Black and white Sound Cloud icon Black and white YouTube icon Black and white LinkedIn icon Black and white Facebook icon

Light & Lift

Illuminate - Evacuate

Flashlights, Evacuation Aids

Essential Equipment for Church Safety Teams

Featuring Items from the Sheepdog Church Security Store [1]

Lightbulb in dark room

In the Bible

Light is a constant theme throughout the Bible, including ways of providing light at night. Also described are times when people were evacuated from danger to a place of safety.


And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?" (Luke 15:8)


But Jehosheba … took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away … and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death. (2 Kings 11:2)

... the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. (1 Peter 3:20)

What if ...

At Prairie Heights Chapel, classes are in session, the worship team is practicing in the sanctuary, and the pastoral staff is in the office. A tornado warning is received on the weather radio. Using all channels on the radio, Safety Team Leader Gary Smith relays the tornado warning and calls for everyone to move to the church's tornado shelter.

Thanks to tornado drills, all know where to go. The Pre-School class files into the hallway led by the teacher, holding onto a long walking rope. Others lines of students make their way toward the shelter, following assigned routes.

The power goes out.

Most emergency lights come on, except those in the main corridor - the batteries fail. Safety Team members pull out their flashlights to show the way. Two members begin checking emptied rooms for anyone left behind, shining their lights into corners, behind the desk, etc. They also check the restrooms.

John Wing finds 82-year old Tom Lane on the floor in the Men's Room. Before trying to pick Tom up, he calls for help. As John is pulling Tom into a sitting position, Gary comes in with an evacuation chair. They help Tom into the chair and take him to the shelter.

Everyone makes it into the shelter just in time. The tornado hits the church.

Illuminate, Evacuate

We need light to see, especially when inspecting rooms, guiding people after dark, etc. Then, when the building is evacuated or everyone has to go to shelter [2][3][4], some may need assistance.


All of us know that if it is after dark and we are outside or the power is out, we need something we can carry to provide light so that we can see - a lantern or flashlight. The flashlight (called a "torch" in Britain) is preferred, because it can be aimed at what we want to see. As safety team members, we also need flashlights in the daytime to see into dark corners, behind or under furnishings, and in unlit closets.

The real question here is not whether to get a flashlight, but what flashlight to get. For our purposes, there are three basic types of flashlights to consider.

Large "Police" Flashlight

First is the big flashlight with 2-to-6 D or C batteries. The classic flashlights with 4-6 cells have long been associated with police and security guards. When all flashlight bulbs were incandescent, these were the ones with the most light, a must for looking into dark alleys and down stairwells. One additional advantage of a larger, heavier flashlight is that it can be used as a defensive weapon.

Now with halogen bulbs, we can get the same amount of light with lighter batteries - fewer and/or smaller cells. Brighter still with less battery weight are LEDs (light-emitting diodes).

Mini Flashlights

Second are mini flashlights. These range from cylindrical ones that stretch across your palm to keychain fobs. They are the newer version of the penlights of a generation ago. The chief advantage of a mini flashlight is its small size. It can be carried inconspicuously, yet still be ready to use. Kris Moloney recommends the Maglite Mini PRO LED,available in the Sheepdog Church Security Store on Amazon. With 272 lumens, it uses 2 AA cells, has a beam distance of 535 feet, and is drop resistant at 3¼ feet. It also comes with a belt pouch, making it even handier. Price: $15.75 [1.a].

Tactical Flashlights

Third are tactical flashlights (tac lights). The name comes from lights originally designed to be mounted on rifles to illuminate targets for night shooting. They can be adjusted to have a very narrow beam. The profile is an anti-roll cross-section so it takes more than a slight incline for them to roll away. Today's tac lights, with LED bulbs, can be cycled to pulsate, blink SOS in Morse code, change intensity, or other configurations, depending on the brand or model.

