Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Emergency Action Plans and Missions

The LDS Church is no stranger to natural disaster. Most organizations have an emergency action plan that describes how to evacuate a building during a catastrophe or a whole mission field. The LDS Church does an excellent job at planning for disasters and requires all missions to have a plan in place just in case something happens. One mission president's wife in the Albania Tirana Mission Motra Neil tells how they address it in their mission:

My assignment was to speak about the Emergency Action Plan for our mission and pass out revised Emergency Information Cards. (Did I tell you how proficient I have become on the laminating machine?!) All missions are required to have plans for any sort of emergency.

Most Emergency Action Plans called for how missionaries are going to be evacuated which happened recently in Bolivia as many were reassigned to Peru and other places. Mission presidents need to have a definite plan if conditions become politically or environmentally unstable. There are a lot of things to plan such as how to keep the missionaries safe, how to feed them, and how to make economic arrangements.

Jess at Modern Molly Mormon shares with us a family and ward emergency plan. You can actually adapt what she gives to a mission field. Her sample emergency plan includes:

"Priority of action in an emergency:

1. Assist those who are injured or in danger.

2. Report to the Stake Presidency.

3. Account for all families, assisting them to reunite as soon as possible.

4. Arrange for shelter and other selected services- keeping people as close to their property as possible in the homes of relatives, friends, and neighbors before sending them to public shelters or establishing a shelter in a Church meetinghouse.

5. Assess damage to Church property and take steps to protect it as necessary.

6. Review damage to homes and determine ways neighbors can assist one another.

7. If necessary, establish a shelter. A Church meetinghouse may be used as an emergency shelter with the approval of the Area Presidency through the stake presidency. In any non-Church agency requests the use of the meeting house, approval from the Area Presidency is needed. Care should be taken to ensure appropriate control of the building by priesthood leaders."

It would be interesting to see a few sample emergency mission plans so that mission presidents didn't all have to reinvent the wheel.

No comments: