It’s a situation no one wants to think about let alone actively plan for – a mass shooting in your place of worship. Once upon a time church was a safe refuge for those who just needed some time in prayer and reflection. Church security was unheard of. Today however, it’s a necessity.
So the question is, how do you keep your doors open to all, while protecting those inside? Prevention and planning is key.
Have a Plan and Test It – Having a plan doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re prepared. Until you actually practice the plan – until you partner with others to test it – your plan is just that, a plan. Practicing the plan will allow leaders to learn if there are any holes in the design.
Act Fast – When an active shooter first enters a church the first protocol should be to try to isolate them. Having a pre-planned distress code that trained staff and volunteers recognize immediately allows getting people to safety to start immediately.
Team Effort – While churches want to be inviting, anyone that sees something of concern must communicate it to the security or church leaders.
Emergency Alert System – HTS Active Alert Systems emergency alert app can literally mean the difference between life and death in an active-shooter situation. When chaos ensues, emergency services, including police and ambulance, are just a click away on your mobile device. You can also alert members of your organization, and pinpoint threats, all in a matter of minutes simply by pushing a few buttons.
None of us want to be unprepared when an active shooter enters our church doors. The most important things you can do to protect your members are to make your emergency action plan, practice safety drills, and take measures to prevent violent individuals from harming your congregation