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COVID 19 Live Streaming Most Recommended Cameras Insurance Risk Management for Churches Non Profit Religious Organizations John Keller Southwest Florida Naples Fort MyersDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, your church leadership team has been left to figure out how to lead your congregation, how to continue the fellowship of believers, and how to continue ministering to your community as a virtual church in a safe and effective way. Many have utilized live streaming video to maximize your impact and keep your congregation as physically safe as possible.

As you continue to navigate the realities of virtual church and trying to make a visual impact, we have compiled a list of the most popular cameras available on the market, ranging in price from an entry level, minimal budget all the way to the top tier, professional gear. Thankfully, while you can spend thousands on camera, lighting, and audio equipment to produce high-quality content, this doesn’t need to be the case. As with most aspects of photography and videography, the financial barrier to entry is low, with your creativity being the most important key to success.

 

Best Cameras for Video:

Logitech C920 $
Microsoft Lifecam Studio for Business $
Logitech BRIO Webcam $
Canon Vixia HF R800 $$
Panasonic H-V770 $$
Canon 80D $$$
Panasonic Lumix GH4 $$$
Sony a6300 $$$
Sony A7 II $$$
Canon Vixia HF G21 $$$
Canon XA11 $$$
Epiphan LUMiO 12x PTZ Camera $$$
Panasonic Lumix GH5 $$$$
Canon EOS C100 II $$$$
Panasonic AG UX180 $$$$
Canon XF400 $$$$

 

While it may seem overwhelming to figure out how to get your service online quickly, start with a road map of where you are now and where you want to be. Take note if you already have video equipment available and what type of new equipment you would like to invest in. Consider where you want to stream your sermon. This will determine the platform you end up using to live stream the church service.

It is also important to ensure that your internet connection is fast enough to stream. You can get a dedicated internet connection for your stream. Work on your lighting. When you work on your lighting within the church, your live stream will have a better-quality picture for those watching. Set up your camera with the view you want people tuning in to see. Pick a live streaming platform that’s right for your church. Create your account, set up your stream, practice streaming it and then hit go on Sunday morning.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

COVID 19 Liablity Waivers What Churches Should Know John Keller Risk Management Insurance Religious Non Profit Organizations Southwest Florida Naples Fort MyersAfter weeks of mandatory lockdown to help slow the spread of COVID-19, churches across the country are reopening their doors to parishioners. Many are grappling with the risk that worshipers may contract COVID-19 and may try to hold the ministry liable for the resulting damages. Thoughtful deliberation is needed when considering the potential impact of COVID-19 on your congregation.

One option to help minimize this risk is to require worshipers to contractually waive their right to hold the church liable if they contract COVID-19 on premises. Although requiring churchgoers to sign a COVID-19 liability waiver may help insulate you from liability, the enforceability of COVID-19 liability waivers presents some legal uncertainties, as courts have not yet analyzed such waivers in any detail. The enforceability of liability waivers is a matter of state law, some of the more specific legal questions about waivers will have different answers in different jurisdictions.

Guidelines for churches drafting COVID-19 liability waivers:

  • All COVID-19 liability waivers should be drafted in clear language that is understandable to the ordinary person, and these provisions should be very conspicuous if included within a larger contract.
  • Waivers should include language regarding the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and warn that even with heightened cleaning procedures, social distancing, face masks, etc., the church cannot fully eliminate the risk that churchgoers may contract COVID-19. They should be drafted so that visitors agree that (1) they understand this heightened risk, and (2) with that understanding, they agree not to hold the church liable for any damages resulting from contraction of COVID‑19 due to the organization’s negligence.
  • Waivers should comply with the applicable state laws and public policies regarding traditional liability waivers.
  • Even organizations with COVID-19 liability waivers should strive to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local recommendations for practices that can help lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission. If a court determines that deviance from such guidelines is grossly negligent or reckless, a COVID-19 liability waiver may not protect you from being liable for a visitor’s resulting damages.

