Housing Disaster Victims

A church’s greatest opportunity to serve its community may come in the aftermath of a natural disaster when the church steps forward to provide food, shelter, and spiritual comfort. Although relief efforts may fit your ministry’s biblical mission, church leaders should evaluate several factors to help protect the church and the people they intend to help. Consider the following:

  • Determine your facility’s capacity limit, as determined by fire codes and local ordinances.
  • Limit the areas of your facility to which disaster victims will have access. Consider designating an outdoor smoking area.
  • Enlist members of your congregation to minister to your guests and monitor your building on a 24/7 basis.
  • Record the names of everyone you house. Ask guests for contact information, as well as the names of relatives to reach in an emergency.
  • Establish procedures for addressing and reporting unlawful activi­ties.
  • Determine how you will handle weapons and valu­ables that disaster victims bring to your shelter. You can place weapons and valuables in a safe or tightly secured room, but also weigh the risks inherent to storing such items.
  • Secure and/or monitor entrances at all times. Make sure that interior doors are in good repair and are unlocked in areas where disaster victims have access.
  • Determine how you will provide basic living necessities like food, showers, blankets, and personal hygiene products.
  • Establish a plan for dealing with higher volumes of trash, as well as more frequent maintenance and janitorial needs.
  • Encourage parents to be responsible for the safety of their children.
  • Prepare areas for children by installing safety devices on electrical outlets and providing safe, age-appropriate toys.
  • Ensure that volunteers are trained to identify potential sex offenders and victims of abuse. Contact local law enforcement immediately if you learn that a registered sex offender is housed in your facility or if an allegation of abuse arises.
  • Allow only screened individuals from your ministry to oversee activities involving children. This is especially important in settings where children are separated from their parents.

Your ministry should build a response plan before an impending disaster. Doing so will help your church provide a safe and secure shelter for disaster victims and at the same time, protect your church and those who worship with you.

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ACG Retreat in Kansas City
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Our Team is Growing, Again!
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There are a lot of hats worn in any growing ministry – and we want to serve every one of them. 

Tags: insurance
November 10, 2022
Evaluate Your Ministry's Fire Safety Plan
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With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s wise for ministries to evaluate their fire safety plan. Whether your ministry is hosting a holiday party, prepping treats for charity, or running a community kitchen, make sure you’re well-prepared with these tips.

Tags: insurance, property, volunteer safety, fire safety
November 10, 2022
Holiday Season Safety & Security: 3 Things to Plan Before Christmas
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The holidays present unique opportunities and challenges for churches that aren’t typical during other times of the year. A lot of the ministries that I work with are seeing steady increases in attendance and are praying for a significant jump in Christmas service participation this year. 

Tags: insurance
October 26, 2022
October 2022 Blog: What is a 403(B)(9) Retirement Plan?
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In this article, Brad Brown from Plan A Wealth Management gives a wonderful insight into why ministries might consider choosing a 403(B)(9) retirement plan.  

Tags: insurance, property, taxes, retirement, retirement plan
September 21, 2022
Inflation's Major Impact on Ministries
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Tags: insurance, schools, churches, building, property
September 21, 2022
Report Reveals How Students are Feeling About Their Safety at School
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Tags: insurance, schools, building, property, child safety
September 21, 2022
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Tags: insurance, schools, churches, building, property
September 9, 2022
School is Back in Session
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As school is back in session, it’s important to make sure your school is equipped with the correct safety procedures. Thinking about your school’s physical security as a series of layers can help you find gaps in your plan. Transportation and volunteers are just two important aspects of your school safety plan to think about.

Tags: christian schools, back to school, volunteer safety, child safety, transportation
August 17, 2022
Uvalde School Shooting Causes Ministries to Question Their Preparedness
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If there is one thing I have learned over the last decade while working private security and as a sworn peace officer, the more critical the incident, the more likely change will come out of it. Much like a pendulum, an incident occurs, and everyone cries for change.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
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Next Generation LEDs Performance, well beyond expectations
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Updating the lighting in your worship center with LED can offer significant energy savings while improving overall lighting performance.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
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Our Team is Growing!
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We are so excited to welcome the newest member of the American Church Group of Colorado team, Lyndsie Glowinski.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
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Does Your Ministry Need Cyber Insurance?
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Churches are increasingly becoming targets for cyber criminals. The most common attack is by sending “phishing” emails where the perpetrator poses as someone familiar to the ministry staff (like a senior pastor, deacon, elder, or someone trustworthy) and requests some sort of response.

Tags: church payroll, finance, IRS regulations, paying employees, tax code
July 15, 2022
Shepherding Ministries in a Time of Change
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Anyone who turns on the news, flips through a magazine, or browses the web can see that American society and culture are experiencing rapid transitions. Some ministries have valid concerns that issues surrounding societal shifts may expose them to negative publicity, governmental scrutiny, or litigation.

The questions become: when and how can ministries operate within their deeply held religious beliefs when they may conflict with others’ rights?

Tags: ministry, insurance, religious freedom, protection