Many people think of a house of worship as a safe area where violence and emergencies cannot affect them. However, violence in houses of worship is not a new phenomenon. In addition to violent acts, fires, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and arson also affect houses of worship. With many incidents occurring with little to no warning, many houses of worship are developing and updating plans and procedures to ensure the safety and security of their congregations, staff, and facilities.
In collaboration with other houses of worship and community partners (i.e., governmental entities that have a responsibility in the plan, including first responders, public health officials, and mental health officials), houses of worship can take steps to plan for these potential emergencies through the creation of an emergency operations plan (EOP).
Additionally, community organizations and private sector entities may have a role in the plan. Houses of worship are distinctive settings in that congregants share a common bond and have a predisposition to volunteer. The demographics of a congregation often mean that children and the elderly are present and may need assistance.
FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) invites you to a webinar on Tuesday, July 19, which will feature ways houses of worship and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs can partner for emergency response training. The webinar will also highlight how these partnerships improve engagements with diverse communities and populations.
The webinar will start at 2pm and run for 60 minutes.