September is National Preparedness Month—the perfect time to check your safety protocols to make sure you’re ready to respond to a natural disaster.

Take a moment to consider what you would do if a tornado struck your building, right in the middle of a service. What about a flood? Or a fire? We’ve consulted with our vast network of strategic resources to help you create a plan.

Houses of worship are considered safe places for all who gather there. By taking these steps, you can make sure that’s always the case, no matter what happens.

Here’s how you can prepare:

  1. Identify a safe area in which people can gather during severe weather—and a procedure to get there.
  2. Outline and clearly post primary and secondary evacuation routes.
  3. Create an emergency supply kit should people become trapped in your facility.
  4. Establish communications protocol so people can communicate outside your facility. And remember, you may be in a situation where power has failed.
  5. Assign someone the responsibility of shutting off utilities during a disaster, and make sure they know where and how to do so.
  6. Keep your insurance and other vital documents in a safe, easy-to-locate area.
  7. Make sure fire extinguishers and first-aid kits are serviced, stocked and easy to find.

Prepare your congregation for the unthinkable. Click here for more tips, tools and resources that can help you carry on in nearly any situation.

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