Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan

Revisions & Page Updates

Date Pages Version
August, 2012 All 1.0
     

Purposes & Goals

Purpose of the church:  The purpose of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa is to create a loving community of faith that expresses itself through both personal spirituality and social responsibility; reaching up to God and reaching out to all people in God’s love with experiences that challenge, change, inspire and engage.

Purpose of the plan: To facilitate the ability of our church to be in ministry to persons in need as a result of a disaster and in furtherance of the California-Nevada Annual Conference Disaster Response Ministry.

 

Goals:

1. To provide pastoral care and support to disaster victims, from congregants to community members.

2. To make individual and family disaster planning and training available to the congregation and to our immediate community.

3. To identify and mitigate the risks from likely disasters.

4. To protect church property and ensure the continuation or quick resumption of worship services and ministry tasks.

5. To identify and organize resources, equipment, and facilities of the church, including its membership, that could be of benefit in the time of a disaster and recovery.

6. To plan ways to meet spiritual, emotional, and physical needs during and after a disaster, especially for those persons with special needs.

7. To offer a "ministry of presence" in the event of a disaster.

8. To create a Disaster Response Team to be used in the event of a local disaster.

9. To work cooperatively with the appropriate conference units, Sonoma County VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters), and local government agencies in the identification of, advocacy for, and assistance in disaster recovery.

10. To provide direct communication from the church to the district and/or conference and hence to the national offices of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) to obtain needed resources and assistance or to provide available resources and assistance to areas in need outside of the immediate community.

Introduction

The American Red Cross defines a disaster as: "An emergency that causes injury or loss of life and property damage, and a disruption in which survivors cannot manage without spiritual, monetary, or physical assistance."

Disaster preparedness and response must be a vital part of our church mission. We are called to love one another. One of the ways we can show the love and act as the hands, feet and face of Jesus is through the efforts we make in the community and around the world.

The church is not just four walls and a roof. Some people may never attend church normally but, in a disaster or time of loss, they immediately turn to the church for help. In a disaster situation the church is not only a spiritual center, but can also a resource hub of the community.

Levels of Disasters

There are four levels used to describe the severity of disasters:

Level I: A small local disaster usually affecting one to thirty households, which is within the capabilities of local community resources to handle.

· Relief: Initially our church may need some help from the district or conference. Volunteers from within the community and nearby churches will assist with crisis counseling, cleanup and emergency repairs. The bishop may request the churches within the conference take a special offering. One or two ERT/Care teams may be brought in to work alongside local volunteers.

· Recovery: Just a few people could perform all of the management functions-i.e. provide ministry of caring, manage cases, and coordinate volunteer management, donations, and networking of resources.

Level II: a medium-sized disaster usually affecting 40 to 150 households, which is beyond the capabilities of local community resources to handle.

· Relief: Local churches must have assistance. The bishop should solicit an offering as soon as possible. A segment of the Conference Disaster Response Center is mobilized for assessment and management. Site management of volunteers must be in place as soon as possible for crisis counseling, cleanup and emergency repairs.

· Recovery: An interfaith or United Methodist recovery team is necessary, with a paid director or a skilled, long-term volunteer whose expenses are reimbursed. The team will administer the operation, assisted by volunteers and a paid case manager.

Level III: These are large disasters in terms of severity or geography which cause significant damage and destruction and will usually receive a presidential declaration. A disaster this size within the conference area requires full mobilization of the Conference Disaster Response Center.

· Relief: Resources from the conference and UMCOR are essential. The Disaster Response Center will perform full operational functions. A conference-wide appeal must be made for funds, appropriate in-kind donations and volunteers. UMCOR money will also be needed, as will be Early Response Teams and Information & Referral (I&R) workers.

· Recovery: Paid staff for case management within community-based recovery organizations, and conference-wide coordination of volunteers is necessary. Numerous teams of short-term volunteers for repair and rebuilding are important and will be needed for a year or more.

Level IV: A catastrophic disaster is defined by Public Law 93-288 as: "An event resulting in a large number of deaths and injuries; extensive damage or destruction of facilities that place an overwhelming demand on state and local response resources and mechanisms; a severe impact on national security facilities and infrastructures that sustain them; a severe long-term effect on general economic activity and severe effects on state, local and private sector initiatives to begin and sustain initial response activities."

· Relief: The entire conference response organization must be mobilized. A number of people in conference leadership positions will probably be victims themselves. UMCOR mentors may be necessary to fill slots of those in conference disaster leadership who are unable to function. A conference-wide appeal must be made for funds, appropriate in-kind donations, Early Response Teams (ERTs) and Care teams. UMCOR money will also be needed, as will be Information & Referral (I&R) workers. Perhaps a denomination-wide special appeal will be made.

· Recovery: as in Level III, hired staff for leadership positions is needed rather than utilizing long-term volunteers. Again, case managers and workers will be necessary. Numerous teams of short-term volunteers are required over a period of several years.

 

To ensure timeliness, provide the maximum available resources, avoid redundancy and provide an effective and appropriate response, the church must be ready, at all levels, when disaster strikes. This means planning and preparation before disaster strikes.

