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5/23/2017

Church Emergency Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place, and Lock-Down Plan

Christian churches are vulnerable to natural disasters and man-made attacks. All should have an emergency operations plan, evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lock-down procedure. 
Here is a procedure we have created at my church, St. Michael the Archangel in Poplar Springs, MD
We have a large number of children and elderly who would have to be evacuated in an emergency, and after two years of planning and testing, the plan below works for us. Adapt it to your unique church setting.

Church Emergency Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place, and Lock-Down Procedure

At St. Michael’s, we take the safety and security of all St. Michael’s parishioners, and especially the children, very seriously.  Central to our Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is this Emergency Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place and Lock-Down Plan and instructions. Please learn and know these instructions as you may need to use them during an emergency.
1.    Say a quick prayer.
2.    Call 911.
3.    Remain calm as others will look to you for strength and guidance.
4.    Notify your Zone Leader and your church leaders with details of the emergency.
5.    Implement proper protocols such as those below.
6.    If following the shelter-in-place protocol, verify everyone has done so.
7.    If following evacuation protocols, continue with the steps below.
8.    Do NOT use elevators.
9.    Have the children sit down and remain silent.
10.  Locate and bring your attendance folder and emergency pack.
11.  Take attendance and verify all your assigned children are accounted for.
12.  Report any injuries to your Zone Leader.
13.  Communicate your accountability status to your Zone Leader.
14.  Be aware of and assist the physically handicapped, elderly, or those with special needs.
15.  Follow the evacuation maps posted in your room or the gathering areas.
16.  To exit, proceed to the nearest safe aisle or hallway and then to the evacuation areas.
17.  While evacuating, inform and evacuate other personnel who may be injured or unaware.
18.  Assemble outside in the predesignated areas (see Zone Maps on the wall).
19.  Once you exit, do NOT go back into the building.
20.  Take attendance again and verify everyone is accounted for.
21.  Communicate your attendance report to the Zone Leader.
22.  Follow all instructions from the fire department, police, and church leaders.
23.  Ensure in the proper reunification of parents and children.
24.  The Incident Leader will account for the status of each zone.
25.  Zone Leaders will update the Incident Leader after exiting the building.
26.  Zone Leaders will update the Incident Leader of the status of all classroom Team Leaders.
27.  Only reenter the building if and when the all-clear is given by the fire department.
Caution: To keep the roads and intersections clear for emergency vehicles, instruct everyone to NOT go to their cars.  Vehicles could cause a delay in those responding to the emergency. 


ERP Team Leaders Check List
  1. Check off each task you complete and return this list to the Zone Leader.
  2. Remain calm, others will look to you for strength and guidance
  3. Bring your attendance folder.
  4. Bring your Emergency Pack.
  5. Ensure the proper protocols for conducting the Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place or Lock-Down are followed.
  6. Ensure all areas of your class/area have been fully evacuated or have Sheltered-in-Place.
  7. Ensure all children are accounted.
  8. Once in the Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place area, have the children sit down, remain silent and take attendance.
  9. Report your status to your Zone Leader, to include injuries and missing persons.
  10. Ensure the proper reunification of children and parents.
  11. Write down the name of each parent and child you reunite and give this list to the Zone Leader.

Shelter In Place Procedures

1.      Shelter in Place location: Library storage/copy room inside library.
2.      Turn off classroom lights.
3.      Take walkie-talkie, first aid kit (with emergency folder attached) and current daily attendance sheet.
4.      Line up children with one teacher in front and one teacher in back.
5.      IF all children are accounted for and in line, the front teacher calls “Ready” and the back teacher responds “Ready”.
6.      Lines move quickly and quietly to the shelter in place location.
7.      Front teacher immediately counts children as they enter the location.
8.      Back teacher confirms count.
9.      If there are any discrepancies, the front teacher uses cell phone to communicate discrepancy to the director or person in charge.
10.  Remain in shelter until further instructions are given by director or local authorities.
11.  When shelter in place is concluded, return to the classroom by using the same line-up method as outlined above.
12.  Front teacher immediately counts children as they return to the classroom.
13.  Back teacher confirms count.
14.  If there are any discrepancies, the front teacher uses cell phone to communicate discrepancy to the director or person in charge.
15.  All children should remain on the carpet until “All Clear” is called.

