Why Should My Church Participate in Safety Sabbath?

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As we start this new year, many take the time to plan and set goals for the new year. Perhaps your church is planning a week of prayer, or specific days for community service and involvement. But has your church registered and planned for Safety Sabbath?

Safety Sabbath is an annual safety event sponsored by Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) for churches in the North American Division. This year Safety Sabbath will take place on March 23, 2019 and is an opportunity for churches across North America to take part in running an emergency drill on your chosen Sabbath. By participating in Safety Sabbath and holding a drill, your church can practice and improve your emergency response plans while demonstrating that the safety of your members is a church priority.

Still wondering why your church should participate in Safety Sabbath? Consider these three reasons.

#1 Start the Year Off Right

Choosing to participate in Safety Sabbath helps your church start the year on the right foot by creating a safer environment for all of the activities and events your church has planned for the year. Holding an emergency drill helps your church learn how to react when emergencies occur. If an emergency occurs during your week of prayer or other special program, both members and leaders will have more knowledge of what to do because of your participation in Safety Sabbath. 

#2 Create a Plan for New Emergencies and Risks

Some emergencies many churches have prepared for, such as a fire. But each church has a unique set of risks or potential emergencies that you may experience throughout the year. These could be a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or tornado, or a hostile intruder such as thieves or active shooters. If your church participated in Safety Sabbath last year, taking part this year gives you the opportunity to evaluate what emergencies your church may face, and create a plan to minimize and respond to that risk. 

#3 Improve Your Reaction Time

During emergencies, a quick and calm response is often the key to maintaining safety and minimizing injuries. A fire drill requires those inside the building to know how to evacuate in a quick and safe manner. An active shooter drill requires those in harm’s way to know when to run, hide, or fight. Each time your church conducts these drills, your leaders and members have the opportunity to improve their reaction time and become more comfortable with the plan of action.

Be Part of Safety Sabbath 2019

ARM wants to help you have a safe and positive year. Part of planning for events and special programs at your church this year includes planning for emergencies. If your church has participated before, Safety Sabbath 2019 is an opportunity to continue to learn and improve your emergency plan. If your church has never taken part, participating this year will help you begin to prioritize safety and risk management in your church.

With the resources that ARM has created and provided online, every church can be part of this safety event. Get started at SafetySabbath.com.

Elizabeth Camps is a writer and public relations specialist for Adventist Risk Management