Types of Responses

The visible presence of the church is essential in any type of disaster, regardless of the extent of damage. The conference, districts, and local churches with their many volunteer groups are vital links to a huge network of caring responders from faith based organizations. Together they will provide to people in need three types of response:

The spiritual response addresses the issue of seeing how God's presence is available in the midst of suffering, despair and grief. The primary task is to be present in the midst of suffering and spiritual crisis, acting as an agent of reconciliation with spiritual support and encouragement. In large disasters the bishop may be there providing an "awesome presence." Local pastors should wear clerical collars to provide a visible example of the presence of the church. Teams of people trained in giving spiritual and emotional care (Care Teams), Stephens ministers and chaplains are available, and UMCOR is willing to train more people at our church level. Just being there allows the Holy Spirit to work through you.

The emotional response can address the problems of loneliness, shock, disbelief, delayed grief, and a multitude of related emotions that accompany those disasters that affect the lives of people. Pastors, Stephen ministers, and other lay leaders who have received UMCOR training can be present to help meet the needs of people in such trying times.

The physical response will be the most visible, needed to help provide safety, security and sanitation. Trained individuals and teams are needed, such as Emergency Response Teams, Spiritual & Emotional Care teams, volunteer management, plus teams to man shelters and mass feeding locations. All help meet physical needs and thus alleviates some of the spiritual and emotional anxiety. No matter how inadequate you may feel your skills and talents are in responding to people in need, never underestimate the power of presence. The physical response must address itself to facilities, finances and an unending list of unique needs that may or may not be immediately recognized, but your mere presence is immediately seen.

Situations and Types of Hazards

Our disaster plan needs to cover all hazards to address the wide range of human-caused and natural disasters, including incidents related to public violence, terrorism, chemical explosions, transportation accidents, hazardous waste spills, fires, winter storms, floods, earthquakes, and severe thunderstorms. Initially, it may seem that such a wide range of potential disasters makes prior planning an impossible task. However, most disasters have similar preparatory and post hazard responses. Identifying our actions and completing the plan will considerably improve our congregation's response to any disaster. Positive preplanning can help save our church assets. However, in the execution of the plan, we must remember that the people of our congregations and the residents of the community are far more important than facilities. Our plan will cover both church assets and the safety of the people of the church.

Planning Assumptions About Catastrophic Disasters

1. Utility services (gas, electricity, and water) may be unavailable for extended periods.  Keep drinking water on hand for your family.

2. Telephone service, including cell phones, may be interrupted.

3. Cable television service may be disrupted. Keep a battery operated radio to listen to emergency bulletins.

4. Police, fire, paramedics, and 911 response will be overrun the first 3 to 5 days after a major disaster. Do not expect their help initially.  Be prepared to perform light-duty rescue, fire suppression and first aid with your neighbors.

5. Hospitals, clinics and other medical service providers will be overwhelmed.  Maintain your own first aid kits and be prepared to perform first aid yourselves.

6. There will be serious problems with transportation.  Road closures will occur and when stores and other supplies run out, they will not be replaced for some time.

7. Many people will abandon their jobs to be with their families, further disrupting normal services.

8. People will largely be "on their own" in the initial days following a major disaster,

9. Members of the congregation may be limited to working only with the resources within their homes and their immediate neighborhoods.

 

With this in mind the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa has organized this plan as a structure to facilitate the ability to be in ministry to persons in need as a result of a disaster.

Disaster Response

When a disaster is imminent or has occurred, local authorities take immediate steps to warn and evacuate its citizens, alleviate suffering, and protect life and property.  The disaster authority and responsibility is a function of state and local governments, usually centered in the state Emergency Management Agency and local counterparts.  The local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will call upon the American Red Cross (ARC), Salvation Army and other government recognized disaster response agencies for support.  After the initial emergency response, the member organizations of Volunteers Organizations Active in Response (VOAD) and similar volunteer groups respond.  If the situation exceeds local relief resources, regional, state and federal assistance can be asked for.  When federal assistance is requested and the United States President declares a “federal disaster,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will bring support.

In the event of a disaster, existing local resources of our church (i.e. volunteers, money, expertise, etc.) are oftentimes limited.  This is where the connectional system of the United Methodist Church can provide support and resources to our church to respond effectively and appropriately. The following individuals and teams may be active in disaster response in the California-Nevada Conference as a positive force, independent of the nature, size and location of the disaster:

· The Bishop, UMVIM Director and District Superintendents

· Conference and District Disaster Response Coordinators

· The Conference Disaster Response Committee

· The Conference Disaster Response Advisory Board

· Disaster Response Center staff (DRC)

· Volunteers in Mission

· Local Church Pastors and Disaster Response Coordinators

The objective of the FUMC/SR Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan is to help our church learn about disaster response needs and resources in the areas, evaluate the disaster response capabilities and develop plans and protocols to assist in responding to the community following a disaster through preparing the facilities, training members, securing supplies, and responding to the needs of the congregation and community.

This plan outlines the roles and responsibilities of those involved in disaster response as well as outlining processes to ensure the seamless flow of information and assistance to those affected by disaster.

