Disaster Recovery: Ministry Continuity Resources
Whether the problem is severe weather, pandemic illness, or security threats, churches—like any other service organization or business—need to have a plan. How will you respond to the unexpected? Will you be ready to take action?
Without a plan, it’s tough to know what to do first. With a plan, you know what it will take to resume serving your people and community.
Do you have an emergency or disaster plan? Does it include information about how to resume the “business” of ministry? For instance, do you know where you’ll meet if your church is closed, how you’ll access church records, and whether you have enough insurance to get back into operation?
If not, it may seem like a daunting task to pull this information together. But there are many resources available that can help you develop a disaster response and recovery plan. Here are a few you may want to consider:
This website has a wealth of information that can help churches, small businesses, and large organizations alike prepare for the worst and be ready to get back to business as quickly as possible following a disaster. There’s information about continuity of operations planning and even a sample business emergency plan that churches and related ministries can use to get the planning process started. There’s also information that can help ministries educate employees and volunteers.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Advertising Council designed Ready.gov to help Americans prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Ready Business section of Ready.gov helps leaders of small- and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations, and assets in the event of an emergency.
Like Ready.gov, the American Red Cross provides a wealth of information to help businesses and other organizations like churches prepare for disasters and emergencies. The American Red Cross also offers training that can help workplaces be ready to respond.
In addition to government and national resources like Ready.gov and the American Red Cross, there are several ministry-specific resources available to help you address your disaster planning efforts. Here are a few:
Hope Crisis Response Network: This not-for-profit organization helps communities address all stages of a disaster—the event itself, relief and recovery efforts, and hazard mitigation. The website offers a variety of information, including a helpful publication, Disaster Planning for Churches, that you may wish to review.