Last year, our church participated in The Great Shakeout – a regional event in Southern California where local communities simulated what to do in the event of a massive earthquake.
After our regular worship services on a Sunday morning, we simulated an evacuation of our classrooms and what our pick up procedures would look like in the event of an emergency. Parents and leaders were encouraged to know that we had a plan in place and our elementary-aged kids had a fun time running drills in their classrooms.
I began thinking of how great this event was a few weeks ago when our campus parking lot was used as a rally point during a local bank robbery. Men held up a nearby bank at gunpoint and stashed a secondary getaway car on our campus. Quickly arriving on the scene after the initial pursuit, local law enforcement agents spent just under an hour combing our campus with firearms drawn.
Now, luckily for our children and our programs, all of this took place on an evening when there were just a few people on campus… but, it made me wonder how often we should run emergency simulations with our leaders and what policies we should have on hand and which of these should be available for public knowledge.
Currently, we plan to run an evacuation drill annually with our kids on campus.
We walk our leaders through a handful of scenarios during orientation and we talk about the differences between evacuation and lock-down procedures.
So, my question to the community is this:
What drills are you running with your kids and leadership teams and how often do you simulate emergency events?
Share your thoughts in the comments section!