Disaster Ministry Function of the Church

The point of contact at the community level for all United Methodist assistance in a disaster is the local United Methodist Church. However, local churches are not expected to respond alone or in a vacuum as there are many resources available to assist. Working together with a church disaster team and the district and conference Disaster Response Coordinators, many connections are easily made that will ease the process.

A disaster may take considerable time (years) to resolve. Our church should recognize and acknowledge its limitations in the response and recovery effort. The district Disaster Response Coordinator and the conference Disaster Response Coordinator should work with our church to identify its role in long-term recovery, should that be necessary in the community.

As a local church we do not work directly with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), a resource agency of the general church.  When invited by the Bishop, UMCOR may provide resources and assistance to the California-Nevada Conference through the Bishop, who will delegate day-to-day operations.

Our church Disaster Response Coordinator is the point person for ensuring fulfillment of the disaster management roles and responsibilities of our church, of course working closely with the church staff.

The actions the church should take in fulfillment of its’ disaster ministry role are best seen when broken down into the stages of disaster response.

 

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes

Working with the pastor or designated church leadership, identify a Disaster Response Coordinator and recruit a disaster team.  The pastor should not be our church disaster team leader, though the pastor is encouraged to be an active part of the team.  If the pastor is not part of the team, ensure that the pastor is informed and updated regarding activities before, during and after a disaster.

Support the development of a church plan that includes:

· Caring for people

· Caring for church facilities

· Caring for community

· Caring for others in the conference and beyond

The senior pastor, the Board of Trustees and the finance manager should review insurance coverage annually.

1. The Board of Trustees should make an annual inventory of church property and contents and provide a safe repository of valuable records.

1. Communicate with the District Disaster Response Coordinator regularly to ensure knowledge of the church plans in the event of a disaster.

2. Send a copy of the plan to the Conference and District Disaster Response Coordinators .

3. Set up a Disaster Response Center and disaster team work area and, in the event that the disaster has a severe adverse impact on that location, identify an alternative location to work from.

4. Make full use of resources from other disaster-related organizations, such as Sonoma County Office of Emergency Services or Santa Rosa Police and Fire Departments, the American Red Cross, and others.  First Aid and CPR training, shelter management and certification of facilities are available from your local chapter of the American Red Cross, and should be taken advantage of prior to any disaster.

5. Encourage the congregation to support the efforts of the UMVIM teams and other groups actively participating in disaster response, whether here or elsewhere.

6. Encourage the congregation to support the Bishop’s appeals regarding disaster relief (supplies, collections, food drives, aid to other conferences, etc.)

7. Encourage the congregation to support the annual “One Great Hour of Sharing” offering.  This is UMCOR’s primary source of funding for their work in disasters and other endeavors.  In the event of a disaster we will turn to UMCOR for help, so we should support their annual fund drive during the good times.

 

Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

1. Working with the church disaster team, confirm communication channels and review response plans within the church, the district and the conference.

2. Check for updates from the district and the conference web sites.

 

Stage 3: Emergency Response – After Disaster Strikes

Implement the church Disaster Plan including:

1. Checking on the safety of the pastors, the staff  and their families;

2. Assessing damage to church property;

3. Using information from local emergency service organizations, assess the overall damage to the community you serve.  Then develop a general assessment of the safety of members of the congregation and property damage within the congregation;

4. Report your assessment to the District Disaster Response Coordinator and/or the District Superintendant.  If they are not yet functional, report your findings to the conference Disaster Response Coordinator or the Office of the Bishop.

Stage 4: Relief

1. Determine if telephone communications are functioning.

2. Continue to implement the church Disaster Plan.

3. Establish the immediate needs for food and shelter to the community.

4. If buildings are damaged prepare to file a claim with the insurance carrier.

5. Keep strict and separate accounting of disaster funding and document all expenditures and receipts of money.

6. Concentrate on making folks safe, sanitary and secure by meeting the basic needs of food, water, sanitation and shelter.

7. When permitted, send out care teams to check on the most vulnerable church members and prepare early response teams to go into neighborhoods; contact the District Disaster Response Coordinator to request Early Response Teams and Care Teams from outside areas when appropriate.  Report what level of support you can provide incoming disaster workers, particularly if you cannot support them and they need to be self-sufficient and self-supporting.

8. Prepare to receive work teams that may show up to help.

Contact other faith based operations through the local VOAD and coordinate your efforts.

 

Stage 5: Long-Term Recovery

1. Working with your conference and district Disaster Response Coordinators, determine the level of involvement appropriate for your church in long-term recovery.

2. Develop a procedure for referrals of people who contact the church asking for assistance.

3. Develop a procedure for managing volunteers who contact the church.

4. Develop a procedure for handling supplies offered to the church.

5. If our church is not in the impacted area, determine the level of involvement our congregation can make in long-term recovery by providing work teams, supplies, funds, etc.

Staff Personal Disaster Preparedness

It is normal human behavior that one of the first mental responses following any major emergency is concern for the welfare of the individual’s family and home.  Staff persons who are worried about their family’s well-being will not be effective until they have reassurance that their family is all right.  Knowing that their family has planned, prepared and rehearsed what to do in a disaster will go a long ways in providing such reassurance.  We encourage all congregants and especially the staff to develop their own, personal, family/home emergency plan.  At a minimum, individual/family disaster preparedness requires the following:

· Enough emergency supplies to last 3-5 days to function without the normal utility, supply and transportation infrastructure, i.e. without phones, trips to the stores, electricity or an outside source of water.

