Ward Emergency Preparedness Plan
Posted by Elise on November 16, 2009
I was given a 16 page emergency response plan to work from. It stated that our first obligation was to family and then to friends and neighbors. After that, we were to assist ward and stake members. It suggested we have a plan in place before an emergency actually occurred. The following was the chain of command for the first hours after a disaster. Within 24 hours a follow up would be done by home and visiting teachers. They would give a more detailed report to the bishop and stake president. The emergency director was to be the presiding priesthood authority and the following was the chain of command. The first available priesthood leader in the chain would be in charge in the event of a real emergency.
- Stake President
- First Counselor
- Second Counselor
- High Council in order of seniority
- First Counselor
- Second Counselor
- High Priest Group Leader
- Elders Quorum President
- Executive Secretary
- Zone Leader
- Assistant Zone Leader
- Zone Member
- District Leader
- Assistant District Leader
- District Member
- Head of Household
- Family Member
There was a counselor assigned to assist in this effort on both the stake and ward level. Both were very involved and supportive. I set up the districts with the worst case scenario in mind. I had an actual emergency in mind as I made assignment. I had taken the CERT training. I am also involved with our city’s volunteer emergency ham radio communication group, and was aware of how events might play out during a real emergency. I also considered the various incidents (earthquake, wild fire, chemical spill on our local freeway, flash floods, etc.) that might affect us and what form of transportation might or might not be available. After considering all these factors, I formed the districts and zones area and made the assignments. In-actives, the elderly, those household with serious illness or special needs, and family with only one parent were major consideration in district assignments. Often this made the assignments more difficult than ordinary. Most of the district leaders were cooperative. A few complained and some just didn’t make the contacts.
District leaders were given from Tuesday until Saturday at 10 a.m. to make the contacts and report to their zone leaders. A complicated member/property status report was required to be filled. I made a less detailed form that could be filled out quicker. If no one was home at the time of the visit, the district leader left a card with information on the drill that just took place, and how to get a hold of them in case of a real emergency. Their report to the zone leader was to state how many homes were contacted and what particulars needed to be addressed. Sometimes the stake would plant fictitious situations to see if the information was relayed quickly and accurately. I would not know what the situations were, or what families were picked.
After a drill or two I realized that I needed to have sharp and reliable zone leaders, as well as dependable district leaders. It took a few drills, but then I had the best group of zone leaders anyone could have. I am so grateful for the good job they did. If a zone leader could not participate at the last minute, I would temporary assign it to another zone leader, or take the report myself. These assignments stayed in place until the next drill in six months.
The zone leader called in the reports to the ward counselor. The ward counselor would call the stake counselor who would give the report to the stake president.
When ham radio operators became part of the loop, there would be one operator assigned to each building in the stake. Each ward would get their report to the operator, and the operator would radio the stats to the stake center.
During some of the drills we collected family profile information, or statistics on whether or not the members had 72 hour evacuation kits, emergency water supplies, food storage, generators, swimming pools, chain saws, etc.
Much work and attention to detail took place before the assignments were made and the drill implemented. This gives you an overview of how we conducted our ward emergency drills.
I am interested in knowing how other wards and stakes conducted their drills. Please share your experiences. I would like to hear from everyone – from the drill organizer to the member that was visited. It would be appreciated.
- QFA: How is the Leadership Organized in the LDS (Mormon) Church? (supermormon.wordpress.com)