Friday, August 31

FEMA Ready.Gov Website

From: Ready.Gov
 
Launched in February 2003, Ready is a national public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.
 
Ready and its Spanish language version Listo ask individuals to do three key things:
  • (1) build an emergency supply kit
  • (2) make a family emergency plan
  • (3) be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses.
The campaign’s messages have been distributed through: television, radio, print, outdoor and Web (PSAs) developed and produced by The Advertising Council; brochures;
 
 www.Ready.gov and www.Listo.gov Web sites; toll-free phone lines 1-800-BE-Ready and 1-888-SE-Listo; and partnerships with a wide variety of public and private sector organizations.
 
In 2004, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched Ready Business, an extension of the Ready campaign that focuses on business preparedness. Ready Business helps owners and managers of small- to medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. The campaign’s messages are being delivered through Ready Business section of this Web site, brochures, radio, print and internet PSAs and key partnerships.
 
In 2006, FEMA launched Ready Kids, a tool to help parents and teachers educate children ages 8 - 12 about emergencies and how they can help get their family prepared. The program includes family-friendly Web pages and online materials developed by Sesame Workshop and Discovery Education.
 
FEMA has also worked with a variety of public and private sector organizations to develop tailored preparedness information for specific Americans. The Department worked with American Kennel Club, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, American Veterinary Medical Association and The Humane Society of the United States to create materials that highlight the key steps pet owners should take to prepare themselves and their animals. FEMA also worked with AARP, the American Red Cross, the National Organization on Disability and the National Fire Protection Association to create emergency information for seniors and Americans with disabilities and special needs. Materials developed for these specific Americans include brochures and instructional videos available at our publications page.
 
In 2008, The Ready Campaign added a section on their web site for military families. The entire Department highlights emergency preparedness through National Preparedness Month (NPM), a nationwide effort held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools. View the Ready Public Service Advertisements.
 

Thursday, August 30

New Orleans Evacuees Find Shelter in Church

From: Montgomery Advisor
At least one family has sought shelter from Hurricane Isaac at a Montgomery church, and as many as 60 more people could arrive over the course of the next few days, American Red Cross officials said.

The shelter at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Vaughn Road is a certified Red Cross shelter. It opened for Hurricane Gustav in 2007 and in 2009 when the tri-county area had severe flooding.

Click for More


My Thoughts: Churches are often viewed as a place of refuge for those who are in physical and spiritual need. Regardless of your facilities desires, members of your local community may come knocking on your door at times of need and you need to be ready and willing to accept them through your doors.

The Federal Emergency managment Agency (FEMA) has a helpful website www.ready.gov that can help you prepare for when this event occurs. I encourage all of you to take some time to look ove this website. I will atempt to highlight several things from this website over the next few days.

Wednesday, August 29

Parts of Louisiana are Underwater: Hurricane Isaac

I Just came across this picture of a church that is flooded in Louisiana from Hurricane Isaac. This is bring back memories from Hurricane Katrina...


Picture from: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57502825/isaac-weakens-but-parts-of-louisiana-are-underwater/

Church Worker gets 2-7 years in $900,000 Embezzlement

From: Courier Post Online

PHILADELPHIA — A finance executive from Camden County who linked her $900,000 embezzlement from the Philadelphia archdiocese to the church’s sex-abuse scandal was sentenced Friday to two to seven years in prison.

Anita Guzzardi, 42, of Haddon Heights said she succumbed to gambling and shopping addictions after feeling betrayed by the church over the priest sex-abuse scandal.

Click for More

Tuesday, August 28

Burned Church had Several Code Violations

From: Des Moines Register

The east Des Moines church that burned Friday in an apparent arson was used for several years as a shelter for the homeless and had been tagged with several fire code violations, a fire official said Saturday morning.

The Des Moines Fire Department was aware the pastor who owned the the Lighthouse Full Gospel Church, Rev. David Reasby, had been using it as a shelter, and worked with him over a period of years help bring the building up to code, department spokesman Brian O’Keefe said.

Click for More


Note: How often is your facility checked for building and fire code violaions? Does your facility view safety violoations as a priority to repairing? If not it may be important to think about the liability that you and your facility may have for not repairing known violations.

Monday, August 27

Body Found Under Car at Tampa Church

From: Bradenton Herold

TAMPA, Fla. — Police are investigating after a body was found beneath a car in the parking lot of Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa.The body was discovered early Thursday. The vehicle was parked directly in front of the church, which is on South Dale Mabry Highway.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2012/08/16/4160791/body-found-under-car-in-front.html#storylink=cpy


Note: The Republican National Convention will be taking place in Tampa this week.

Sunday, August 26

1 Found Dead at Morman Church in Utah

From: Daily Harold

HOLLADAY — A fourth person has been arrested after a 25-year-old Sandy man was found dead on the grounds of a Mormon church in Holladay.

Unified police Lt. Justin Hoyal said 18-year-old Ryan Curtz has been arrested on suspicion of murder in Michael Robert Workman's death. Eighteen-year-old Talon Hamann and 20-year-old Austin S. Taylor have been arrested on the same charge.

