When a Hurricane Is Heading Your Church’s Way
Those of us living in the Southeast prepare for the worst and hope for the best every hurricane season. For churches, hurricane season can massively disrupt ministry plans, especially in the aftermath of a direct hit. Here are some tips we've curated by experts for what to do when a major storm hits your church.
After the Storm
Though you may be anxious to see the condition of your property, do not return to it before local officials have determined the area is safe. Carefully go around the outside and look for loose power lines, gas leaks, and structural damage. If there is any doubt about safety, have your facility inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer prior to entering.
According to his article on ChurchLawandTax.com, Aten says, “Once it’s safe to enter your property, you should take any steps you can to prevent further loss or damage, including:
- Do what you can safely do to attend to damages that, if left unaddressed, could lead to more significant losses.
- If your roof was damaged but is still largely intact, you might have someone with construction experience from your congregation patch the damaged area with a tarp.
- Be prepared for the fact that it may take the insurance company days, weeks, or even months before they can assess your damage.
- As soon as you have phone access and have had a chance to check on your property, you should report a claim.
- Ask your insurance agent for advice about what other steps you might take to help prevent damage.
- Contact your insurance provider as soon as you can to get guidance regarding your policy.
- Consider seeking volunteer help from an established disaster relief organization that’s skilled in building repair.
Dr. Aten provides some valuable insight into the practical ways we can provide wise physical, emotional, and spiritual care in the aftermath of a natural disaster.
If you and your church end up in the unenviable path of a hurricane this season or in the future, my hope is that you'll receive speedy assistance and make a full and swift recovery.
Pat Kase serves as Senior Project Developer for Aspen Group's Southeast region.
About Pat Kase
Pat Kase, Senior Project Developer at Aspen Group, has applied his 20 years direct experience in both design and construction firms, working to ensure a smooth design, build, and furnish process for Aspen’s projects in the Southeast states. Pat, his wife, and five children, live on the Port Royal Sound in South Carolina.