Click here to download a sample COVID-19 liability waiver. It is recommended to always have a licensed attorney review any waiver to determine how it would be viewed by a court in a particular situation.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Low Cost Hurricane Prep for Churches John Keller Risk Management Insurance for Churches Non Profit

Hurricane damage can’t always be prevented or eliminated, but with some careful forethought, it can be mitigated long before a storm arrives. There are some obvious preventative measures that can be conducted that require out of pocket expense like inspecting/repairing/upgrading the roof cover and perimeter flashing or installing hurricane shutters, but for the purposes of this article we will focus on the activities that churches can perform that require little to no investment other than time and energy.  These are broken into Pre-Hurricane, Warning, During, and After-Hurricane phases.

In most cases, hurricane planning activities should be implemented prior to Hurricane Season which begins June 1st and continues through October 31st. However, there are plenty of measures you can take immediately before, during, and after a hurricane to reduce loss.

Click here to download an Emergency Action Plan for Churches

How Does Hurricane Damage Occur?

Widespread damage begins when a hurricane reaches around 110 mph.  At this speed, the wind is sufficient enough to literally suck the roof cover from all or part of the building.  In addition, high winds have the ability to turn most windblown debris into missiles, thereby breaking windows and doors.  These openings then allow more wind to enter the building which creates additional upward forces on the roof.  If a roof hasn’t been sucked off the building from the primary forces, once there are openings in the building, these secondary forces are sure to help blow the roof off the building. Once the roof is all or partially removed, and additional secondary holes have been punched in a building, the interior and contents are much more likely to be damaged or destroyed by rain that typically accompanies a hurricane.

Pre-Hurricane Preventive Measures

Once a hurricane is on its way, resources start to become scarce and much more expensive. Highlighted below are activities churches can perform prior to hurricane season so that they can resume operations as quickly as possible after the storm.

  1. Create or customize a checklist of activities that can be used during all phases of the storm.
  2. Appoint an individual to monitor weather forecasts and track impending hurricanes.
  3. Compile an Emergency Contact List with 24-hour contact numbers for essential employees and volunteers.
  4. Identify vital records and make backup copies.
  5. Qualify and pre-commit contractors and suppliers for post-hurricane repairs. (Use firms not likely to be affected by the same hurricane.)
  6. Stock supplies and prepare needed equipment (rations, generators, radios, flashlights w/ batteries, medical supplies, and lumber/tools/hardware).
  7. Relocate valuable on-floor equipment/storage to protect from water damage.

As the Hurricane Approaches (Warning Phase)

  1. CASH is king! Obtain and keep accessible as much as possible as banks may not be open following the storm.
  2. Brace lightweight doors from the inside to minimize the chance of them blowing in.
  3. Fill fuel tanks, generators, vehicles, etc.
  4. Protect or move valuable papers and important documents to a safe location.
  5. Print a complete copy of the property insurance policy and note the policy number and claim filing information
  6. Close valves on gas lines and, if possible, disconnect the electric supply at the service entrance.
  7. Clean the roof drains, gutters, and downspouts.
  8. Initiate orderly shutdown of equipment sensitive to sudden loss of power.
  9. Evacuate personnel.

During the Hurricane

  1. Remaining personnel should check for roof leaks, broken windows and piping, fires, and initiate emergency responses as needed.
  2. If power failure does occur, disconnect circuits so they cannot be reenergized without checking for damage.

After the Hurricane

  1. Survey the damage and establish priorities.
  2. Board up openings.
  3. Check circuits and equipment before restoring power.
  4. Follow your pre-established salvage reconstruction and recovery plan using key employees and outside contractors.
  5. Photograph and/or video all damage and contact the insurance carrier directly to submit a claim.

