There are many factors to consider when preparing for larger crowds at your church. Preparation is key in making sure both your property and your people are prepared for the big event. While you may already have safety and risk management procedures in place, think about the following ideas when reviewing those actions and getting ready for Easter weekend:
- Parking Lot and Walking Surfaces – Make sure parking lots, sidewalks and other walking surfaces are in good condition. In areas with more severe weather, make sure extreme temperatures haven’t caused tripping hazards such as potholes or frost heaves. To reduce the risk of potential trips and falls, ensure that handrails are secure, lighting is adequate and speed bumps, parking stops and curbs are vividly marked with a contrasting paint color.
- Volunteers and Security – Directing traffic and assisting pedestrians can help reduce chaos and prevent any confusion. Outdoor security should look for any suspicious activity and quickly communicate any concerns. Also be sure that your indoor security and ushers are following proper procedures. Any security, off-duty officers or volunteer parking lot attendants used during the weekend should wear bright and reflective clothing to increase their visibility.
- Emergencies – Prior to the holiday weekend, review all fire or other disaster evacuation plans and emergency protocol. Be sure all first-aid kits are stocked and, if applicable, defibrillators have been checked.
- Nurseries and Sunday School Rooms – Inspect children’s areas for any dangers such as unprotected electrical outlets, unsecured supply cabinets or unanchored furniture. The busy weekend can bring a large influx of children, so make sure you have an adequate amount of staff scheduled.
Easter Egg Hunts
A popular Easter tradition is a children’s Easter egg hunt. While this event is fun for the participants, improper planning can lead to potential safety concerns. There are four main factors to consider when planning an egg hunt:
- Hiding Locations – While there’s a desire to make egg hiding spots difficult and challenging, make sure safety is the number one concern. Hide eggs in locations that could not pose any danger to a child and are away from electrical outlets, breakable items, foliage and holes in the ground.
- Use of Employees and Volunteers – Egg hunts can become chaotic with so much excitement among children. Use employees and volunteers to supervise the egg hunt and ensure that children remain in safe areas during the activity.
- Egg Contents – If your church is using plastic eggs in your hunt, consider food allergies and choking hazards when selecting the egg contents.
- Ages of Children – Separating children participants by age will keep older, larger children from trampling younger children and give younger children a better chance to find eggs before older siblings and friends take them all. It will also help you out, too, by making it easier to select age-appropriate egg contents and to keep tabs on participants.
Plan for a Safe Easter
As your church plans for Easter activities, consider taking a pre-event walk through to make sure all safety issues for each particular activity have been addressed. Also be sure that any off-site locations for activities are pre-inspected. Reviewing your safety and risk management procedures is a good practice in preparing for Easter or any event with larger attendance numbers. Proper planning can allow your church to be more prepared for potential emergencies and will help keep your members, visitors and staff safe.
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By Brian Gleason
Originally posted on GuideOne