Click for More

Saturday, August 25

Country Singer Randy Travis Cited for Simple Assault in Church Parking Lot

From: The Washington Post

PLANO, Texas — Police in suburban Dallas say they’re citing country star Randy Travis for simple assault after he got involved in a couple’s argument.

Plano police Officer David Tilley said Friday that a woman and her estranged husband were arguing Thursday night in a church parking lot. He says Travis apparently knows the woman and got involved.

Click for More

Tuesday, August 14

MMA Fighter Jason "Mayhem" Miller - Naked in Church

From: Boston.com

MISSION VIEJO, Calif.—Mixed martial arts fighter and reality show host Jason "Mayhem" Miller was in jail on suspicion of burglary Monday night after deputies responding to reports of a break-in said they found him naked inside a Southern California church.

Miller was being held on $20,000 bail and was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, Orange County jail records showed.

The pastor at Mission Hills Church in Mission Viejo called authorities when he found evidence of a break-in Monday morning, including books and CDs that were strewn about, white powder on the floors and missing boards from a previously broken window, sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Monday, August 13

The Wakeup Call - "Think About It Series"

The Wakeup Call

(Excerpt from his book – “Evil Invades Sanctuary”)

“Get your people out of the building or I will bring it down -- I have the explosives, and I will do it now!” As his profanities boomed through the big lobby, I saw the initial expressions of bewilderment from those around him. Then they began running out of the building as he undressed, revealing ominous ink scribbles on his bare upper torso -- instructions to the coroner regarding his body when the day was done.

As I witnessed his rage, I kept a watchful eye on the Walther pistol in his right hand and a pile of stuffed green military packs on the floor in front of him, in which he claimed were enough explosives to destroy the building. I could see what appeared to be small white wires going from the loaded pack material to a trigger device in his unstable left hand. He had taken two female receptionists hostage; I will never forget the way the women trembled. It was obvious this was no joke, and equally clear that my day’s priorities had just been changed.

It wasn’t the kind of scene one would typically see or hear in the normally peaceful lobby of Focus on the Family, a non-profit ministry intended to provide hope to families through biblical principles.

I worked for Focus through the development and construction of their campus in Colorado Springs. We had just finished the installation of a new panic alert system when this incident happened. When the alert sounded on my radio, I thought a receptionist was checking to see what would happen if she activated it.

Life is full of details which may not fit the larger narrative. Adrenaline burns some things into memory, distorts some, and loses some after a significant emotional event. That morning I had ripped my pants out. Too busy to go home, I called my wife to bring me another pair. Laughing, she discretely picked me up behind one of the buildings. After changing clothes in the mini-van, we went to lunch. We kissed goodbye as she dropped me back off at Focus at 1:10 PM.

Seventeen minutes later, my radio alarm sounded.

I am sure there are many who can recall similar stories of what they were doing before the day changed. In Colorado Springs, many were going about their business with no clue that an angry man awoke that morning, deciding “this is the day.”

Perhaps as he lit the first marijuana joint in his apartment, the receptionists – who would later become his hostages – were straightening the reception counter so it would look nice for the day’s guests. As he began writing those eerie messages on his skin, Focus employees in accounting, shipping, broadcasting and other departments were assuming their normal routines. As he was walking the last miles from where the taxi dropped him off, parents were walking their children through the Focus on the Family story-book rooms filled with pictures of “Mr. Whitaker” and the other familiar child entertainment characters.

He walked past a gardener who smiled and greeted him as she was weeding a flower bed. He passed by without a word as the soundtrack of “Natural Born Killers” hammered his mind through his Walkman’s earphones. None of us had any way of knowing what plans were developing against us.

Just because we didn’t know the details didn’t mean we were unprepared. Procedures were in place, initial responders trained, and an automatic alert system established. Most importantly, we were not na├»ve about the possibilities.

Though the investigation revealed he had planned the attack for years, there were some things the gunman did not know that day. He did not know about a memo that had been written exactly one year earlier, on May 2nd, 1995. Prompted by an internal investigation following the April 19th Oklahoma City bombing, that memo requested some simple security upgrades. The panic alert system was one of those upgrades.

And the gunman did not know that this day -- May 2nd, 1996 -- was the National Day of Prayer.

Think About it:

  • Attacks start on an otherwise normal day.
  • Focus didn’t look like “security central” then and it doesn’t now. You do not have to resemble Fort Knox to have a good foundation of readiness.
  •  Pay attention to things happening to other congregations. An abuse scandal in Texas, theft of air-conditioning copper on the west coast, or a shooting at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin should get your attention just as the Oklahoma City bombing had gotten ours at Focus. Consider them as lessons learned.
  • Don Francisco was a popular Christian singer for a while. He sang a song about Jehoshaphat in which he ended with a claim that God “could have used the dog next door if He’d been so inclined”. Whatever level of readiness you accomplish, always understand that your safety will truly be from God – not accredited to your finest accomplishment. But let Him use you.

Saturday, August 11

Two Way Radio Center

For several years I have been looking for a two-way radio company that I could recommend to my readers and clients. Radios are a big part of both security and logistics. If you can’t properly communicate then you can’t adequately get your job done. Cell phones and text messages are helpful; however, if you want to get information across instantly there is no replacing the two-way radio system.

