A recent rash of violent tornadoes has left southern states devestated with reports of over 250 people killed. One church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama was destroyed, as well as two additional churches (as reported by the Christian Chronicle Blog. Photo by Kathryn Champion).
In all probability, many more were seriously damaged.
Our prayers are with the families of all those lost in the storms, and for those left with massive destruction and devastation.
When an incident like this happens, it is a good idea to review and drill the policies and procedures for an emergency weather situation with staff and congregants. Many churches post their disaster routes and shelter areas in the church bathrooms, but it is quite possible a lot of your church members haven’t taken the time to look at the document.
When a tornado siren sounds, it can strike at any moment, so delay should be avoided. A calm head and verbal direction in an emergency weather situation can save lives and help people remain calm during the emergency. This person may be the pastor or security director calmly directing people to where they need to go.
Pre-planning and practice will aid your congregation if a tornado, hurricane, or other weather disaster strikes while you are meeting.
Check Your First Aid Supplies
A tornado can turn any small object into a missile and many injuries sustained during this type of event may include cuts, abrasions, contusions, puncture wounds, broken bones, crushed limbs, and injuries from a collapsed structure.
EMS capabilities may be overwhelmed in your community, so your team members may be the only people capable of rendering aid until they can be transported to a hospital. Make sure your kit includes the necessary supplies appropriate for your church membership size and to aid your neighbors if they come to your church for help.
Adequate Supplies of Food
Having to stay in one place for a prolonged period of time can drain resources very quickly. If your church family had to do this, would your church’s supply of food be adequate? Although some may see this as an extreme measure, and play the odds it will never happen, finding yourself stuck in one location without food or water isn’t fun.
If feasible, your church may want to stock emergency food which can be easily stored and last for many years.
Plan, practice, and drill and everyone’s response is smoother, faster, and even life saving.