by Jac La Tour
Once a disaster happens, time to prepare is gone. All you can do is cope.
Recent massive earthquakes around the world, in particular along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” remind us at ECCU of the possibility of a significant quake in Southern California. Wise ministries, businesses, and individuals will respond to this possibility by preparing to meet their initial needs until outside assistance arrives, because, as we have seen in Japan and other disaster areas, help may not come for days or even weeks.
While many things are beyond our control once a disaster strikes, there is much within our control to prepare for one. To illustrate, here are some ways ECCU is preparing to care for our people and business in the wake of a disaster:
- Appointed a Safety Officer to implement and manage a preparedness program.
- Created a Safety Team to deal with imminent threats to human safety.
- Created an Emergency Response Team that is trained to stand in the gap, rendering first-aid and performing basic rescue techniques until professional responders arrive.
- Placed personal survival kits under every desk in our building.
- Maintain bulk emergency supplies on-site, including: food, water, first aid items, rescue tools, blankets, and hygiene items.
- Established close relationships with the Brea Fire Department and AlertOC, our local agency connected to the Department of Homeland Security.
- Encouraged our staff members to prepare at home.
For these efforts, ECCU was awarded the “Excellence in Preparedness” award in 2007 by the American Red Cross.
In addition to our safety preparedness, we maintain a robust business resiliency plan, designed to ensure our business is up and running with the least amount of interruption. This plan considers every critical system we rely on to manage and protect your financial resources.
Is your ministry proactively preparing for the possibility of a disaster? There are numerous resources to help you prepare your ministry, some of which are unique to your organizational structure or geographic region(s). Start small and build upon a good foundation. Also, encourage your staff to personally prepare for a disaster at home, beginning with visiting the Make a Plan site and completing an Emergency Financial First-Aid Kit.
What does your ministry do to prepare? Please share so others can learn from you!