Emergency Preparedness for Houses of Worship
It is important for all types of organizations to have an emergency plan to better help them respond to and recover from an emergency or disaster. Even if an incident does not directly affect houses of worship, they are often integral to the recovery effort after an emergency. Houses of worship can help guide members of the community through the difficult process and provide much needed support as well as supplies. As with many types of organization, there are special considerations to be taken into account when creating an emergency plan for houses of worship. See the following resources when creating an emergency plan for your house of worship.
- FEMA's "Developing High Quality Emergency Operation Plans for Houses of Worship": This guide provides recommendations in the development of plans not only to respond to an emergency, but also outlines how organizations can plan for preventing, protecting against, mitigating the impact of and recover from these emergencies. The guide introduces houses of worship to a new approach to planning, that includes walking through different emergency scenarios to create a course of faction for each objective the team is trying to accomplish. The guide emphasizes that successful planning requires all stakeholders be engaged in the planning process from the start - including community partners such as local law enforcement, fire officials, EMS, and emergency management staff. (Department of Homeland Security).
- FEMA Independent Study Courses: FEMA's Emergency Management Institute provides a variety of free online courses for Emergency Management professionals to learn more about topics such as the Incident Command System (ICS), exercise evaluation, continuity of operations, emergency planning, and more. All of the courses are free to take once you have registered with the system. Some of the most popular courses include:
- IS-360: Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for Schools, Higher Education, and Houses of Worship