How Do You Write an Emergency Response Plan?
The good news in all of this is creating an emergency response plan
doesn’t need to be complicated. Follow these easy steps to create a plan:
1. Download a church emergency action plan template. Use this
emergency response plan template based on best practices by FEMA to help
you start your plan.
2. Do a risk assessment. Conduct regularly scheduled assessments of
your church. Walk around your church’s property with people from your
designated leadership team and show them what to look out for. This
includes blocked emergency escape routes, broken windows or doors, and
fallen debris. Make sure to clean up, fix, and update your church on a
regular basis to ensure everyone’s safety.
3. Know your local problems and common natural disasters. Make sure
you are always preparing and working ahead of issues common to your city,
county, and state. If you live in an area where the power frequently goes
out, make sure your church has a generator. If you live in an area that
has multiple tornadoes every year, make sure your church has a tornado
shelter (or safe spaces) big enough for your congregation, stocked with
essentials like food and water. Make a list of all issues common to your
area and work to have solutions for each one. Beyond the more obvious
risks, FEMA also recommends creating a general preparedness plan for other
events that are more unexpected.
4. Write your emergency response plan.Based on your assessment, the
local laws, and the emergency response plan template, you should have a
solid base on where to start. Your plan should include as much information
as possible when it comes to safety. Where will people shelter-in-place?
What’s the evacuation route? Who is in charge of the process? How will you
communicate with everyone in the church, and those affiliated with it,
when the disaster happens? Once filled out, make copies of your plan and
visibly place it in multiple spots so it’s accessible, especially during
an emergency situation.
5. Practice your church emergency plan. It’s important that
everyone understands how to execute your plan, because when disaster
strikes, the first instinct most people will have is panic. Assign
employees important roles and make sure that everyone knows exactly what
they’re supposed to be doing. Conduct emergency drills multiple times a
year to increase employee confidence and understanding so that if a
natural disaster hits, they will be able to follow the plan in a calm and