Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Drill or Die: Why Your Church Needs Safety Sabbath 2016

It’s Sabbath morning at your local church but one attendee did not come to worship. The gunman enters your sanctuary and pulls out a weapon. What do you do?

Story by Anna Bartlett, Adventist Risk Management

When Carlos’ mother comes to pick him up after Sabbath School, the other children say he left with a woman they had never seen before.

The church electrical system catches fire on Sabbath morning and most members and guests make it out, but Tessa is one of the last to exit because no one stopped to help her with her wheelchair.

Do You Know What To Do?

Responding appropriately in emergency situations is vital to minimizing loss. Does your congregation know what to do if an active shooter enters your church? Do your children know what to do if lost or if someone attempts to abduct them? Is your church prepared for an emergency evacuation in the event of a fire?

“Every church member and every local church needs to be prepared for any emergency,” says Daniel R. Jackson, president of the North American Division. “Unfortunate situations do happen, but we need to do our best to be prepared for them.”

Adventist Risk Management, Inc. and the North American Division is sponsoring a Safety Sabbath March 26, offering churches the opportunity to get prepared for emergencies. Safety Sabbath will feature three drills you can use to prepare your church for emergencies.

·      Active Shooter Drill

·      Fire Drill

·      Missing Child Drill

Safety is a Team Effort

Whether you are a local church leader, church member, or child, everyone should be involved in keeping themselves and each other safe in an emergency.

Local Church Leaders – Be prepared with a church emergency plan and crisis response team. Have a plan in place to help children and those with disabilities evacuate. Evaluate what risks your church may face and practice your emergency response plans with your congregation regularly so everyone is prepared to respond safely in an emergency.

Church Members – Study the emergency exit plans posted in your church and know two or more ways to exit the building. Know what you will do personally in an emergency, including how you will evacuate and help those around you evacuate. Participate in your church’s emergency practice drills and be prepared.

Children - Parents, make sure your children know their full name, the full names of their parents or guardians, and emergency contact phone numbers. Talk with your child about what might happen during a drill and how they should act and respond. Make a plan with your child of what they should do and where they should go in an emergency so they are prepared.

Get Ready with Safety Sabbath 2016

Holding annual practice drills prepares your church family to respond to emergency situations in the safest way possible.

Get everything you need to hold your own emergency drill on Safety Sabbath, March 26, 2016, including emergency drill guides, cool posters, resources for children and more!  

Choose your drill and learn more at

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