· Preparations for taking care of the children if the event happens while the parents are at work.

· The identification of an out-of-area telephone number or e-mail address and person to be contacted for family check-in and to serve as the point of communication between family members until they can rejoin.  Connecting out-of-area calls often happens quicker than local calls after a disaster.   However, remember that the telephone and internet communications may be unusable for a period of time after a disaster.

· Evacuation and reassembly instructions if evacuating your home.  Identify the new spot where the family will gather and determine what will each person needs to take.  Be sure to plan for your pets.

After your plan is worked out and your family members know what to do, review your disaster plan with some or all of your co-workers.  Then be prepared to help each other out.

Also:

· Know how & when to shut off utilities both at home and at work.

· Know how to use fire extinguishers and where they are located.

· Pre-assign immediate response tasks at work.

· Make a realistic plan for staff coverage in emergencies.

The Disaster Response Center

The role of the DisasterResponseMinistry following a local disaster is to effectively manage the response efforts and resources available to our church including information, supplies, volunteers and financial assistance. This resource management is coordinated in the Disaster ResponseCenter (DRC) where volunteers work closely with church staff, the district, conference and outside relief agencies to ensure clear lines of communication and effective coordination of resources.  The size and nature of the disaster dictate the nature of the DRC.   In a small event it could be a single desk and telephone such as the volunteer desk in the Susanna Wesley House, while a catastrophic event could require a large room, several tables with multiple phone lines, maps, charts, displays and other facilities accommodating 15 to 20 workers, such as the Worship Center at Stony Point..

 

The staff of the Disaster Response Center runs the initial relief phase of the church’s response operation.  For planning purposes, we will plan for a catastrophic event, the worst case scenario.  Lesser events would require lesser actions and a smaller organization.  The relief phase is fast-paced.  Its work is done on a broad scale, providing only a temporary fix to as many survivors as possible in a short amount of time.  More permanent fixes which require longer time to accomplish are a function of long-term recovery.    Figuratively speaking, the DRC could be viewed as the first aid station of disaster response, putting on bandages and stopping bleeding to provide safety, sanitation and security to the vulnerable effected by the disaster.  Other functions of the Disaster Response Center in a major disaster include:

· Determining the status of the pastors, staff; and physical facilities;

· Determining immediate needs and coordinating outside resources to provide help;

· Coordinating with local emergency service providers;

· Informing the conference through the district of details and needs.  

 

Disaster operations are organized differently in the relief and long-term recovery phases.  The DRC is utilized only in the relief phase, when the disaster seems to have a life of its own.  The situation and reactions to it are very fluid and almost chaotic at times.  Consequently, a  deliberate and structured management system is required.  The Incident Command System (ICS), or as the national United Methodist Church prefers to call it: The Incident Coordination System, is the structure of choice for United Methodist churches.  In California, the ICS is required of all governmental agencies under the state’s Standardized Emergency Management System.

ICS breaks disaster response management into manageable segments, specifically the five functions of leadership, planning, logistics, operations, and administration/finance.  Each function does not necessarily require independent staffing.  Initially, or in a small event, a single person may perform several functional roles.  As the complexity of the response increases, so does the size of the staff.  When things calm down and workload diminishes, the ICS structure can scale back and reduce its size to one or two people to perform all the functions.

A short version of the function of the five main ICS positions is:

· Incident Commander - the person who will lead and make decisions. This function manages the overall response and recovery to an emergency and directs the other functions.

· Operations - the person who will do the work. Has responsibility for whatever the church does to respond to disaster needs.

· Planning - the person who keeps everyone in the know. Monitors the news; comes up with short (i.e., what are we going to do in the next 24-hours), and long-term plans for the congregation’s recovery.  Records lessons learned and suggestions for improvement.

· Logistics - the person to get the resources. Responsible for getting everything  operations needs to ensure the health and safety of staff, congregants and other persons.

· Administration/Finance - the person who will track all activities and costs. This person must also ensure there are safe backup copies for the following documents:  1. Articles of Incorporation (e.g., verification of tax exempt status); 2. Recent photographs documenting the interior and exterior of your facility; 3. Insurance documentation; 4. Licensing documentation for the Child Care Center.

Figure 1-ICS structure for small disaster

Figure 2-ICS structure for large or catastrophic disaster

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities of the Pastors

Leadership by the pastors is extremely important.  For many, a pastor’s appearance at the disaster site symbolizes the “awesome presence” of Christ and the commitment of His church to relieve the suffering.  Don’t dismiss or minimize the values of symbols to people who are hurting.  The pastor’s role as a symbol of a caring church cannot be filled by anyone else!  The conference recommends the wearing of the clerical collar while in a disaster area which not only symbolizes your role but also serves as a form of identification to emergency service workers and others who see you.

Congregants receiving a visit in aid stations and hospitals are grateful that their pain was important enough for the pastor to set aside routine business.  A disaster is a tragedy and the church cannot conduct “business as usual” in the aftermath. 

