New Hanover officials want churches, faith-based organizations to have emergency plan

Updated: Mar. 5, 2020 at 3:09 PM EST
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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - In times of emergency, a lot of people rely on faith to see them through. The New Hanover County Office of Emergency Management wants to make sure residents rely on facts, as well.

The county has a new program targeting faith-based communities to partner during times of crisis.

“There are simple steps for preparedness,” said Anna McRay, assistant director for the county’s office of emergency management. “Make a plan, have a kit, practice that plan and be informed.”

Thursday’s seminar focused on a wide range of issues, everything from flu prevention to hurricane relief and active shooter policies.

Jonathan Conrad, the pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, attended the seminar and said he’s getting tips and reinforcement about the policies that should be in place in case of any type of emergency.

“We’ve talked about what to do in case of fire, or an active shooter,” Conrad explained. “We’ve been working with people in the congregation to put a safe and viable plan in place...even with the flu and coronavirus scare. The news shares the bad stuff. We want to make sure our congregation gets all the facts to help alleviate the fear.”

McRay said a simple phone call is all it takes for the emergency management office to make appointments to meet with individual congregations. She said the time to have a plan for any organization is now, before there’s a crisis.

“As it’s bearing down on you is not the time to start to think about it. Think about things on blue sky days,” said McRay. “What kind of food do I need? What kind of resources do I need? What can I do to help? Identify that before an emergency happens and that’s the number one way we can all get back at it together.”

For more information, you can contact the New Hanover County Office of Emergency Management here.

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