The OHUMC Safety Committee is in the process of reviewing safety procedures related to Medical Emergencies, Severe Weather, Emergency Evacuations, and Active Shooter. Members are invited to visit this page to understand what to expect in the event of an emergency. As procedures will evolve over time, periodic checking of the site is encouraged. Rotating safety tips will also appear regularly in Sunday bulletins.
When entering a space as familiar as a church, it can be easy to let down your guard, but one of the best things you can do is remain alert. Being aware of the people and situations around you not only helps you feel safer, but it also helps to serve our congregation.
We want our church to be a welcoming community. Introduce yourself to those you haven’t met before. Visitors need to feel the extravagant hospitality our congregation offers. Should you encounter a person who appears agitated, you can offer a listening ear. However, if you're uncomfortable with the situation, or anytime you see something odd or out of place, report it to an usher, greeter, or staff member. These people play an integral role in the safety plans being developed and refined by the Safety Committee.
These practices are things every church member should do as a means of connecting with visitors, but it also helps us remain aware of others in the Sanctuary with us.
AEDs and CPR
There are three AEDs (Automated External Defibrillator) on campus, one each in the Fellowship Hall, Narthex, and Children's Building. First aid kits can be found in each of these locations as well as on the second floor of the Adult Education Building and the hallway outside of the choir room.
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can also be life-saving. Consider taking a class in CPR and basic first aid so that you are prepared. Be sure to keep your training and certification current as best practices are frequently updated.
Note the exits
When something catastrophic happens, the best defense is often to get out as quickly as possible. Before the service starts, look for exits. Look around and take note. Take another moment to think about those around you. You may be able to assist less ambulatory members of the congregation during an emergency.
Feeling safe in church comes when we are willing to think through that which we would rather take for granted. While we may not want to think this way, it is important for all of us to be prepared and actively participate in the safety of our congregation and ourselves.
Safety Committee Members
Mary Ann Williams
Severe Weather Emergency Procedures
In the event that we experience severe weather during services, the head usher, the APD officer, and the OHUMC Eyes and Ears Team will implement procedures put in place by the Safety Committee. The Sanctuary has six shelter areas and, though it will be crowded, there is sufficient room for everyone based on the current average attendance at each of the three services. The main concern is to move people quickly away from the large windows and the steeple windows. Each pew will have a “DOT” card showing a diagram of the Sanctuary that indicates which sections will go to the various “shelter areas.” Under the guidance of the pastor, ushers will move members of the congregation quickly, but calmly, to the designated shelter areas. Members must leave bulky items like backpacks, etc., at the pews so that every available space can be used to safeguard people. Children and Youth will shelter in designated areas in their respective buildings.
Once the “warning” is rescinded, members in the Sanctuary will then be able to retrieve any items left in the Sanctuary. The pastor or head usher will quickly update members on any known damage in the area that members should avoid. The congregation will then be dismissed to go home.
For more information, see the links to safety procedure documents available on this page