Building Security in Congregations

Building Safety and Security in Congregations

Creating security is an ongoing process. Shocking events reported in the media can cause congregations to take immediate action on emergency and security issues, but emergency planning is a long-term process. Regularly updating plans and policies, reviewing safety policies and checklists, as well as keeping the congregation informed and trained, requires consistent attention. Building Safety and Security is not something done well in a hurry, even as we recognize there are times for safeguards to be put in place quickly to prevent further harm.

This section of the Guide contains both a plan for how to create your own building safety and security guidelines and some resources for several categories. Our familiarity with our spaces can lead to us glossing over issues, and so the “tip” is to use resources to regard your premises from a fresh perspective. Remember to include in your mindset people of varying ages and abilities—we don’t all navigate or see spaces in the same way.

Congregational Emergency Planning-a Comprehensive Guide

Below you’ll find links to the basics of creating a plan. You can find a much more comprehensive planning guide created by FEMA below in the Planning Resources Section. While congregations work through becoming safer and more secure, please also be aware that FEMA is now a part of the Department of Homeland Security. FEMA has some wonderful resources; however, Sanctuary Congregations should think through any trainings with governmental departments that currently work with ICE, particularly if the resource requires signing up for membership, such as an online workshop or DHS staff learning building-related information about Sanctuary congregations.

Planning Resources

FEMA Guide: Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship (PDF)

Most Requested Building Security Topics