!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511b6a076970c-320wi|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511b6a076970c-320wi|alt=Mother's Day at Messiah|style=margin: 0px 0px 5px 5px;|title=Mother's Day at Messiah|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef01a511b6a076970c img-responsive!Every Mother’s Day Messiah Baptist Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where I grew up, hosts a breakfast in Fellowship Hall in honor of the mothers and all the women of the church. The men of Messiah roll up their sleeves and spend hours in the church’s industrial-style kitchen preparing a feast for more than 100. I attended on Sunday with my mother and an aunt–my father set tables and poured coffee–and enjoyed the plate of fish cakes, buttermilk biscuits, sausage links, and scrambled eggs set before me.
Later, on my way across the room to the kitchen to ask my father to refresh our coffee, I noticed a sign posted in bold letters next to the double doors that led to the church’s back parking lot–the Fire Escape Plan, letting us know what to do if we had to get out. NFPA’s escape planning information, how-to guide for making an escape plan, cooking safety information, and tips sheets on safety in places of public assembly, and escape planning are tools to help us be prepared for an emergency whether we are assembled in small or large numbers.
The hard work the men put in for Mother’s Day breakfast will have its reward. The roles will be reversed on Father’s Day. It’s comforting to know that all participants will be able to refer to the posted escape plan if necessary.
!http://i.zemanta.com/201056632_80_80.jpg|src=http://i.zemanta.com/201056632_80_80.jpg|alt=|style=margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px currentColor; width: 80px; display: block; max-width: 100%;!NFPA offers new video on safety in places of public assembly