Thursday, February 27, 2020

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Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.
Tag » Crisis Response Plan

Blessings(Listen and meditate on the message of this song before we begin), Blessings by Laura Story  http://youtu.be/4mmgV6mPvb0

This song has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it several years ago. Our son in law Kraig was discouraged because of his physical heath and this song brought comfort and continues to today.

Reflecting on events from the past, each of us can claim disappointment and sorrow, but today let’s again ask ourselves these questions.

In  the President’s plan to reduce gun violence the statistics related to school risk and emergency planning mirror the same needs as those of houses of worship.

“A 2010 survey found that while 84 percent of public schools had a written response plan in the event of a shooting, only 52 percent had drilled their students on the plan in the past year. We must ensure that every school has a high-quality plan in place and that students and staff are prepared to follow it.”

In May of this year DHS will work intentionally to address this sobering statistic for schools and houses of worship.  The Department of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services will be releasing model, high-quality emergency management plans for schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education, along with best practices for developing these plans and training students and staff to follow them. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security, in coordination with the Department of Justice, will assist interested schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education in completing their own security assessments.

 With over 60 million people likely affected by Hurricane Sandy due to make landfall hours from now carrying 8 -12 foot water surges and two feet of snow in some areas it will likely paralyze the east coast for several days if not weeks. Over 900 miles of the U.S. east coast and inland as far as the Michigan will be affected. And with one week or more of power outages in the area commonly transacting business that affects the nation, we are all likely to feel the effects even if we do not live on the east coast and have to go to shelters. This has the potential to become the largest storm in the history of the U.S. as 90 mile an hour winds are unsustainable in terms of key infrastructure. For most people today just being without their cell phone alone produces anxiety, much less the frustration which comes from over 8,000 flights which have been cancelled now affecting flights coast to coast. Then, if you factor the frustrations of not being able to get to meetings with the transit systems shut down, you now have a perfect storm in not only the physical arena but the spiritual, emotional and mental one as well.

CEN would agree with much of what FEMA Director Craig Fugate, a well respected first responder with a wealth of experience, said yesterday: “It’s going to really come down to the public heeding those evacuation orders, taking protective measures. If they haven’t gotten ready, they can go to Ready.gov Get information on how to protect them and their families, but also check on your neighbors. This is going to be a big storm. We need to be there for each other.” His reference to “we need to be there for each other” is a striking departure from the traditional FEMA Ready messaging - make your own plan, make your own kit and get informed. The Director is now calling for us to help each other rather than merely thinking of ourselves. 

As Christians we know we need to be there for each other and we need to “be there” spiritually, emotionally, mentally as well as physically. Since the government website, while filled with much good information, cannot help you learn how to be spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically ready to help yourself and others from a biblical worldview, CEN has developed the ReadyChristian training program as a self-study or small group study in order to develop a support response network of family and friends, to prepare and to respond biblically to crisis of all kinds, large or small.

Active Shooter Preparedness

This morning, October 24, 2012, there was another single shooter incident; this time at World Changers Church in Georgia. Early reports confirm that one person (an employee of the church) was shot and killed. Police are still looking for the suspect.

We strongly encourage all churches and houses of worship to consider their course of action, and create an emergency response plan for how to handle active shooter situations in their places of worship.

Some years ago while serving on staff of a local church with all of its many daily leadership responsibilities, our family had a crisis that set us on our heels emotionally and spiritually.  The situation was so devastating we were almost blinded and rendered immobile by the overwhelming emotions and spiritual implications. At the time it did not appear as if there would ever be a good way through this crisis. And, as is so common to those in crisis, we were so shocked all we did was focus upon the crisis itself.

It was in this crisis moment, my pastoral mentor prayed with us and challenged us to read stand on Psalm 91 each day. I learned to trust God in a new way and Psalm 91 was an integral part of the journey back from the spiritual precipice to a secure place in the shelter of God’s arms. We literally read it over and over again every day until the peace that passes understanding came to us. And, now 18 years later, what was once a huge daunting crisis has now been turned for good to them who love the Lord. Ever since that time, Psalm 91 is my “go to” place when I sense my emotional and spiritual security compass may be getting jostled. Here is why Psalms 91 is so powerful for me.

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.