These documents are recommended by Rev. Karl Jones, PSEC Disaster Response Coordinator, for churches and leaders considering how to prepare their faith community for a possible disaster. If you have questions about Disaster Response resources available to your church, contact Rev. Jones at

Active Shooter in a House of Worship: This “Be a Ready Congregation” tip sheet for religious leaders comes from the National Disaster Interfaiths Network. This resource provides information on preparing your congregation for gun violence.

Active Shooter How to Respond: This resource from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security provides good practices for coping with an active shooter, including tips on creating an Emergency Action Plan.

Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship: This 38-page resource was created by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, the Department of Education, the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The guide provides details on how churches can take steps to keep congregations, staff, and facilities safe during natural and man-made disasters.

Safeguarding Houses of Worship app: The National Institute of Justice has released “Safeguarding Houses of Worship,” an app that helps a church assess its risk factors and start a draft plan that can be expanded and customized to meet its specific needs. Here is a PDF of the questions asked in the app: NIJ’s Safety and Security Planning App. Here are the download instructions for the app: Installing Safeguarding Houses of Worship. Here is an example of a completed assessment: Sample Assessment.

Development of Emergency Preparedness Plan presentation: This peer-to-peer presentation was made at the Chester County Department of Emergency Services Faith-Based Preparedness Symposium. It provides the steps one church took to create an Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places Resource Guide: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has created this resource to provide a list of resources on topics including bomb threats, vehicle ramming, and active shooters.

Security Concerns for Churches: The Role of Greeters and Users: This in-depth resource explains what greeters and ushers can do as the first defense against potentially violent or disruptive situations. Case studies are provided for your greeter/usher training.