Emergency Rest Center Training:
This trainingequips houses of worship to self-activate in times of crisis to offer hospitality and safe haven to the public during emergencies or evacuations. Learn how to self-activate for short-term service in partnership with local emergency management agencies.
EMERGENCY REST CENTERS provide:
  • TEMPORARY REFUGE for the public during an emergency (using 50% of the facility’s capacity)
  • FULLY ACCESSIBLE FACILITIES for the disabled (including bathrooms)
  • WATER and disposable cups (Tap water is acceptable)
  • SPIRITUAL/EMOTIONAL CARE (Proselytizing or requiring religious activities is prohibited.)
  • BASIC FIRST AID (Kit adequate for the total capacity of the facility)
  • EMERGENCY INFORMATION shared with cultural and linguistic competency
  • SNACKS Optional: Nut-free or halal/kosher snacks
During activation as an ERC, a house of worship will be able to maintain its own religious practices, provided that it does not require any of its guests to participate in religious activities and that it does not proselytize in any way.

ERC Volunteers will be trained to:

  • welcome guests with compassion, reassurance and calm
  • ensure public safety
  • take care of basic needs (water, bathrooms, snacks if available)
  • provide accurate, official information about unfolding events or conditions
  • accommodate diverse languages and cultures in all communications
  • offer basic emotional and spiritual support through empathy and understanding
  • maintain a guest census and basic service records
  • communicate with local emergency agencies during operations
  • provide basic first aid as needed

PRECIPITATING EVENTS

  • BLACKOUT
  • EXTREME COLD WEATHER
  • FLOODING
  • CIVIL UNREST
  • CATASTROPHIC FIRE
  • HURRICANE
  • SEVERE HEAT WAVE
  • TERRORIST ATTACK
  • TORNADO
  • WATER MAIN BREAK
  • WILD FIRES
  • WIND DAMAGE

PRIORITY LOCATIONS FOR ERCs

  • Near designated evacuation routes
  • Near major mass transportation hubs
  • In areas prone to flooding
  • In areas prone to blackouts
  • In neighborhoods with a high concentration of elderly or special needs populations

This curriculum is solely licensed to NDIN and was developed by New York Disaster Interfaith Services in partnership with Episcopal Relief and Development.