Damage from hurricanes may be inevitable, but with some careful pre-planning and diligent execution of strategic activities, you can significantly reduce the cost associated with a hurricane. Costs can escalate significantly once you consider property/wind insurance deductibles, lost production time, and supply chain disruptions.  A risk manager or insurance agent can help you identify and prioritize the most critical exposures for your church.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Commercial Lines OSHA Guidance for Oil and Gas Industry Workers and EmployersOSHA has provided guidance for oil and gas industry workers and employers, including those in the sub-industries and tasks that make up the broader oil and gas industrial sector. This guidance supplements the general interim guidance for workers and employers of workers at increased risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Remain aware of changing outbreak conditions, including the spread of the virus and testing availability in your community, and implement infection prevention measures accordingly. As states or regions satisfy the gating criteria to progress through the phases of the Guidelines for Opening up America Again, you will be able to adapt this guidance, along with the general recommendations in OSHA’s Guidance on Returning to Work, to better suit evolving risk levels and necessary control measures in your workplaces.

Click here to continue reading the OSHA Guidance for Oil and Gas Industry Workers and Employers

Dave Wissel is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance who specializes in construction, landscaping, and the oil and petroleum industries. Comments and questions are welcome at dwissel@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Employee Benefits What to Do if an Employee Tests Positive for CoronavirusIt’s very likely that if you’re considering reopening your office—or if you already have—that you’ve taken the time to communicate a return-to-work action plan to your employees.

Likewise, it’s recommended that all employers consult a reopening checklist to ensure that they’re keeping their team as safe as possible before and during the first phases of workplace re-entry.

Consider the following CDC recommendations for workplace reopening:

  • Employees must remain six feet apart at all times
  • Employees must be masked while in the office
  • Additional disinfection services must be offered
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the office

 

Yet even these measures may not completely mitigate the risk of spread within the workplace—particularly if you or an employee unknowingly contracts the virus outside of the office.

Before an Employee Tests Positive
First, it’s vital that you already have a plan in place even before an employee tests positive for COVID-19. According to the CDC, all employers should implement plans that are specific to their workplace, identify all areas and job tasks with potential exposure to COVID-19, and include measures to limit or eliminate such exposure.

With proper preparation, you’ll be able to move quickly so that you’re proactively protecting your team and customers (if applicable). It’s even recommended that each workplace identifies a teammate to handle COVID-19-related responsibilities.

Remember also that there are questions that you can and can’t ask employees regarding their health status and the pandemic. The last thing an organization needs on top of a coronavirus outbreak is a lawsuit claiming that you’ve infringed on your employees’ rights.

What Should I Do if an Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19?
While every case represents a unique instance of infection—as every office and industry are different—stick to the following CDC-recommended measures once a team member tests positive (or is suspected to have a COVID-19 infection):

  1. If the sick worker has been in the office within the past seven days, close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by that individual
    • If the sick worker has not been in the office within the past seven days, additional disinfection is not necessary
    • If you have a small office where all teammates are co-mingled, employers should treat the entire space as infected and revert to remote work until the office has been properly disinfected and exposed employees have worked from home and self-monitored their symptoms for 14 days (see step #5 for more details)
  2. Wait 24 hours (or as long as possible) before disinfection to prevent exposure to respiratory droplets in the infected area
  3. Open windows and doors during the 24-hour waiting period to increase air circulation
  4. Identify which employees may have been exposed and inform them of their potential exposure (but keep details confidential as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act)
  5. Follow the CDC’s Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure, including instructing employees to work from home for 14 days following last exposure
  6. While no specific CDC guidelines exist for reopening after 24 hours, employers should consider following procedures similar to their initial reopening, as well as the previous points listed above

Note: The CDC says that “employers should not require a COVID-19 test result or a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or to return to work,” as many healthcare providers may be backed up and unable to provide this kind of documentation in a timely manner. 

We will continue to share information as it becomes available and keep you informed.

Ryan Laude is a Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in employee benefits. Ryan works with a wide range of businesses to create the best funding options that fit their needs. Comments and questions are welcome at rlaude@gulfshoreinsurance.com