In event of an area emergency, most people head to the nearest school or church for safety. This is true when there is risk of a natural disaster, impending bad weather or a string of power outages. Individuals and families trust that these facilities will be stocked with the necessities to help them survive through the night or even a few days while they wait out a storm. Churches and schools play a vital role in providing shelter for those who have been displaced from their homes during natural disasters as well. Here are five items that your church should have on hand in event of an emergency.
Clean Drinking Water – One of the biggest problems faced when natural disasters threaten an area is a lack of clean drinking water. Often times flood waters can contaminate the drinking water and other storm damage may unleash chemicals into the water. An easy way for churches and schools to stock up on drinking water is to ask people to donate it at least once or twice per year. If you have a few hundred patrons and each donates one gallon jug (around $0.70) then you are able to keep your supply stocked without any one person spending a bulk amount of money.
Another approach is to invite people in your community to drop off their empty soda and milk bottles. Clean them thoroughly and then fill them up at the local spring for free or at your local store for a discounted rate.
Spare Blankets and Clothing – Blankets are typically a must-have during an emergency. Large organization like to donate small blankets to help communities be prepared for an emergency. Consider reaching out to the local Red Cross or similar organizations. Alternatively, you can invite people to drop off their old blankets and clothing to your location. Wash these items and keep them stored in plastic containers for when needed.
Flashlights & Batteries – In event of a power outage there is one item that you will want on hand – the ultimate flashlight. Being able to see when you are getting around a large facility is critical, especially when there are dozens or even hundreds of other people wandering around. Churches and schools should stock pile versions of the ultimate tactical flashlight to hand out to those who have been displaced by a storm. Also be sure to keep plenty of batteries on hand. These items are also items that you can invite members of the community to donate throughout the year.
Canned Goods – Food supply is important as well. Canned goods can last for years. In addition to running a canned food donation drive every year you should also create canning days. These are days where community members can donate jars of homemade canned items or they can bring supplies or produce that can be canned. When the whole community helps out it creates memories and helps you be prepared for an emergency.
Games/ Books – People can get restless when they are trapped in a building during a storm. Especially if there is no electricity. Keep books and board or card games available to keep everyone occupied during their stay. This will also help keep peoples minds off any damage that could be happening outside.