Disaster Preparedness for Churches/Houses of Worship
- Make a continuity/recovery plan. Websites such as the Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Small Business Administration (SBA) offer helpful guides and checklists to get started. carolinasmallbusiness.org
- Review your insurance policies to ensure adequate coverage. If you lease your space, review your lease to make sure the building owner has adequate coverage.
- Gather important business documents including your insurance policy and agent information. Back up electronic files to a cloud-based server or copy to a USB flash drive.
- Secure all office equipment including cell phones, chargers, laptops and USB flash drives. Take pictures of inventory.
- Collect contact information for your utility providers to quickly report disruptions and outages.
- Maintain updated contact information for all employees to check their safety and communicate about the status of operations.
- Provide regular “out of office” updates to your business phone and/or email to share information on operations among staff and members.
- Review incoming and outgoing shipments and make alternative arrangements if necessary.
- Remember rumors are common after a disaster. This can lead people to delay their own recovery plans. Be proactive, patient and persistent in pursuing your recovery.
Public Assistance for Houses of Worship
Houses of worship and other nonprofit organizations may be eligible for FEMA assistance to help pay for emergency protective measures, debris removal and restoration of facilities damaged by a disaster.
Under the Public Assistance program, FEMA may be able to provide financial assistance to certain private, nonprofit organizations – including houses of worship – to restore facilities damaged or destroyed by a major disaster.
To be eligible, facilities must:
- Have sustained disaster caused damage in a declared county.
- Provide a current ruling letter from the IRS granting tax exemption under Section 501 (c) (d) or (e) of the IRS Code of 1954, or through the North Carolina Secretary of State.
- Be owned, operated and kept up/maintained by a private nonprofit organization, or are a nonprofit that leases their facilities and is responsible for structural damages and losses according to their lease agreement.
- Have either not received funding or received insufficient funding after applying for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan.
- Have insurance coverage in place as the first line of defense to fund disaster damage.
For more information, contact North Carolina Emergency Management, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit NC DPS: Public Assistance.