Emergency Preparedness and Security Enhancements at the Church
One of the priorities of the Business Committee over the last year has been to review the church’s emergency preparedness. We found we needed to update our training for the congregation, such as fire drills and what to do during a medical emergency. The latter includes another round of AED training and handling medical situations in the building. We also commend the CE staff who are already doing much of the in their teacher training every year.
We hired an emergency preparedness/security consultant, who inventoried the church and Moore Education (MEB) buildings, and prepared an emergency planning flip chart for easy, quick reference, which will be hung in every classroom and other areas around the church. He will also do a couple of emergency preparedness training sessions later this fall for anyone in the congregation who is interested.
In order to update our thinking on what we should be doing to protect our buildings, last February we asked the Guilford Police Department to do a crime prevention survey (CPTED Public Building Assessment). In conjunction with our consultant, we developed a building protection and intruder prevention plan. A major project was to change the locks in the Moore Education Building which had not been done in recent memory. In addition to new keys for the MEB, an individual code will be required for each person to enter either the sanctuary building or the MEB. The keypads are inside each entry door. The GPD and the consultant also both recommended that we install security cameras outside each entry door. They are recorded for future use if needed, but are not continuously monitored. There are no interior security cameras.
An alert Business Committee member discovered a new state grant for security enhancements for non-profits, and we applied for and received $14,300 to pay for purchasing and installing the cameras and keypads. We are one of two UCC churches in the state to receive the grant. Special thanks to Jeff Weber, Bob Howard, and Peter Palumbo, and Sexton Mark Twombly, for doing so much work on this project.
Please feel free to call Business Committee co-chairs, Susan Leete or Peter Rebuzzini if you have any questions.