A Shift in Place of Worship Security

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church safety plansHow One Event Changed Church Safety Plans

For many places of worship, the way they viewed safety and security changed on the night of June 17, 2015; the night that Charleston AME church in Charleston, SC was violently attacked by a gunman. From then on, church security became a headline across the United States and small town churches as well as large churches, began putting in place church safety plans and procedures to address risk. During an interview I conducted with a Pastor of a small town church, just 70 miles from Charleston, we discussed how the Charleston shooting created a security shift for many small town churches, like his own. Pastor Milton Stubblefield has been pastoring for decades in small town churches and the shooting in his home state helped to propel the safety and security changes their church had already been working on. Read More

Don’t Miss Your Mark with Unrealistic Safety Goals

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Safety Goals Should be Challenging, Yet Realistic & Attainable

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Goals give us something to strive towards, which is often times motivating, helping us to meet goals and make new ones. Just like people, organizations need goals too, specifically safety goals. These goals need to be challenging for your organization, but they also need to be realistic. Having unrealistic goals will not only prevent you from meeting those goals, but it may also negatively affect some safety efforts that are already in place. Carefully crafting goals for your organization is essential to ongoing safety. Read More

How Schedules Affect Church Safety

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Avoid Vulnerabilities by Changing Routines

Schedules are great, they keep us on track and help us to stay organized, but sometimes, our day to day schedules can become detrimental to the safety of our lives or organizations. For place’s of worship in particular, daily schedules can be an invitation for unwanted criminal activity. Today we are going to give insight on what criminals may see as an opportunity to commit a crime on your church grounds, and how changing routines can help minimize risk. Crimes could include assault, robbery, breaking and entering, etc. The overall tip for the day is this:

“Changing routines often can reduce the chance of crime on your church grounds.”

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The Missing Link: Cohesion

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Rapid Responder Provides Cohesion for Organizations

hand - ipad - squareMany organizations have all the right plans for responding to emergencies, by having written plans and doing tabletop drills to practice. From a preparedness standpoint they may be well prepared and have all their ducks in a row, waiting for a chance to put their plans in action. However, they still may be lacking a significant factor in responding efficiently and they may be lacking cohesion. Rapid Responder, an industry leading emergency preparedness platform, provides cohesiveness for those who implement it.
Cohesion with other staff for your organization is critical to handling an emergency or incident well. Rapid Responder allows for a cohesive response within your organization by bringing everyone together on the same page and laying out an easy to follow responsibility tree through ICS and a NIMS based model of response. Rapid Responder stores all of your emergency plans and response procedures, including digital imagery, in a simple and easy-to-navigate platform, available on the Internet, on a laptop, available on a USB, or iOS or Android App. It gives the same information to all parties accessing the information, lessening confusion during a response. Read More

After Action Reviews

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After Action ReviewsPreparing Your Organization for the Next Incident

An After Action Review (AAR), is commonly used by the military and according to the Harvard Business Review is, “A method for extracting from one event or project and applying them to others.” For instance, if during your past fire drill, exit doors were not closed after everyone evacuated, you recognize that as a shortcoming and next time you have a fire drill, someone is in charge of securing those inner perimeter doors before evacuating themselves. You took an instance from one event and applied it to the next event. After Action Reviews are critical to the continuation of safety and security for any facility and enables organizations to continue striving toward a safer environment. Read More

More Visibility = More Awareness

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Keeping Your Options Open During Emergencies

Many times, we hear stories of an active shooter or armed intruder, we hear that victims heard chaos and looked for the nearest exit to escape but ended up in more danger. When attempting to escape, victims tend to run blindly, not really knowing where the incident is or the location of the shooter/intruder. Unfortunately since the focus is just on trying to get out, victims may actually be running toward danger due to lack of visibility and awareness of their surroundings prior to the incident. Keep reading to learn how visibility is directly linked to awareness and how these critical opportunities can help when in an emergency situation. Read More

Preventing & Responding to a Stalker on Church Grounds

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Do You Know Who’s Watching?

Stalking is something that is rarely talked about openly in our society, but it is a scary reality for over 7 million people in the United States. Stalking is not just what we see in movies or on the television, it is a concern for both men and women and can interfere with all aspects of life. Stalking is a growing concern for all, but especially those under 25 years of age and can be cause for concern in your place of worship. Without proper policies, stalking can lead to grave consequences for not only the victim, but those around as well. We have some ways to help you mitigate risk of a stalker at your place of worship.  Read More

Rapid Responder Makes an Appearance at Sheepdog Seminar

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If you are in the Pacific Northwest region, please join us at the Sheepdog Seminar in Longview, WA this weekend, Saturday, March 12. National Account Executive, Jeff Hicks from Prepared Response, Inc. will be available at the seminar to offer church and place of worship leaders information on the industry leading emergency preparedness system, Rapid Responder. Read More

Emergency Operating Procedures

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What You Need to Know & Address

Emergency Operating Procedures (EOPs) are critical to emergency planning and preparedness for any facility. According to FEMA, emergency operating procedures means, “A document that assigns responsibility to organizations and individuals for carrying out specific actions at projected times and places in an emergency that exceeds the capability or routine responsibility of any one agency.”

Many people working on EOPs confuse them with plans; however, they are much different because emergency operating procedures are not as specific as emergency plans. Plans will be very emergency operating proceduresspecific and will differ according to emergency type such as fire, active shooter, flooding, etc. Procedures on the other hand are broader and say “if there’s a fire, the fire department will respond and take over the response.” Read More

Dialing 9-1-1 from a Place of Worship

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9-1-1

We all know that when dialing 9-1-1, we will be asked questions about the type of emergency, location you are at and other information needed by first responders. This usually isn’t a problem, but if you’re at a place of worship when you dial 9-1-1 you may run into questions that you don’t know how to answer. When calling for help, you will need to know how to clearly answer to the 6 W’s dispatchers will ask. We’ll show you how to provide dispatchers with all the information they need and give you some tips that will get first responders to you quickly. Read More