Washington DC, June 21, 2013 (Press Release): Hindu American Seva Communities (HASC) attended the historic White House event on Tuesday, June 18, to witness the U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden announce and release a 38-page guidebook instructing faith congregations to prepare for any emergency including an armed shooter situation. These downloadable "Guides for Developing High Quality Emergency Operation Plans for Houses of Worship," (https://docs.google.com/a/hindu.org/fi ... Ir0I-X29LYTJJZmFwY1E/edit) developed in response to the recent rash of gun tragedies in school and faith settings, align and build upon years of emergency planning work by the Federal government. They are the first joint product of DHS, DOJ, ED and HHS on this critical topic, in consultation with clergy from the United States.
HASC serves on the Department of Homeland Security's, Faith Based Advisory Council and worked to address issues facing the Dharmic community, particularly fears rising since summer 2012, when a gunman shot and killed six Sikhs inside the gurdwara of Oak Creek, Wisconsin. HASC has also has developed the Dharmic "If You See Something Say Something" downloadable poster .
The "Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operation Plans (EOP) for Houses of Worship" provides guidance on the principles of emergency operations planning, a process for developing, implementing, and continually refining a house of worship's with community partners, a discussion of the form and function of a house of worship's EOP, a closer look that discusses house of worship emergency planning in the event of an active shooter situation.
It also outlines strategies to appoint and train congregation members on assigning congregation members to assess immediate threats This training may become mandatory for faith houses receiving federal funds. Dharmic places of worship need to understand how to avail the funding.
The HASC invites you to discuss this landmark move by the U.S. government with them on Facebook or share your thoughts on their website. What kinds of questions do you have about the guidebook? Would you ask your temple, ashram and gurudwara trustees and faith and community leaders to implement this training? Does the guidebook seem helpful? Do you think completing training like this increases security, or perpetuates fear? You are encouraged you to share your ideas and explore ways to come together to strengthen our places of worship The feedback will be given to the Administration.
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