Steps Every Church Must Take NOW: Pt 2
Previously I told you that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is taking steps and providing guidelines to assist Churches in reducing violence or terrorist attacks in their Houses of Worship.
Without a doubt we are living in a crazy world and it seems Churches are receiving the brunt of the attacks. Any Pastor or Church Leader or member that thinks their Church is immune from the actions of insane and demonically influenced pawns, are naïve. It is time we get our heads out of the sand and prepare to protect ourselves and those attending our services.
We have the best Security team in America protecting our events at our ICCM World Theater and Center. Our Security Chief has put together the following steps based upon FEMA’s recommendations, which I suggest that every Church put in action now.
Following are the remainder of the steps every Church must take now to protect themselves:
The Planning Process
Six steps for planning are outlined in the Guide (see Part 1 for website link): (1) Form a Collaborative Planning Team, (2) Understand the Situation, (3) Determine Goals and Objectives, (4) Plan Development, (5) Plan Preparation, Review, and Approval, and (6) Plan Implementation and Maintenance.
Step 1: Form a Collaborative Planning Team
The Guide aptly notes that successful emergency operations occur when a team of individuals and organizations are involved both in planning and execution. Accordingly, it recommends that churches first identify a core planning team that is “small enough to permit close collaboration, yet large enough to be representative of the house of worship, its congregation, and its community partners.” Ideally, the team will include first responders or others who have emergency response expertise, some of whom may be members of the organization. Once the team is identified, team members should determine and clearly define their roles and responsibilities, and should set a regular schedule of meetings.
Step 2: Understand the Situation
Step 2 requires a church to identify the threats and hazards to which it is susceptible, evaluate the risk of those threats and hazards, and then prioritize those risks. To identify threats and hazards, the planning team should draw on the knowledge and expertise of its members as well as community assessments that local and state agencies have conducted.
Once threats and hazards are identified, the team should evaluate the risk that each one poses. “Evaluating risk involves understanding the probability that the specific threat or hazard will occur; the effects the threat or hazard will likely have, including