The Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge wants to help houses of worship be prepared in the event disaster strikes.
"The recent fatal attacks on worshipers at a synagogue in California, churches in Sri Lanka and mosques in New Zealand are tragic reminders of the times we live in," said the Rev. Robin McCullough Bade, executive director of the federation. "It is important for leaders of congregations to plan for the safety of those who gather for worship and other activities. It cannot be assumed that places of worship will be respected."
The federation will host a training for congregations from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, May 9, at the Louisiana Capital Area Red Cross, 4655 Sherwood Common Blvd. Training will be provided by the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
The purpose of the training is to prepare houses of worship for an active shooter, arson, flood or hurricane. The training also will provide an overview of information to include in a Continuity of Operations Plan, which can help reduce risks as well as respond to a disaster. With the hurricane season starting June 1, Bade said, it is time to review and update plans.
"Each house of worship is encouraged to send a representative to receive the training and resources. It is important to think through a variety of scenarios to protect those who meet and gather at our houses of worship. Unfortunately, hatred can do immense damage," Bade said. "But, we can push back hatred in a variety of ways. One is to be prepared.
"This is the time for the interfaith community to stand with each other. We can help each other to think through how to provide a safe space. We can show that love is stronger than hatred.”
For more information, visit ifedgbr.com or call (225) 267-5600.