Churches look toward new program for tornado safety and plan development

| September 6, 2013

STILLWATER, Okla. — Imagine being in service on a Sunday when a tornado strikes – one initiative is on a mission to turn panic into a plan.

Supercell Sunday is an initiative focused on houses of worship and large gathering places on behalf of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security.

It would bring church administrators and emergency management personnel together in a community effort to form a disaster plan.

“The primary focus is increasing awareness,” said Wendi Marcy, program manager for public outreach and preparedness.

After the last tornado in Moore, many people panicked and drove, she said. The preferred method is a having a plan.

“We have significantly large churches in Oklahoma and cars are dangerous during a tornado,” she said.

The goal of the initiative is to begin a conversation between local first responders, emergency mangers and church staff.

“A lot of people don’t know where to start,” Marcy said.

To begin with, churches may contact the security department for help. The next step would be to contact the city emergency manger. If for some reason that doesn’t work, Marcy said churches can always call the American Red Cross to help with planning.

Supercell’s website explains three ways that churches can get started. The first is to plan, then pledge and put it into practice. The plan includes a 17-page tornado response plan template and tip sheet. The guidelines of the facility, the purpose of the plan and the roles and responsibilities are outlined.


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Category: Church Security

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