As the temperatures begin to warm and Spring draws closer, now is a good time to assess your church's preparation and response activities in terms of severe weather, which is another reality of the season change in Missouri. As a church leader, please take a moment to consider some of the risk management considerations in preparing for storms.
Monitor - Someone in the church should be responsible for monitoring weather updates so that those attending services are not caught off guard by weather changes. A weather radio or weather app should be utilized to maintain current information on impending storms, watches, or warnings.
Shelter - Preparing the church for storms should involve a plan for getting people at the church to shelter in a timely manner. Posting signs for routes to emergency exits or to rendezvous areas in the case of severe weather will assist attendees and leadership to maintain a flow of foot traffic. This will diminish bottlenecks and backups in moving people from one area of the church premises to another. Leadership should be very familiar with the layout of the church, and should hold drills to make certain everyone is aware of how to respond during an emergency.
Coordinate - Individuals in leadership should coordinate particular areas of responsibility in the event of an emergency so that there is no confusion with too many people focused on a particular response item, leaving other areas unsupervised or uncovered. For this reason, churches are encouraged to have a written policies and procedures guide that breaks down individual responsibilities for church staff and appointed volunteers.
Supplies - Medical supplies are vital to effective severe weather response when church attendees would be injured or have need of supplies during an extended stay within a sheltered area. Churches are encouraged to keep a supply of medical supplies, food, and bottled water, along with flashlights and batteries should a power outage occur.
Inventory - A property inventory is vital for the church to have available when dealing with the aftermath of a storm that has caused damage to buildings and contents. This should be kept off premises and in a readily-accessible place for quick reference and accurate reporting in making repairs or replacements after a significant or total loss.
These are a few considerations of many that you will find more information about by going online to Brotherhood Mutual and searching the Safety Library. Our priority is to assist you in being more aware of how to prepare for severe weather and maintaining a safe church environment. Don't hesitate to call on us if we can offer additional guidance. Happy Spring and many Blessings!