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes

1. Appoint, or have the Leadership Committee select, a Disaster Response Coordinator.  Support formation of a Disaster Response Committee to oversee the church Disaster Preparation and Response Plan.  Members of this committee should include: the Disaster Response Coordinator, the UMVIM Coordinator, the Operations Manager, a fiscal officer, a communicator and a trustee representative.  Be sure that you are represented on the committee and/or informed about its work. 

2. Advocate and support other organizations or groups preparing to take part in disaster response in addition to their normal functions.  Stephens Ministers, Trustees, Finance, United Methodist Women and others will all play a significant role in the coordinated response to a disaster.  A combined, coordinated effort may be essential to surviving a disaster.

3. Inform whoever acts on your behalf when you are out of the office that he or she has the responsibility to implement the disaster response plan when disaster strikes (this authority should also be given to your Disaster Response Coordinator). 

4. Provide appropriate assistance to the Disaster Response Coordinator in establishing the Church’s Disaster Response work center.  This may require that a room or an office, telephones and other office equipment be reassigned to the Response Center function when the plan is implemented.

 

Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

1. Implement the Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan.

2. Provide whatever staff assistance is available to the Disaster Response Coordinator in setting up the Disaster Response work center. 

3. See that your families and those of the staff take whatever actions are appropriate to prepare for the event.

 

Stage 3: Emergency Response – Immediately After Disaster Strikes

1. Assess damage to your household and check the status of your family.  If you are a victim, do not rely solely on your own judgment, listen to others.  If you cannot perform your duties, notify your office, the District Superintendant and get help.

2. If away from the church, let the office know where you are and have them notify the Disaster Response Coordinator.

3. Ensure that the District and Conference are notified of the event and its impact; let them know the disaster plan has been implemented.

 

Stage 4: Relief

1. As soon as possible make a site visit to of both campuses to survey the extent of damage to the facilities and confer with Disaster Response Coordinator and the staff regarding needs. 

2. If it becomes clear that you may be overwhelmed by duties of family, church and community as relief and recovery takes place, look among the ranks of the retired pastors for assistance. If a suitable person isn’t available or appropriate, notify the District Superintendant and request assistance.

3. See that whoever on the staff carries the disaster response liaison portfolio is relieved of as many other routine duties as possible for as long as is appropriate.

4. Provide additional temporary support staff as needed (volunteers).

5. Request emergency funding from the conference if on-hand resources are perceived to be insufficient to meet immediate needs for relief.  As soon as possible, make a financial appeal to the congregation and consider requesting the bishop make a conference-wide financial appeal.  If you wait, donors will assume that the church is not suffering financially and will donate to other disaster agencies who will be asking for their money.

Remember that the church office cannot act as if it were “business as usual” if the disaster is large or catastrophic.  A whole new way of doing business will be required.

Stage 5: Long Term Recovery  

1. Have all involved leaders meet periodically for reports and evaluations.

2. Have the church office publish timely updates in the recovery phase.

3. Publicly acknowledge workers and work done.

4. Plan for a service of praise and memorial a year from the date of the disaster.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Disaster Response Committee

The Disaster Response Committee provides the framework that enables the Disaster Response ministry to function in an effectively and timely fashion.

This committee is responsible for manning the management positions in the ICS structure that manages the disaster response effort in the Disaster Response Center.   In addition, a small executive group should be formed and empowered to make decisions, especially on release of funds up to a certain level, without having to poll the full Finance committee, Trustees and Church Council.

The team’s purpose is to set policy and monitor progress as it supervises and supports operations and provides oversight so that actions taken during a disaster response abide by the rules and procedures of the church.

 

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes

1. Assist in maintaining the disaster response ministry and disaster response plan.

2. Assist in maintaining the Disaster Response Center (DRC) operations location and the team that staffs it.  The work area should be flexible to adjust to the number of people mobilized for the DRC staff, and have the necessary communications equipment, maps and charts.

3. Assist in building relationships with agencies active in disaster response in the local area: governmental organizations, volunteer organizations active in disasters,  long term recovery organizations, interfaith organizations, etc.

4. Assist in disaster training.  This may include identifying training opportunities, helping to host training sessions, serving as a trainer or following up after training events, etc.

 

 Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

1. Assist in implementation of the Disaster Preparation and Response Plan.

2. Activate the DRC Team and confirm communications capabilities.

3. Assist in setting up and staffing the DRC and, if the disaster is likely to have a severe adverse impact on the location, assist in setting up and staffing an alternative location to work from.

Stage 3: Emergency Response – After Disaster Strikes

1. Assess damage to your household and check the status of your family.  If you are a victim, do not rely solely on your own judgment, listen to others.  If you cannot perform your duties, notify the church office and get help.

2. Assume your role in the DRC.

3. Assist the pastors, staff and church office in meeting their needs

 

Stage 4: Relief

1. Continue to implement the church Disaster Plan.

2. Assess the DRC positions to determine the size of the structure required to continue.  Prepare for expansion and obtaining other persons to assist in the functions needed, or for reducing and merging various functions under a single manager.

3. As the relief phase wanes and recovery is about to start, prepare to phase out the DRC and be replaced by a recovery organization.

