What churches should do if they have a shooter

If the notion of children practicing “active shooter” drills weren’t enough, it turns out the federal government has already thought of ways houses of worship can prepare for the worst.

fema guideIn the wake of the December 2012 shootings of schoolchildren in Newtown, Ct., the federal government issued guidelines for emergency operations at schools and at houses of worship, including what to do if someone starts shooting at a church.

The Insider found it looking for news of the massacre of nine people shot to death at a Charleston, S.C. church during Bible study Wednesday night.

Among the recommendations for things to plan:

  • How to evacuate.
  • Hiding places “Optimal locations have thick walls, solid doors with locks, minimal interior windows …”
  • How to communicate – “Familiar terms, sounds, lights and electronic communications such as text messages or emails.”
  • How everyone will know when it’s safe to emerge.
  • Most highly recommended is sharing with first responders, letting police and firefighters know such things as up-to-date exits, alarms control and locks.

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