There is no better time to develop a preparedness plan than when all is calm. It allows you the time to think through multiple scenarios and put response plans in place. But that's not all - preparedness planning also gives you the opportunity to think through all the ministries and assistance you offer to your neighbors and local community.
Putting together a preparedness plan can feel overwhelming, so take it one step at a time, and it'll be in place before you know it.
GET STARTED: FIRST STEPS
1. Update your entry on the Episcopal Asset Map. The Asset Map is a joint project of The Episcopal Church and Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD). Originally intended as a tool for use in locating resources as part of disaster response, it quickly became apparent its real purpose is to provide access to and highlight everyday ministry throughout the Episcopal Church. Every Episcopal church and mission is included, providing everyone with an opportunity to share the news of all their church or ministry has to offer, both every day and in times of trouble. Every church has a pin in the map; what it shares is up to you. It is the "Find a Church" tool on both the Episcopal Church's and the diocesan website.
2. Update your Alert Media contacts: One additional channel that comes into play during the storm is Alert Media, an emergency mass communication tool to which we have access through our partnership with Episcopal Relief and Development. It allows us to check in directly with clergy and church leaders via text and email to stay connected and start building a real-time picture of how the diocese is faring. Every church should have a clergy and vestry member on the contact list. To check or update yours, please contact the communications department.
3. Find volunteers with experience. You might be amazed to learn of the experience sitting in your church’s pews. Instead of asking one person to generate the entire preparedness plan, ask for a volunteer with the appropriate expertise to run point on each module. Church leadership is still be tasked with being familiar with and approving the final plan, and perhaps even coordinating the efforts of the module volunteers/committees, but the work will be lightened by enlisting more (and knowledgeable) hands.
CREATE YOUR CORE PLAN
The first step in creating a comprehensive plan is its core - the part of the plan that will apply no matter what the emergency or situation.
The diocesan plan is in development (and coming soon), but if you want to get started right away, the module templates will be based on ERD's comprehensive approach:
Plan Development: Churches
- Get started: Bronze level preparedness plan
- Keep going: Silver level preparedness plan
- Comprehensive preparedness plan
Plan Development: Individuals
Being connected to sources of information that help you stay up-to-date both before and during an emergency can be invaluable.
Last updated: February 23, 2021
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