The Gospels, in the Olivet Discourse, tell us to be watchful—for no one knows the day nor the hour of our Savior’s return. No matter how we may interpret these scripture passages, it’s hard to argue that this world struggles with a variety of real and potential disasters. In order for us, as a parish, to be better prepared, the St. Luke’s Disaster Preparedness Plan (DPP) was initiated. The first draft of that Plan was recently approved by our Vestry. The entire plan will be accessible via the St. Luke’s website for your review.
The written document is just the first step in our preparation. Unless we become familiar with actions to be taken in an emergency, our fears can turn to panic which can lead to inaction. In the coming weeks and months it is essential that we simulate certain scenarios that allow us to “practice” our responses in the event of a actual emergency situation. Some of the more likely scenarios would be fire, medical emergency, severe weather, earthquake, terrorism. We don’t expect everyone to become an expert. Those who work or meet regularly in the church facilities(staff and ministry groups) should be familiar with who to notify and what the initial responses should be following an emergency event. Immediate access to the DPP Plan for those individuals is highly desirable.
The procedures to follow for specific threats can be found in Appendices 4A-4I of the DPP.
After performing the immediate actions for the specific threat, notification of St. Luke’s staff and follow-on actions need to be completed as specified in Appendix 5 or 6 as appropriate.
Please be aware, the DPP is a working document. As lessons are learned from our practice scenarios, we will incorporate changes to improve our responsiveness.
We rely on your inputs to make sure we have the most effective procedures possible. In the future, we hope to develop a process of better communicating any impacts to parish worship or other activities.
If you have experience in emergency preparation or response, your inputs are welcome. Suggested inputs can be provided to the Vestry members or the Disaster Preparedness Committee (Josh Bridge, Bert Arnberg, Dennis Leuthauser, Jerry Maxey, Bob or Heidi Vettleson).