Emergency Action Plan

Version 1.2, Jan. 2012

Click for a printable PDF version

 

For this plan an emergency is defined as a situation that poses an immediate risk to health, life, property or environment, but is within the abilities of local persons or agencies to treat. Most emergencies require urgent intervention to prevent a worsening of the situation.

The purpose of the emergency plan and procedures is to provide for the safety and well-being of the staff and anyone else present on the grounds of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa.

In caring for “our people” we must face the reality that emergencies happen and prepare for their eventuality. Houses of worship have always been subjected to emergencies such as heart attacks, fires, etc, plus the forces of nature, such as winter storms and earthquakes. At one time a house of worship was considered one of the safest places to be. The times in which we live today, however, seem to have brought the world, with its crime and uncertainty, right into the place we deem most sacred. The newspapers and television often report robbery, theft, homicide and other such events occurring in places of worship. As was once said, we need to pray for the best, plan for the worst and accept whatever God provides. Whenever we have any type of emergency, the first concern is the safety and well-being of the staff and anyone else present on the grounds. People first - stuff later!

In all cases,

  • Keep your eyes, ears, and all other senses alert and be aware of what is happening around you. What is that funny smell? Why does this feel wrong? What is causing that weird sound? What is happening to that person?
  • Remain calm - evaluate the situation - take action.
  • Use your best judgment, especially when something doesn’t fit into pre-arranged procedures.
  • Always call 9-1-1 whenever you feel that you or other people are in danger, or the solution to the problem exceeds your capabilities.
  • If you are told to evacuate the facility,

    • At the Montgomery Drive Campus proceed calmly and orderly to the parking lot at the corner of California Street and Montgomery Drive.
    • At the Stony Point campus proceed calmly and orderly to the gravel parking lot next to Giffen Avenue.
  • These are the primary “Rally Points” but their locations may have to change if the nature of the emergency requires. Once there check to insure all your co-workers and anyone you are responsible for are there. Do not go back into the facility until someone in authority has given the “All Clear.”
  • Insure the office staff is always aware of any emergency.

Under “Specific Emergency Actions” you will find a quick reference to actions you should take in specific situations. All staff members should be guided by these steps in an emergency. Some activities, such as the Child Care Center, or Worship in Progress may have a more detailed list of emergency actions. Keep the guide handy in offices, rooms, and classrooms. Everyone, staff and volunteers responsible for other people, should be familiar with its contents.

If the media makes inquiries about an emergency incident, the church response should be made by the senior pastor. Other persons are to refer all inquires to the senior pastor and not give out any information.

 

SPECIFIC EMERGENCY ACTIONS

BOMB THREAT

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

A bomb threat exists when a suspected bomb or explosive device has been reported, but not located. A bomb emergency exists if a bomb had been located, or a bomb has exploded.

  • Try to gain as much information from the caller as possible; such as:

    • Detonation time
    • Location of bomb(s)
    • Type of bomb(s)
    • Voice characteristics
    • Background noises, such as: automobiles passing, noises, etc.
    • Reason for bomb threat.
  • Cease any radio communications on site
  • Report threat to office, then call 9-1-1
  • If a suspicious package is found, DO NOT TOUCH IT.
  • Account for people in the threatened area and evacuate.
  • While moving people a safe distance from the buildings, caution them to stay clear of build- ings, trash cans, and lockers.
  • Once out of the building, remain there until an ALL CLEAR signal is given.

BOMB EMERGENCY

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

A bomb emergency exists when a bomb has been located, or a bomb has exploded.

DO NOT TOUCH, MOVE, OR IN ANY WAY HANDLE A SUSPECTED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE

  • Cease any radio communications on site
  • Call 9-1-1. The dispatcher will ask for information about the device. Police, fire and emer- gency medical services will be dispatched.
  • Evacuate in a mannerly order, and caution participants to stay clear of buildings, trash cans, and lockers.
  • Move participants a safe distance from the buildings.
  • Open areas are best for gathering after evacuation.
  • Account for all people.
  • Be aware of a potential second device-stay away from explosion area and buildings or vehicles.
  • Once out of the building, remain there until an ALL CLEAR signal is given.

 

CIVIL UNREST

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

Civil unrest may result when people are moving about, challenging authority, committing acts of van- dalism, gang activity, etc., to the point where the safety of the staff and people at the facility is jeop- ardized. The goal is protecting all people from injury or harassment until proper help can be sum- moned, and keeping property losses and damages to a minimum.

  • Get everyone inside, including anyone seeking shelter.
  • Do your best to supervise the area outside until everyone is in a room.
  • Lock the doors, close the curtains
  • Remain in room until an ALL CLEAR signal is given.

 

CHEMICAL SPILL

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

Should a hazardous chemical spill occur on site or in the immediate area, such as a traffic accident with a tank truck spilling its contents, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Evacuate the area nearest the spill. Be sure to locate people upwind from the spill.
  • Call 9-1-1 for HAZMAT response. (Report the chemical, if known).
  • Notify the office immediately.
  • Shut down any recirculating air systems.
  • Follow all directions given by emergency personnel.