Twowayradiocenter.com comes recommended as securityatchurch.com primary radio resource. As you can see below they are capable of selling you radios for your facility or renting you radios and equipment for your conference and special events. They have been kind enough to set up a 5% discount for all securityatchurch.com readers. Just mention the coupon code or enter it during checkout if ordering online.


5% Discount Coupon Code: "Churchsec"


Information below from: Twowayradiocenter.com

Twowayradiocenter.com is a division of Wired Fox Technologies and is dedicated to selling Motorola and Vertex Standard two way business radios. We are focused on the use of two way radios in a business environment, where communications is vital to the efficient operation of the of your business, safety of your workforce and/or the support of your customers.

We have been in the technology business for over 30 years and have found that the technology used in two way radios is stable, efficient, simple and cost effective. The return on investment of this technology is superior of other communications technologies.

We have Partnered with Motorola, the leader in two way radio technology. They have been in the radio business since 1928 and the two way radio business since 1930. Their unmatched technological leadership on the public safety and military side of their business provides a solid foundation for their business two way radio offerings with products that are nearly indestructible. In 2008 Motorola purchased Vertex and now offers both the Motorola and Vertex brands in the marketplace.

All products are shipped from a 50,000 square foot warehouse in Greer, South Carolina. We strive to ship all orders received by 3:00pm eastern the same day. Shipment is by UPS.

The TwoWayRadioCenter has experienced technical support that can help you determine the best radio for your specific needs, help you program your radios or solve any technical issues you may have. Whether you are expanding your current network of radios or deciding if you should move to the new digital technology in two way radios we are here to help.

Customer service is our top priority and we are available by phone from 8:00am to 5:30pm eastern time, Monday through Friday or by email 24 hours a day.

Wednesday, August 8

Beckley Churches Beef Up Their Security

From: WVNSTV
By: Lauren Weppler

After Sunday's shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple 59News wanted to know how safe are Southern West Virginia churches.

Ken Wright is the Senior Pastor at The Family Worship Center in Beckley which has approximately 600 people in the congregation.

Wright said making sure doors are locked is secure is important from the security team which is made up of six individuals who are either retired or current law enforcement officers, "once service starts that way nobody gets in and out of those doors we have places they are assigned to watch over to make sure there isn't any active happening that shouldn't be."

Read More: http://www.wvnstv.com/story/19209573/beckley-churches-beef-up-their-security

Tuesday, August 7

FOX News: Pastor Sent to Slammer for At-Home Bible Study

From: Fox News

A Phoenix pastor who was jailed for holding a Bible study group on his private property is now holding one behind bars.

Michael Salman is serving a 60-day sentence in Maricopa County's notorious Tent City jail for allegedly violating his probation by holding religious services on his property in violation of zoning and building codes. He was arrested July 9, after authorities charged the one-time gang member hosted Bible sessions for as many 80 people on his 4-acre property, which he tried to claim as a tax-exempt church.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/05/arizona-man-sent-to-jail-for-holding-bible-studies-in-his-home/#ixzz22uE9mab4

Sunday, August 5

Breaking: Shooting at Sikh Temple in Wisconsin

Breaking News...

From: Fox News

At least four people were shot Sunday at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, the Journal Sentinel reports.

A police SWAT team entered the building before noon, and escorted uninjured people out of the building and away from the shooting scene.

According to the paper, there could be as many as 30 victims; among those shot was the president of the temple.

One person was in critical condition, according to reports.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/05/possible-injuries-after-shooting-at-sikh-temple-in-wisconsin/#ixzz22hL7dtnT

Thursday, August 2

Ashe Church Totaled in Sunday Arson Fire

From: Go Blue Ridge

Ashe investigators are now saying that the early Sunday morning fire that destroyed an Ashe church was arson, a fire set to cover a break-in and theft. The North Beaver Baptist Church was totally destroyed in the blaze, discovered by a passing deputy. The deputy found the church, at the Boggs Road intersection with NC 163, with smoke pouring from the eaves at about 1 Sunday morning, according to church member Conard Mash.

Read More

My Thoughts: This article was brought to my attention by Humphrey Hayes, who is the director of security of Samaritan's Purse. What caught my attention about this article was the fact that the fire was set to cover up the break-in and theft. almost every week I can find a story related to a church fire. Within those fires it is extremely common to learn that the result was arson related. What is rare is to find an arson related fire that was set to cover the tracks of another crime. 

Wednesday, August 1

Downtown Church Removes Outside Benches to Reduce crime

From: The Wichita Eagle

Several years ago, First Presbyterian Church placed several wooden benches outside its sanctuary near Central and Broadway, across the street from the Lord’s Diner.

The idea was to give homeless people and others in the neighborhood — including those waiting for a free meal at the diner — a comfortable, shaded place to sit. The diner serves 500 to 600 people nightly.

Unfortunately, officials say, the benches became a magnet for crowds and crime.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/07/27/2424397/downtown-church-removes-outside.html#storylink=cpy