Share Your Facility

Assess your local church facility to determine its capacity to help others. Consider asking your local Office of Emergency Management to tour your facility and recommend how you can best utilize your property during times of disaster.

Suggestions for Your Consideration and Research.

  • Serve as a comfort station providing evacuees or relief workers and volunteers with temporary relief from extreme cold or hot weather. Serve basic refreshments such as water, coffee and simple snack foods.
  • Serve as a standalone or certified American Red Cross shelter.
    • Shelter evacuees
    • Shelter individuals with special needs
    • Shelter pets
    • Shelter relief workers and volunteers
  • Serve as a Volunteer Reception Center (VRC). Click here for a sample VRC Manual.
  • Serve as a Point of Dispensation, in partnership with your local Health Department, to dispense medications.
  • Collect and distribute water, food, personal hygiene items, clothing, and household goods to disaster survivors.
  • If your parking lot does not support significant ingress and egress of vehicle traffic, consider being a drop and transfer location for relief supplies.
  • Provide warehousing and staging space for relief supplies.
  • Use existing childcare facilities or classrooms to provide daycare services for families affected by disaster. Use due diligence to mitigate liability and ensure safety of children and infants.
  • If you are planning to remodel or build a new facility, contact your local Office of Emergency Management, American Red Cross or other churches active in disaster response, to learn how you can make your facility more relevant to community needs. Consider the following:
    • Separate shower areas for men and women;
    • Sufficient kitchen space and industrial appliances for meal preparation;
    • Permanent backup generator or external hookup for portable generator to power needed facilities;
    • Gymnasium or multipurpose room for a Volunteer Reception Center, shelter, or warehousing supplies;
    • Classrooms for volunteer training, briefing and debriefing;
    • Secure access to daycare facilities and play areas.
  • Create mutual aid agreements with other churches to ensure each congregation has a secondary location to worship if facilities become temporarily unusable due to damage from a disaster.

Notes on Sheltering:

  • Visit with your local Office of Emergency Management and/or American Red Cross to determine the location of existing shelters in your immediate area to avoid duplication of services.
  • If you have a small congregation, consider supporting another church that is serving as a shelter.
  • If a nearby church is an American Red Cross shelter, consider partnering with that or another church to support existing shelter operations.

Click here for continuity of ministry & operations plan