 

CRIME IN PROGRESS

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

  • Do not attempt to apprehend or interfere with the criminal except for self protection.
  • IF THE ASSAILANT IS IN POSSESSION OF AWEAPON, DIRECT EVERYONE TO DROP, COVER, AND REMAIN MOTIONLESS.
  • IN THE EVENT GUNFIRE IS HEARD, EVERYONE SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO LAY FLAT ON THE GROUND.
  • If the assailant does not have a weapon, move people away from the scene of the crime in an orderly fashion. If the situation permits, make notes of as many details as possible.
  • Call 9-1-1. Give them your name and location, and apprise them of the situation
  • Notify the office

 

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

In the event that a drive-by shooting occurs on or adjacent to the site, these procedures should be followed:

  • If Inside a secure the room, and DROP, COVER, and HOLD until the danger has passed.
  • In an open area- move people to a safe area, rooms or any cover possible.
  • Initiate DROP and COVER if it is not possible to safely reach an enclosed area until the emergency is over.

Note: Drive-by shootings usually happen very quickly. Try to get as much information as possible without putting yourself in danger.

 

EARTHQUAKE

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

Inside buildings:
Implement DROP, COVER, and HOLD, All people should immediately turn away from glass areas and place themselves under tables, or desks. Move away from large panes of glass and out from under heavy, suspended light fixtures. When the earthquake is over, evacuate the building if necessary to the primary rally point. Advise people not to touch electrical wires and avoid using matches and lighters until the area is declared safe.

Outside:
The safest place is in the open, away from any potential falling objects (i.e., trees, power lines, buildings). Stay in the open until the earthquake is over or until further directions are given.
Check all utilities, shutting off gas water and electrical systems if leaks are occurring. Do not re-enter any damaged buildings until they have been declared safe.

 

EXPLOSION

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

Take the following actions if an explosion occurs:

  • Assess the situation and inform the staff as quickly and calmly as possible.
  • If there is any apparent danger, account for people and evacuate in an orderly manner to the primary rally point.
  • If no apparent danger exists, remain with the people in their present location.
  • Take any necessary follow up action

 

FIRE

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

  • Activate the fire alarm and evacuate. Move people in an orderly manner according to established exit routes, if passable, to the primary rally point.
  • Clear rooms, close doors and windows. Accompany people to designated area.
  • Teachers should take roll call, staff account for people and staff.
  • An ALL CLEAR signal will be given indicating when it is safe to return.

 

HOSTILE INTRUDER/SHOOTING ON SITE

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE THE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

  • Proceed immediately to an inside meeting area.
  • Lock doors, close curtains, turn off lights.
  • Direct people to DROP, COVER, and HOLD until the situation is resolved.
  • All staff not responsible for people should take cover in the immediate area where working, if safe.
  • Remain calm, stay indoors until ALL CLEAR signal is given, regardless how long it takes.
  • Turn down any radios/cell phones.

 

HOSTAGE SITUATION:

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

  • Remain calm. Talk with intruder in low, non-threatening manner.
  • Keep your distance
  • Do not attempt to deceive or threaten the intruder
  • Maintain order among people
  • Be constantly alert and prepared for violence.

NOTE: If any site becomes involved in a hostage situation, the primary concern must be the safety of people and staff. Individuals who take hostages are frequently emotionally disturbed, and it is important to not antagonize them. Communication must be handled in a calm, quiet, non- threatening, non-joking manner, always remembering that it may take very little to cause such people to become violent.

 

TRAUMATIC INCIDENTS

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

Examples of traumatic incidents are: suicide, death, or anything else likely to cause severe emotional reaction.

If you become aware of a traumatic incident that may affect the physical or emotional health and/or safety of people, immediately notify the office.

The person in charge will gather information, review options, and inform the staff of actions taken. All non-essential people must be kept away from the scene of a traumatic incident and it should be
isolated until the scene is released by professional responders.

 

MEDICAL EMERGENCY

REMAIN CALM-EVALUATE SITUATION-TAKE ACTION

  • Use first aid first.
  • Treat minor injuries from supplies in the first aid kits.
  • Know who is trained and certified in first aid and CPR.
  • If the problem is beyond your capabilities call 9-1-1 . Be prepared to give the following information:

    • Name and phone number.
    • Location. (Montgomery is 1551 Montgomery Drive, Stony Point is 2150 Giffen Avenue)
    • Number of people involved.
    • Nature of injury or illness.
  • if at all possible, stay on the line until help arrives.

While waiting for professional help do not move the ill or injured person unless safety considerations necessitates movement or transportation to a safer location. Send a person outside to flag down emergency responders and show them where to go.

When professional help arrives:
• Allow responding units to take control of situation.
• Stand by to assist as needed

If the spouse, parent, responsible adult or next-of-kin was not present during the emergency, some- one on the office staff must notify them of the occurrence. Do not attempt to make a medical diag- nosis of the problem. Tell them what happened and what hospital the person was taken to.

If the emergency was caused by an accident or injury, help the office personnel get appropriate information as they will need to complete an injury report.