Tips for Emergency and Disaster Recovery Planning

August 30, 2012 - 2 minutes read

Emergency-planEmergency and disaster recovery plans are essential in case of a crisis such as fire, natural disaster or severe weather event. This involves first determining the types of hazards that could occur in your locality, and then taking steps to develop a broad-ranging plan in case of these catastrophes.

Your plan should include procedures for emergency situations, and designate personnel to be in charge of the required actions.

Considerations for an emergency plan

  • Procedures for evacuation. This involves providing a safe place for congregants, staff and visitors to gather in an emergency situation, and the provision of at least two safe escape routes to get there.
  • Utility shut-offs. It’s important to know where and how to do this if required in an emergency.
  • Communication procedures. Includes contact with emergency services and other sources.
  • Emergency supply kit. This is in case people become trapped in the building for a time period. It may need to include bottled water, non-perishable food, blankets and other items.
  • Medical assistance. Involves determining who will be in charge of First Aid, and where any required treatment should take place.
  • Fire-safety equipment use. In the case of fire it’s important to have personnel who are fully trained in all aspects of fire-safety.
  • Floor plan of the property. This should be on display and should clearly indicate all exits and escape routes.
  • Procedures for the protection of assets and vital records. May need to include computer back-ups onto external storage devices, and the protection of important documents.

Developing a recovery plan

Following a disaster situation, your organisation should have procedures in place for recovery.

Things to consider for this include:

  • Site security and safety.
  • Salvage of contents.
  • Debris removal if required.
  • Appointment of contractors for repair work.
  • Lodging of insurance claims.
  • Alternative premises if required while repairs are being done.

In addition, depending on the size of your church, you may want to appoint an emergency plan officer or a committee to oversee matters of safety and disaster response and recovery.

You can read more posts on emergency planning here.

Written by Tess Oliver

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