Over the past few years we have been forced to become more mindful of the threats within our society that oftentimes go unnoticed.
Whether we attribute this to events like mass shootings, increased political strife, or a media who follows the motto, “Never let a crisis go to waste”, the facts are clear. Every church and business must be prepared for the unexpected.
Many Churches Are Largely Unprepared
There was a time I entered into a church office to inquire about their emergency preparedness.
As I entered, I was met by a quizzical look from the elderly receptionist who clearly wasn’t interested in anything I may or may not offer.
Trying to put my best foot forward, I explained why I was there and inquired about their preparedness for exigent circumstances such as mass shootings, an unruly congregant, or other medical-related issues.
As I concluded my explanation, the receptionist pointed her finger at the back of a door adjacent to where I was standing. There was a laminated chart attached to the back of it, “That is our evacuation plan along with our plans for all of the circumstances you mentioned”.
While I tried to point out that a chart doesn’t actually mean anything, it was clear that she was not interested and that I’d best move on to the next one.
So many churches lack even a basic security system, a chart on a wall means nothing if there is no team who is capable of coordinating an action.
Even A Church That Was Prepared Suffered Losses
No one can guarantee safety. If someone says they can, they are lying to you. Humans are unpredictable beings who are afflicted with various forums of angst that can cause serious outcomes.
However, it is our responsibility to do our best to minimize the chances for damage.
The shooting made famous by the quick reaction of Jack Wilson and his security team at West Freeway Church of Christ is an excellent example.
The security team at West Freeway had clearly put work into being prepared for a shooting, and under the circumstances that preparation paid off. Jack Wilson eliminated the threat within 4 seconds of the first shot.
But even with that preparation, three shots were fired and two people were killed.
How much worse could that shooting have been?
We all know what happened in Sutherland Springs, 26 killed and 20 wounded.
What could have prevented this horrible event?
Here are questions for which churches often have unsatisfactory answers:
Do you have a dedicated armed and unarmed security team with proper training?
Do you have a medical team?
Is the layout of your church visible from Google Maps?
Is your church in a high-crime area?
Are there any attendees who should be observed more than others?
Do you have heightened security on significant dates (holidays, political events, etc...)?
Do you have liability insurance to protect your staff, security team, and congregants?
Most churches will fortunately never need to deal with a mass shooting, but preparing for the worst helps us to take decisive and effective action when it is needed.
How To Be Prepared
At OXYS, we are glad to help churches prepare for exigent circumstances by writing plans and carrying them out.
Oftentimes, the first step is for the entire security team (both unarmed and armed) to go through a Private Concealed Carry Weapons Class held specifically for your church.
We are glad to travel for these events as a way to establish a long-term relationship that will be beneficial to both parties.
Additionally, we may be able to organize other events that focus on particular areas, like women’s personal defense, that anyone in your congregation may attend.
If you would like to establish a relationship with us or just learn more details, contact us through the chat on the bottom right corner of our website.
Have a good one!
USCCA Certified Instructor