The one that Moloney recommends is the Streamlight 88065 Pro Tac HL-X. It is only about 5½" long, making it easy to carry and hold. It is powered either by two CR123A lithium batteries (non-rechargeable) or by one rechargeable 18650 button top lithium ion battery (which can be USB charged) - choose when buying it. The charging kit is sold separately, but it can be plugged in with a cord to a USB charger. The tail-end push button switch can select for high power, strobe, or low power. The head has an anti-roll design. The long pocket clip is removable. Price: w/ CR123A Batteries, $77.29, w/ USB Rechargeable 18650 Batteries $82.99 [1.b].

Evacuation Aids

When an emergency requires getting those in attendance to shelter within the building (such as a tornado warning) or out of the building (such as during a fire), some individuals may not be able to move on their own or find their way. These include infants and small children, as well as mobility-impaired and injured persons. Evacuation aids are available for helping them. Three of these are on the Sheepdog Church Security Store: LA Baby The Condo Metal Evacuation Window Crib, LINE2design Stair Chair 70010-BL Emergency Evacuation Medical Transport Chair, and Brand New World WR99 Safety Walking Rope.

The Condo Metal Evacuation Window Crib by LA Baby

This has an all-metal frame with a baked-on finish - no worry about toxic paint. The height of the mattress support can be adjusted according to the age and size of the infants. It has casters that can be locked for use in the nursery or day care, or be unlocked for moving the occupied crib to another room, to shelter, or out of the building. By the way, here is where it pays to have the nursery and/or day care on a floor with a ground level exit. Price: $219.00 [1.c]

LINE2design Stair Chair 70010-BL Emergency Evacuation Medical Transport Chair

It's easy enough to carry a baby or toddler out of a building or down to the tornado shelter, but what about older children or adults who are unable for whatever reason to move out on their own? The person can sit in a chair while two men carry it, but what about narrow doors and stairways?

There are wheeled chairs designed to be taken up or down steps. The Sheepdog Church Security Store has the LINE2design Stair Chair 70010-BL Emergency Evacuation Medical Transport Chair. It has a number of features facilitating moving a patient down or up stairs, including handles which can be lowered and extended to make it easier for the rescuer on the lower steps.

This chair also has restraining straps to secure the patient. This makes it safer, keeping the passenger from sliding out. It has a 350-lb. carrying capacity, and folds to 8" thick for easy storage when not in use. Price: $269.95 [1.d].

Brand New World WR99 Safety Walking Rope

Leading young children and cognitively challenged youth and adults from one place to another can be challenging enough under normal circumstances, let alone during an emergency. Keeping them in line and moving toward the destination is critical when called to evacuate or move to an interior shelter.

Having held fire drills and tornado drills helps, but there is more. Most of us have seen lines of pre-school and Kindergarten children moving down a sidewalk in a line holding on to a rope or cord with a teacher or assistant at either end. That is the principle used in the Brand New World WR99 Safety Walking Rope, which is in the Sheepdog Church Security Store.

Using the Safety Walking Rope for exploratory walks trains children to use it and stay together in an emergency. Made of web nylon and over 12 feet long, it has handholds in pairs for 12 persons. Two of these can be linked via Velcro for a longer rope. Price: $14.29. A shorter version is available for $11.88 [1.e].

Get the free download, Equipped for Success, Essential Equipment for Safety Ministries by following this link:


  1. Sheepdog Church Security Store []:
    1. Mini Pro Maglite [],
    2. Streamlight 88065 Pro Tac [],
    3. Streamlight 18650 Charger Kit[],
    4. LA Baby The Condo Metal Evacuation Window Crib [],
    5. LINE2design Stair Chair 70010-BL Emergency Evacuation Medical Transport Chair [],
    6. Brand New World WR99 Safety Walking Rope [].
  2. Sheepdog Church Security, Training Courses, "Active Shooter Neutralization and Lock Down Drills" [], [].
  3. Sheepdog Church Security, Training Courses, "Arson Prevention and Fire Drills for Churches" [], [].
  4. Sheepdog Church Security, Training Courses, "Severe Weather and Natural Disasters" [], [].