If you are a highly risk-averse person, this blog title has your attention. If not, you are about to stop reading (if you got this far). To you I say, keep going! Your life may depend on it.
At the moment, this congregation has no “active” emergency response plan. A couple of years ago we got something started and did manage to hold a fire drill during worship services, but the plan was complicated, the volunteers got overwhelmed and everything just kind of faded out of existence.
So, it’s time to try again. This time we’ll try to create a less-complicated plan and only address two “emergencies”: the most likely, fire, and an extremely unlikely but probably scarier, active shooter. Other things can go wrong, of course, but if we can master these two, we’ll be doing great.
As an aside, all of our RE classes have already practiced a fire drill this year, and one of the strategies to use for an active shooter is to evacuate, just like a fire drill. So they are ahead of the rest of us.
If you are interested in volunteering to help UUCA develop and implement an emergency response plan, please contact me. This work absolutely requires dedicated volunteers—six or so to create the plan and many more than that to put it in place. This is NOT a staff job although there will obviously be staff support.
But just as importantly, EVERYONE needs to be educated on what to do, both during a fire and in the event of an active shooter. To begin that process, we have scheduled a presentation by the Asheville Police Community Resources unit to tell ALL of us what to do during an active shooter incident. It’s a sad thing to have to do, but here we are.
Please attend this presentation on Sunday afternoon (4pm) on December 2. We’ll learn the 3 things every person needs to do if in the area of an active shooter: Avoid. Deny. Defend. Or, saying the same thing a different way: Run. Hide. Fight.
Linda Topp, Director of Administration