Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Prepare! One Simple Tip to Help Your Church

Sometimes we don't think about disasters until they strike home. If I could share just one simple tip for you to prepare for disaster it would be this. Share phone numbers and set up a phone tree to see that everyone in your church is checked in with after a disaster strikes.

How you do this is not as important as that you make sure that everyone is on someone's list. You don't want to learn after a disaster strikes that nobody checked on one of the widows or elderly members of your church.

One way to do this is to assign people in the church a manageable list of people to check in with. How many names are manageable depends on the size of your church and how many people you have who can volunteer to make calls. Just make sure you have current phone numbers and that the people who are supposed to call have access to telephone service. Sometimes land lines go down but cellular towers are still intact. Sometimes both are out of service.

Just for the sake of giving you an example, here is what a small church might do:
  • The pastor calls the elders and deacons and makes sure that they all have telephone access.
  • Elders and deacons each have a list of names to call. If a family/person cannot be contacted by phone, you might consider sending someone to their house to check on them. 
While we did not have this system in place when tornadoes ripped through our community in April 2011, within an hour of the first tornadoes hitting we had church members in our driveway checking on us. Phones and electricity were out and I was cutting trees that fell and blocked our street (a dead end) so I didn't hear my cell phone ringing. Having those church members care enough to check on us meant a great deal. I encourage you to develop a plan that would help to make sure that all of your church members are okay.

And don't forget to check on your neighbors too! In a later post I will share how a natural disaster can help you to connect with, and minister to, your neighbors.