May 17, 2012

Being Prepared

What does being prepared have to do with laundry? Not much except…

This morning, with a favorable weather forecast after days of rain and drizzle, I threw my down comforter in the washing machine, with plans to dry it outside on the portable clothes hanger Bill and I bought several summers ago. After a season of faithful use, we stored the clothes hanger in the shed and turned to our indoor drying racks.

While we continue to air dry, we use our indoor racks year round. But today, I planned to set up the outdoor hanger to dry the comforter. Except, when I went to set it up, I couldn’t figure out how to open it up to extend the four ‘arms.’

No problem, I thought. I’ll pull out the instruction book.

New problem: where is the instruction book? A few years ago, we moved the file box containing all of our household instruction manuals. I have no idea where it is and after a quick look around the house, I couldn’t find it.

Which brings me to emergency preparedness. My story resulted in a minor inconvenience for me – and a resolution to search for the missing box. Yet, for congregational leaders, not being familiar with a procedure or able to put your hands on an important document, especially in the event of an emergency, could have serious consequences.

How prepared is your congregation for an emergency? Do you have a parish emergency manual? Do you know where it is? Are the current congregational leaders and staff familiar with it? And, if you need to update – or create – a plan, where can you go for resources?

A search of diocesan websites looking for resources related to emergency preparedness yielded fewer than I expected. To make it easier for people interested in creating – or updating –their own procedures, here are links to the resources I found. I invite you to share your resources with others by posting them to the Your Turn section of this site.

Examples of Diocesan Preparedness Plans and Resources: 

From Episcopal Relief & Development's Resource Library's Preparedness Planning Tools:

  • Complete Preparedness Planning Guide for Congregations and Parishes
  • Silver Level Preparedness Planning Guide (intermediate level)
  • Bronze Level Preparedness Planning Guide (basic level)