 

Stage 5: Long Term Recovery   

1. No long-term recovery actions.

2. Review and critique actions taken during disaster.  Seek improvement.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Disaster Response Coordinator

The Disaster Response Coordinator is:

· The point of contact for coordinating disaster response and disaster-related efforts at our church level.

· An advocate for disaster preparation and response issues.

· The chair of the Disaster Response Committee.

· The Incident Coordinator of the Disaster Response Center.

· Responsible for collaborating with the conference appointed area representative about local recovery actions.

 

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes:

1. Work with church leadership to assist in the development and maintenance of a disaster response ministry and the disaster response plan.

2.   Develop and equip a  Disaster Response Center (DRC) operations location and a team to staff it.  The work area should be flexible to adjust to the number of people mobilized for the DRC staff, and have the necessary communications equipment, maps and charts.

3. Provide the District Disaster Response Coordinator with information on who to contact in the church as disaster response liaison and, if more than one person needs to be informed, the order they should be contacted.

4. Participate in and build relationships with agencies active in disaster response in the local area.  If unable to participate, the Disaster Response Coordinator should select a representative so that the church continues to be recognized as a valuable partner in the disaster response community.

5. Coordinate the possible use of church facilities as a training center, crisis counseling, ministry, temporary shelter, and supply or distribution center during disaster response.

6. Collaborate with the conference UMVIM Director to receive disaster training.  This may include identifying training opportunities, serving as the trainer or designating others active in the disaster response ministry to be a trainer, following up after training events, etc.

Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

1. Implement the Disaster Preparation and Response Plan.

2. Activate the DRC Team and confirm communications capabilities.

3. Set up and secure the DRC and, if the disaster is likely to have a severe adverse impact on the location, identify, set up and staff an alternative location to work from.

4. Check for updates from OES, the media and other sources.

5. Check in with the conference office and  other disaster agencies.

 

Stage 3: Emergency Response – After Disaster Strikes

1. Assess damage to your household and check the status of your family.  If you are a victim, do not rely solely on your own judgment, listen to others.  If you cannot perform your duties, notify the church office and get help.

2. Assume the role of Incident Coordinator for the DRC and manage DRC operations.

3. Assist the pastors, staff and church office in meeting their needs

 

Stage 4: Relief

1. Continue as Incident Coordinator for the DRC and manage DRC operations.

2. Develop a system to rotate team members in and out of their positions so they are not working over 12 hours at a time.  Remember to take care of yourself so that you continue to be able to lead the others.

 

Stage 5: Long Term Recovery 

1. Close out the DRC and transition to long-term recovery operations.

2. Identify people to work in recovery. Appoint a local liaison to the conference Area Representative..

3. Collaborate and cooperate with agencies and organizations involved in long-term recovery to provide assistance and training as appropriate.

4. Function as disaster recovery liaison between the church and the Conference and UMCOR.

Roles and Responsibilities of the DRC Executive Committee

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes

1. In the event of a major disaster involving all the resources of the church, actions will be required to be taken in extremely short time frames.  In the event of having to make emergency financial expenditures, conditions will not allow the normal process of obtaining the Senior Pastors’ approval, the finance committees’ approval, the Board of Trustees’ approval and then presenting it for the approval of the Church Council.  To this end the DRC Executive Committee will be convened.  The DRC Executive Committee will be empowered to make decisions representing the members full committee bodies without having to hold meetings of the full committees.

2. The members who will comprise the Disaster Response Center (DRC) Executive Committee will be selected.  As this committee will not function until called for in a major disaster and people come and go on the supporting committees, it may be appropriate to designate members based on positions rather than naming specific individuals.  Membership should consist of the:

· Senior Pastor or designated representative.

· Chair of the Church Council or designated representative.

· Chair of the Board of Trustees or designated representative.

· Chair of the Finance Committee or designated representative.

· The Disaster Response Coordinator or designated representative.

3.   Financial expenditure decisions will normally be limited to funds within the various groups which have been pre-designated for use during or in support of disasters, and to funds coming to the church in support of the disaster, for example: congregational donations, funding from the California-Nevada Conference or UMCOR grants. 

Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

No action is required at this point, other than individual protective actions to survive the disaster.

Stage 3: Emergency Response – After Disaster Strikes

Prepare to convene at the call of the senior pastor or the Disaster Incident Coordinator (Disaster Response Coordinator).

Stage 4: Relief

Respond and take actions as required.

Stage 5: Long-Term Recovery 

The DRC Executive Committee will be disbanded as the disaster enters the long-term recovery phase.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Trustees

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes

1. Authorize the Chair of the Trustees to take actions in the name of the board as a member of the DRC Executive Committee and appoint a member to sit on the Disaster Response Committee.

2. Together with the business manager and senior pastor, review insurance coverage annually.

3. Make an annual inventory of church property and contents and provide a safe repository of valuable records. 

4. Have copies of the church’s blueprints stored safely and accessible.

5. Maintain copies of Certificates of Liability Insurance from all “outside” agencies using the facilities.  Ensure the church is named as an “additional insured” on their insurance policies.

6. In concert with the Disaster Response Coordinator, develop an action plan for establishing a Disaster Response Center under varying levels of disaster, including a secondary location if the primary location is rendered uninhabitable.

