Congregation Emergency Plan

The Congregational Emergency Plan is an all-hazards workbook and guide to helping congregations of all faiths prepare for a major emergency. The guide directs congregations through the emergency planning process by outlining needs, developing a communications plan, establishing a service continuity plan, suggesting ways to collaborate with the community, providing an overview of the Incident Command System, listing items in a Go-Kit, and mapping key community resources. The plan includes the following templates: 1) Designating an emergency planning coordinator and team; 2) Creating a disaster mission statement; 3) Preparing staff, volunteers, and members for emergencies; 4) Meeting the needs of vulnerable members; 5) Sheltering; 6) Evacuating; 7) Communications planning; 8) Service continuity planning; 9) Financial planning; 10) Community response planning; 11) The Incident Command System; 12) Personal preparedness; 13) Facility mitigation; and 14) Neighborhood resources. The plan specifically considers the needs and structure of faith-based organizations, which historically have had few planning resources available to their leadership. The plan and workbook templates are simple and use acronyms or planning jargon only minimally, making them ideal tools for helping faith-based organizations prepare for disasters. The materials could easily be adapted to meet the needs of any faith-based organization in the country. The plan takes an all-hazards approach to emergency planning, and it does not specifically address pandemic influenza or a long-term emergency. Health officials may need to decide whether or not to supplement the plan with information regarding the unique challenges related to an influenza pandemic or a long-term emergency, such as infection control measures, staff protection policies, human resource policies, and planning with essential suppliers.