Monday, June 17, 2019

Blog

Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

During National Preparedness Month FEMA Deputy Administrator Tim Manning stressed that most emergency management professionals believe that his agency has made significant progress since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, Manning also argued that most Americans are not sufficiently prepared for natural disasters.

While Manning does not support his view with specific data, CEN would share his opinion. CEN recognized that the Church itself did not have a heart problem in wanted to respond and it did not even have a resource problem at the local level, but the Church has a huge “FACILITATION” problem in harnessing its own resources and leveraging them with the Gospel. This is why CEN created the ReadyChristian, ReadyChurch and ReadyCity programs to assist the Christian community in biblical readiness and response for such a time as this.

 “But I cannot afford it!” How often we hear that answer. Yet, many believe mistakenly that they cannot afford to prepare. Having an evacuation communication plan with your family and rinsing out used milk containers then filling them with water is not a matter of cost. It is a matter of attitude followed by action. Picking up one more can of beans and stocking up for a couple of months is not costly since you rotate out the item and will use it anyway! This is why CEN offers ReadyChristian online training FREE so no one is unable to become biblically ready to respond.

The Church has historically been viewed as a lighthouse in the midst of community disaster, and yet according to church insurance agencies less than 1% of churches conduct a routine annual fire drill with their congregations. That standard would not hold for schools or the workplace. Even fewer churches have emergency contingency or operations plans in place despite the increasing concern over active single shooter incidents or cyber security breaches, which may devastate their ongoing ministry right when people need it most. This is why CEN created the ReadyChurch program – for churches to assess their own readiness levels; network with each other for a local support system; prepare together; and respond together stronger. Again, running an evacuation drill is not costly it is a matter of removing the attitude a crisis cannot occur in my church and taking action to practice a mitigation plan. When people enter churches they think of it a “safe place”, yet many churches have leaders who are not attending to the very basic security needs of their congregations.

Christian leaders come together for events across a city. The events have short life spans, which do not lend themselves to building longer-term relationships, which encourage disaster readiness to respond together. For example, often leaders have not assessed their community risk or developed a plan to respond together in the case of an emergency, despite the fact that is at the local level where emergencies are best managed. This is why CEN developed ReadyCity – to address the “facilitation” problem that exists within Christian city networks to respond biblically and together in emergencies both large and small. It is not costly to designate someone who will expand his or her existing role of logistics when a citywide incident occurs.

 What do you believe is the basis for Christians not being prepared for natural or man-made unexpected disasters when we have the Hope of Christ?


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