Praise and Prepare
Disasters and emergencies can strike any place at any time. An emergency or disaster could have devastating, long-lasting impacts on your house of worship, congregants, and surrounding community. Impacts could include injury or loss of life; negative emotional or spiritual impact on congregants; damage or loss of the facility; damage or loss of equipment or furnishings; loss of personal property; loss of revenue; or loss of donations. Alachua County is not exempt from these types of situations, and many Alachua County residents and houses of worship are unprepared for the next disaster!
Although natural and human-made disasters can be devastating, the damage can be minimized if communities are prepared. Faith-based organizations like yours can play an integral role in individual, congregation, and community preparation and recovery efforts. Praise and Prepare will help you to take steps to prepare your congregation before disaster strikes.
Why should you participate in Praise and Prepare?
Houses of worship are typically places that provide their members with comfort and inspiration. Most of the congregants who attend your house of worship look to you for guidance and support. This will be no different in a time of crisis. In fact, your guidance could become even more important to your congregants and community during a disaster.
Praise and Prepare (P&P) was designed to help houses of worship build upon these traditional roles, as well as to expand each organization’s capacity to assist the community around them in preparing for and responding to an emergency or disaster.
How to become a Praise and Prepare House of worship
- Complete or update an emergency plan for your facility.
- Create a communications plan to contact congregants in the event of an emergency.
- Conduct at least one evacuation drill each year.
- Complete a Praise and Prepare application.
Also complete 3 of the following activities:
- Promote individual emergency preparedness to congregants through a newsletter, preparedness seminar, or other means.
- Submit your congregation plan to Alachua County Emergency Management for review and feedback.
- Work with other local organizations to organize, sponsor, or participate in an emergency preparedness activity (emergency preparedness fair, STAR coalition membership, etc.)
- Participate in at least one state– or county-wide drill.
- Adopt a POD site.
- Adopt a shelter.
- Require HOW emergency response team and/or staff to participate in CERT training