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Classroom Emergency Procedures for Church and Children’s Ministry

classroom emergency procedures

Classroom emergency procedures are essential for churches and Sunday school programs. We can’t always stop emergencies from happening. But children’s ministry workers and volunteers can be prepared. In case of emergency or evacuation, are you and your staff ready?

The worst time to prepare for an emergency is during one. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

A disorganized response can result in injury, damage, and loss of property and life. That’s why it’s crucial to have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for staff, volunteers, and leadership. An EAP sets procedures for responding to emergencies. It also defines the roles and responsibilities of individuals.

An emergency can include natural disasters (fire, flood, tornado, earthquake, blizzard). It also can involve manmade disasters (arson, intruder, active shooter, bomb threats). No matter the emergency, you need a plan, especially with children in your care.

Considerations for Classroom Emergency Procedures

To prepare for emergencies, consider these areas:

  • What situation would determine if an evacuation is necessary?
    • Create a list so everyone is on the same page and knows when to act.
  • Identify each person’s roles and responsibilities. What does the chain-of-command look like?
  • Ensure all staff members know their role and how to proceed.
  • Specific evacuation procedures should include:
    • Set routes and exits. Train all employees about the layout and alternative escape routes.
    • Prepare for children who have a disability. Know exactly what’s required to get them out safely.
    • Determine a procedure to account for everyone (children, employees, visitors).
    • Create an emergency contact list. Include police, fire, utility companies, poison control, facilities management, and a locksmith.
  • Keep instructions handy for any special processes or required equipment.