Many times, in the wake of destruction, churches are the first to begin to help those affected by a disaster. But do you know how to respond and keep your ministry safe?
By understanding how your ministry can appropriately respond after a disaster, you can protect your church from lawsuits and make a difference in your community.
"Safety first," is the gold standard of disaster relief. One of the worst things you can do is to run into the middle of the aftermath without any sense of what you will do when you get there. Consider how you can best serve if you are in a position to help after a disaster.
If someone is in immediate danger, your best bet is to call 911 or other local emergency responders before doing anything else. They have the tools, equipment, and education to follow through with the rescue process.
Volunteers who aid the injured are often protected from liability by Good Samaritan laws, but laws vary by state and don't offer the same protection to everyone. Before an incident occurs, research the laws for your state so you know how to best approach a situation when emergency responders aren't able to arrive on the scene as quickly as you might need them.
You could endanger yourself if you go into a situation for which you aren't prepared.
It's best to leave things like medical assistance, fires, or structural issues of buildings to the professionals. But if local emergency responders have arrived at the scene and are taking care of immediate needs, you can help in other ways. Here's how:
It is normal to want to step up and help where you can after a disaster. But if you are not a member of a certified team, it is important to volunteer in ways that help bring order instead of trying to take the place of professionals. When you have the opportunity, look for ways to support the efforts of qualified teams, which will benefit others and keep you and your ministry safe.
As your ministry takes the time to plan for disasters, utilize the resources that already exist, and learn from professionals on how to plan for emergencies.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
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