7. Act as custodians for Disaster Ministry funds which are held in the trustee’s account.

8. Act to ensure the safety of the physical facilities on both campuses:

· Inspect both campuses for hazards and mitigate any obvious problems.  Fasten shelving, bookcases and other items so they won’t fall in an earthquake, move heavy items from top to lower shelves and secure items that might topple.

· Check cabinet doors to ensure secure closure.

· Insure all chemical and flammable materials are properly stored.

· Clearly mark gas and water shut-off valves with instructions for shut off. (Turn off utilities only if there is a leak or if you suspect damage to the lines)

· Ensure working status of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.

· Ensure proper location and stocking of all first aid kits.

· Take photographs documenting the interior and exterior of your facility to help later in recovering costs due to facility damage or equipment loss.

· Post facility evacuation diagrams (with exit and assembly information).

Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

No action is required at this point, other than individual protective actions to survive the disaster.

Stage 3: Emergency Response – After Disaster Strikes

1. Have pre-designated members of the board respond to each campus to inspect the physical facilities for damage, reporting their results to the Disaster Incident Commander, or in his absence the senior pastor.

2. The Chairperson must prepare to convene as a member of the DRC Executive Committee at the call of the senior pastor or the Disaster Incident Coordinator (Disaster Response Coordinator).

3. Assist as appropriate to maximize the usefulness of the physical facilities in whatever ways the church may be used.

4. Contact the insurance company (Berger & Jones: 800-852-4375, or 925-277-9090) to initiate any insurance claim.

 

Stage 4: Relief

1. Ensure the continuation or quick resumption of worship services.

2. Assist in resumption of the other activities of the church

 

Stage 5: Long Term Recovery

Routine functioning of the Board of Trustees resumes.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Finance Committee

Stage 1: Planning and Preparation – Before Disaster Strikes

1. Authorize the Chair of the Finance Committee to take actions in the name of the committee as a member of the DRC Executive Committee and appoint a member to sit on the Disaster Response Committee.

2. Ensure safe storage and back-up of all vital financial records.

Stage 2: Warning – Disaster is Imminent

No action is required at this point, other than individual protective actions to survive the disaster.

Stage 3: Emergency Response – After Disaster Strikes

The Chairperson must prepare to convene as a member of the DRC Executive Committee at the call of the senior pastor or the Disaster Incident Coordinator (Disaster Response Coordinator).

Stage 4: Relief

Assist the trustees in resumption of the normal functions of the church.

Stage 5: Long Term Recovery

Routine functioning resumes. 

Appendix

The appendix contains contact information for the church and staff.  While church contact information is public, staff contact information such as home addresses are not public.

To access this non-public information, you must log into this website.  Accounts are available to anyone who is a member or regularly attends our church services.

General Church Information and Contact Data

This plan is prepared for:

             The First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa

 

United Methodist Church affiliation:

             California-Nevada Annual Conference

             Bridges District

             Sonoma Circuit

 

Church’s physical locations:

Montgomery Campus and Church Office:

1551 Montgomery Drive

Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Cross Streets:

California Street (to the East)

Parker Drive (Behind-North side)

Main Phone Number:707-545-3863

Fax Number:707-545-5375

Website:www.fumcsantarosa.org

Email:office@fumcsantarosa.org

 

Stony Point Campus:

2150 Giffen Avenue

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Cross Streets:

Stony Point Road (to the East)

Administrative functions are handled at the main church office:

Main Phone Number:707-545-3863

Fax Number:707-545-5375

Website:www.fumcsantarosa.org

Email:office@fumcsantarosa.org

Downtown Campus:

Angel’s Attic (Thrift Shop)

411 E Street

Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Cross Streets:

             5th Street (to the South)

Phone Number:707-284-8659

Administrative functions handled through main church office

Phone Number:707-545-3863

Fax Number:707-545-5375

Website:www.fumcsantarosa.org

Email:office@fumcsantarosa.org

Church Profile

Methodism came to Santa Rosa in about 1854 with the first Methodist church being built in 1861.  Of the present three campuses of the First United Methodist Church of Santa Rosa (FUMC), the Montgomery Drive facility is the oldest, opening in 1951.  The location, at that time, was on the edge of town where housing was being developed on former farmlands. Montgomery Drive had just been opened over a new bridge that was built to accommodate the new Memorial Hospital a few blocks away.  The congregation steadily grew with families moving into new homes being built on the Montgomery Village area.  Within 5 years of opening another major construction project was underway to build a new social hall and an education wing to replace other new facilities which were too small.

Today, FUMC consists of three separate locations within the city of Santa Rosa:

· The Montgomery campus, home of the main church and the church office;

· The Stony Point campus, an 8 acre plot with a smaller satellite church and office that is manned two days a week plus extensive outdoor facilities; and

· The Downtown campus, which is a rental building housing the church thrift shop called “Angels Attic” and also houses our dreams to someday start a downtown ministry center.

 

Physical Facilities:

Montgomery campus:  The physical location of the Montgomery campus is 1 ½ short blocks east of Memorial Hospital and 5½ blocks west of Farmers Lane, the edge of Montgomery Village shopping center.  The church is accessed by Montgomery Drive in the front or Parker Drive along the back. It is bordered on the east by California Street.

