Emergency situations will usually include two types:
- responding to an incident that has already occurred at your church building, such as a flood, a fire, or a break-in/theft
- considering how to make safe a potential hazard that has been identified, and which poses an immediate risk to the church building and its contents, or to the health and safety of church volunteers or staff, congregation members and premises users, or general members of the public. Examples might be that the Local Authority has served the PCC with a Dangerous Structures notice, or a professional’s survey has identified asbestos leakage, hazardous electrical wiring, or dangerous tree branches.
In both types of emergency, parishes are advised to contact their Archdeacon at the earliest opportunity (even out-of-hours if necessary), to inform them of the situation and seek their guidance and assistance.
The Archdeacon may also suggest involving one or more of the following:
- the PCC’s insurers
- the Quinquennial Inspector (architect, surveyor, etc) for the church
- the DAC team and Diocesan Registry
- the Diocesan Communications team
- the Local Authority.
Ecclesiastical Insurance Group also provides helpful ‘risk management’ web-resources for parishes, such as guidance notes and checklists on preparing for and responding to disasters and incidents at a church.