Evacuation Plan-On site

1.      On-site Evacuation Location: Old Church, across St. Michael's Rd.
2.      Turn off classroom lights and make sure door is locked.
3.      Take cell phone, building keys, first aid kit (with emergency folder attached) and current daily attendance sheet.
4.      Line up children with one teacher in front and one teacher in back.
5.      IF all children are accounted for and in line, the front teacher calls “Ready” and the back teacher responds “Ready”.
6.      Lines move quickly and quietly to the on-site evacuation location.
7.      Front teacher immediately counts children as they enter the location.
8.      Back teacher confirms count.
9.      If there are any discrepancies, the front teacher uses cell phone to communicate discrepancy to the director or person in charge.
10.  Remain in place until further instructions are given by director or local authorities.
11.  When evacuation-on site is concluded, return to the classroom by using the same line-up method as outlined above.
12.  Front teacher immediately counts children as they return to the classroom to sit on the carpet.
13.  Back teacher confirms count.
14.  If there are any discrepancies, the front teacher uses cell phone to communicate discrepancy to the director or person in charge.
15.  All children should remain on the carpet until “All Clear” is called.

Evacuation Plan-Off Site

This plan is only used in the event of dangerous or hazardous conditions on the campus of St. Michael, therefore requiring the evacuation of the preschool to another location.
1.      Off-site Evacuation Location: Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department
2.      Director will call ahead to Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department 410-489-4646.
3.      Turn off classroom lights and lock doors.
4.      Take cell phone, car keys, building keys, first aid kit (with emergency folder attached) and current daily attendance sheet.
5.      Line up children with one teacher in front and one teacher in back.
6.      IF all children are accounted for and in line, the front teacher calls “Ready” and the back teacher responds “Ready”.
7.      The preschool will move quickly and quietly to the off-site location via director vehicle.
8.      Front teacher immediately counts children as they enter the vehicle.
9.      Back teacher confirms count.
10.  If there are any discrepancies, the front teacher uses cell phone to immediately communicate discrepancy to the director or person in charge.
11.  Drive to evacuation site: Located at 1330 Woodbine Rd. Woodbine MD. Turn left onto
12.  Front teacher to count all children upon arrival at evacuation site.
13.  Back teacher confirms count.
14.  If there are any discrepancies, the front teacher uses cell phone to immediately communicate discrepancy to the director or person in charge.
15.  Remain at evacuation site until further instructions are given by director or local authorities.
16.  When evacuation-off site is concluded, return to the classroom by using the same line-up/count method as outlined above.
17.  Front teacher immediately counts children as they return to the classroom to sit on the carpet.
18.  Back teacher confirms count.
19.  If there are any discrepancies, the front teacher uses cell phone to immediately communicate discrepancy to the director or person in charge.
20.  All children should remain on the carpet until “All Clear” is called.

Reunification with Parents

      If St. Michael Preschool has evacuated to Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company, parents will be notified via phone and email. To reunify safely, the director and staff will notify parents via phone and email when it is safe to pick up their children
      If St. Michael Preschool must evacuate to the Lisbon Fire Company, the staff of St. Michael’s will notify parents they can go to the Lisbon Fire Company (1330 Woodbine Rd, Woodbine, MD 21797, 410 489 4646)  to pick up their children.
     Staff will remain on campus or at emergency location until all children have been safely picked up.
      In the event of an emergency where the parents cannot get to the child, other arrangements for safety will be made, including the child and staff remaining at Lisbon Volunteer Fire Company.
      Staff will call other parties listed on the child’s emergency card to locate and inform other authorized adults they can pick up the child.
      Staff and parents will work together for a successful reunification of all parents and their children..


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