Crisis Preparation and Response Plan for EPAUMC churches

Be Prepared for a Crisis
  • Not if, but when – A crisis can happen anytime, anywhere.  It is therefore important to have an action plan in place before a crisis happens.  The time to begin planning and practicing for a crisis is before it happens, before the emotion, stress, and tension of the event strike.
  • In a crisis, time is critical – In the event of a crisis:
    • Contact your District Superintendent as soon as possible
    • In the absence of the superintendent, contact 1) the Dean of the Cabinet, or 2) the Bishop’s Office.
  • What is a crisis? – A crisis can be an event or emergency associated in some way with the Church but beyond its control, wherein there is potential for damage to individuals or to the image of the Church and its ability to be in ministry and which we might expect to become public.
Types of Crisis
  • Natural disaster (flood, tornado, earthquake)
  • Criminal or legal action (recognized crimes or accusation of crimes)
  • Violent or criminal acts, demonstrations, death, or violent injuries (action by or to a clergy or lay person; incident in a local church, district, or related institution; incident involving United Methodists which may or may not be church-related; community crisis)
  • Personnel crisis (clergy or other staff misconduct; suits against the Conference, a Conference institution, agency, or church; death, illness, or injury to a pastor or member of a pastor’s family)
  • Positive crisis (event or ministry draws unanticipated response, such as many more people than expected to attend, or donations exceed what can be easily handled)
  • Perceived crisis (anticipation of something happening which may or may not be based upon factual information or probability)
How to respond to a crisis
  • Pastor, staff, or lay person will contact the District Superintendent for their district.
  • The District Superintendent will contact the Bishop and other key conference and denominational staff to support the local church in Crisis Management.
  • Download the EPC Disaster Plan and Response Guidelines [PDF]