Currently the FUMC Montgomery campus contains five major buildings:

A large sanctuary constructed in 1950 from concrete masonry units (concrete blocks, or CMUs).  Its capacity is 350 people.

A building immediately west of the sanctuary houses the church office, the educational wing and the fellowship hall.  The office was built in 1950 as small Sunday school rooms, also constructed from CMUs.  The first and second floor Sunday school rooms were completed in 1957 and are of CMU construction.  There are men’s and women’s restrooms located on each floor and an additional small staff bathroom off the first floor hallway, none of which are rated as handicapped accessible..  The attached fellowship hall (including several Sunday school rooms on the second floor) was also completed in 1957 but is built with wood frame construction.  The fellowship hall includes a kitchen, small dining room, a library, stage and utility room.  Access to the second floor is from a set of stairs in the center of the building.  A stairway built at the east side has stairs that are non-conforming to code and are used for emergencies only.  There is an external fire escape in the “Blue Room,” which is just west of center of the second floor.

A building immediately east of the sanctuary houses the McMullin room, the primary meeting room on the campus which also serves as the choir room; the small chapel which is also used as a multi-purpose meeting room; and the Williams Parlor, another multi-purpose meeting room, which also serves as an office for the Fijian Language congregation.  In addition to the meeting rooms there are men’s and women’s restrooms which also service the sanctuary.

The fourth building is called the “Carriage House”, a fanciful name given to a converted residential two-car garage and shop now split between two functions: the former shop now the office for the Pre-school Child Care Center and the garage portion being used as a multi-purpose meeting room.

The fifth building is a converted residence which fronts onto Parker Drive, immediately west of the chancel area of the sanctuary.  It is called the “Susanna Wesley House.”  The building serves primarily as the church’s administration area with four staff offices, a common work area, a staff conference room, a meeting area, a utility room with washer and dryer and a kitchen.    The wood-framed building was constructed about 1946 as a private residence, was later purchased by the church and remodeled to be used as a parsonage and has been in its present configuration since being remodeled about 1989.

The area between the Susanna Wesley House and the Carriage House is the preschool playground.  To the west, behind a wall, is a grass area containing a small storage shed for the preschool which contains limited disaster supplies and a larger storage shed for the church.

The Montgomery campus has two parking lots. The main 22 car lot on California Street at its intersection with Montgomery Drive. It has one space designated for handicapped parking.   Immediately west of the fellowship hall is a lot for 8 cars with two designated handicapped spaces.  The profound shortage of parking spaces has been a major stumbling block for years.  Because of  utility poles and building proximity,  the parking lots are not suitable for helicopter landings.

Stony Point Campus:  The physical location of the Stony Point Campus is one mile south of Highway 12 on Stony Point Road.  The mailing address is 2150 Giffen Avenue.  It sits at the Southwest corner of Stony Point Road and Giffen Avenue, across from the R. L. Stephens Elementary School.  The church is normally accessed from Giffen Avenue.  There is a service road off Stony Point Road just south of Giffen Avenue that leads to the cottage, the tractor garage and the warehouse.  The campus consist of approximately 8 acres of land.

Currently, the Stony Point campus has six structures:

The Giffen House

The Worship Center

The Cottage

The tractor garage

The warehouse, and

The pump house

 

The Giffen House is a former residence, converted to a "place of public assembly."  The rooms in the house consist of a kitchen, an office, two meeting rooms and a rest room.  Additionally, upstairs, but not accessible to the general public, are two large storage rooms. 

The Worship Center was constructed in 1996 and is a wood framed building on a concrete slab.  It has a main assembly room, one meeting room, men's and women's rest rooms and two storage rooms on the ground level.  Upstairs is a large storage room which also houses the HVAC utilities that is not accessible to the general public.

The Cottage is a non-conforming structure used as children's meeting rooms.  It has one small and two medium sized meeting rooms plus a bathroom.  It is not handicapped  accessible, has no built-in heater and the bathroom is connected to a septic tank that fills with water during the winter, rendering the toilets incapable of flushing.  It is connected to city water.

The tractor garage is a two-car garage which houses the tractor and a ride-on lawn mower.  It also houses an assortment of ladders, tools and other garage type stuff.  It has electrical but no water.

The warehouse was built during the property's days as a producing egg farm and contains five rooms plus a bathroom.  One of the rooms is a converted walk-in cold storage room.  At present it is used to store items from the church at large and Angel's Attic.

The pump house houses the pump for the well, a 2,500 gallon water storage tank, and a tank and booster pump system for the irrigation system.  The building is divided into two sections with one side having a concrete floor and housing  grounds-keeping equipment while the other side is mostly the tank and other water equipment.

The Stony Point campus has a paved parking lot that can hold about 20 vehicles and it adjoins a gravel lot which can hold about another 25.  For Sunday services and other large events, the church uses the school parking lot across the street.  Parking can also be on the dirt areas of the property.

The Stony Point campus is well suited for outdoor activities and in the event of a disaster could be used to park RV's of responders, but no hook-ups are available.

 

Click here for aerial views and building layouts including utilities.