaged or destroyed
- Check flood plain plans to be sure the church is not in any newly drawn plans. If it is obtain flood insurance
- Have someone trained to know what to do to coordinate information and how to file claims
- Have someone act as coordinator to meet and get to know fire and police responders
- Develop a plan on how to safeguard essential church documents. Make a second copy of all legal documents, insurance policies and other vital files and move them to an off-site storage area.
- Develop a communication plan to keep congregation members connected and informed in the event of a disaster.
Get a Kit
- Gather and have on hand an emergency supply kit – water, food, first-aid supplies, tools and emergency supplies, sanitation needs, hygiene items, etc.
- Learn about specific threats to your city/region, and know what you will have to do.
Make a Checklist
- Phone numbers, check to see if there is adequate insurance, know how to use fire extinguishers, check smoke detectors regularly, stock emergency supplies, take a CPR class, determine escape route, determine safe spots in the building
Practice and maintain your plan.
- Check utilities and know where all sources are located.
FEMA: Are You Ready? An in-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness. www.fema.gov/areyouready/
Another source is this guidelines for emergency planning from Public Administration.net - http://www.publicadministration.net/resources/creating-an-emergency-plan/
Roberts and Ashley: Disaster Spiritual Care: Practical Clergy Responses to Community, Region and National Tragedy. Skylight Paths Publ. 2008. A 348 page book highly recommended by the ELCA. Can be found on Amazon or other book services.
Non-Profit and Religous Disaster Response Websites
- National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster ~ www.NVOAD.org
- Church World Service Emergency Response Program ~ www.CWSERP.org
- American Red Cross ~ www.redcross.org
- Friends Disaster Service ~ www.friendsdisasterservice.org
- United Church of Christ ~ www.ucc.org/disaster/national-disaster-resources.html
- Episcopal Relief and Development ~ www.er-d.org
- Mennonite Disaster Service ~ www.mds.mennonite.net
- Church of the Brethren ~ www.brethren.org/bdm
- Lutheran Disaster Response ~ www.ldr.org
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance ~ http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/pda/
- Salvation Army ~ www.salvationarmyusa.org
- United Methodist Committee on Relief ~ http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor
- Catholic Charities ~ www.catholiccharitiesusa.org
Federal Disaster Response Websites
- Centers for Disease Control ~ www.cdc.gov
- Federal Emergency Management Agency ~ www.fema.gov
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration ~ www.osha.gov
- US Department of Homeland Security (National Readiness Site) ~ www.ready.gov
- US Government Avian and Pandemic Flu Information ~ www.pandemicflu.gov