United States Disaster Response

When disasters happen, it is local churches that provide the first response to their communities. This basic understanding – that disaster response is local – forms the foundation for UMCOR’s U.S. disaster training and response efforts.

When responding to a disaster in the United States, UMCOR works with the conference disaster response ministries to provide the following:

  • Financial assistance - emergency grants may be sent when a bishop of the affected conference contacts UMCOR;
  • Expertise - UMCOR's disaster-response experience and knowledge are made available to those in need;
  • Networking - connections with volunteers, experts, local government and other organizations can help communities recover from disaster.

Bolster Response
Efforts

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Current Disaster Response

UMCOR and its partners are responding to disasters in the United States every day. Please join us in prayer for the affected areas and consider giving to UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response to support these efforts. View our “Active Response Map” below and check for live updates on how you can assist beyond financial giving. 

Hurricane Sally

In response to the major flooding caused by Hurricane Sally, UMCOR is in contact with conference disaster response coordinators in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. UMCOR is helping to meet immediate needs with financial support, awarding a solidarity grant to the Alabama-West Florida Conference. More than 1,600 cleaning kits from the warehouse in Decatur, Alabama – two truck loads full – have been sent to the impacted areas. The dedicated work of local emergency response teams and conference disaster response coordinators is sustaining the relief effort at this time.

Hurricane Laura

UMCOR awarded solidarity grants to the Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi Conferences to meet immediate needs. UMCOR-trained Emergency Response Teams are present and working in effected areas. As the response continues, UMCOR will work with conference disaster response coordinators and help coordinate cleaning kit distribution as well as supplies and PPE for volunteers. As the recovery for this storm will take years, UMCOR will also provide case management services.

Wildfires in the West

UMCOR is in communication with the affected annual conferences across multiple states as they face and respond to the massive spread of wildfires. Solidarity grants have been awarded to the Pacific Northwest and Oregon-Idaho Conferences.

Midwest U.S. Derecho

Relief efforts for the widespread damage caused by the mighty high-wind storm, or “derecho,” in places such as Iowa and Illinois are being organized by UMCOR-trained conference disaster response coordinators. Emergency response teams have been deployed and UMCOR is in communication with the impacted conferences. A solidarity grant has been awarded to the Iowa Conference.

Hurricane Isaias

Through the Caribbean and all along the eastern coast of the United States, heavy wind, rain, flooding and tornadoes brought damage.

Puerto Rico was hit hard while still engaged in recovery from Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, the December 2019/January 2020 Hurricane swarm, and a major economic disruption related to COVID-19. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to support the response efforts of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (MCPR).

Emergency response teams have been deployed in many states. UMCOR is working with the North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania/Delaware and Eastern Pennsylvania Conferences. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the North Carolina Conference to support their response to coastal damage and tornado recovery.

Hurricane Hanna

UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to undergird the relief and response of the Rio Texas Conference. The conference deployed emergency response teams and received cleaning kits for flood-affected households.

Flooding in Michigan

UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to the Michigan Conference in response to the flooding brought on by heavy rains and dam failures in central Michigan in late May. The grant provided material support for early response teams as they stabilized, secured and cleaned out the homes of many survivors as well as personal protective equipment for responding United Methodist churches. UMCOR-trained case managers are working alongside clients as they navigate recovery.

Southeastern U.S. storms and tornadoes

In response to the deadly storms that swept across many southern states in the spring, UMCOR awarded solidarity grants the Tennessee Conference, Mississippi Conference, North Alabama Conference, South Carolina Conference and North Georgia Conference to support initial relief efforts. UMCOR continues to be in close communication with conferences during recovery efforts. A recovery grant has been awarded to the Tennessee Conference for the March 2 tornadoes and hail storm.

 



UMCOR will provide further updates as they become available. For the most up to date information, follow the UMCOR Facebook page.


Ongoing Response

 

Earthquakes in Puerto Rico

Leaders and staff of the Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico and ReHace IMPR have assisted those impacted by the devastating earthquakes that struck Puerto Rico in early 2020 by addressing urgent needs, providing shelter, distributing supplies, and conducting assessments and outreach. UMCOR awarded a solidarity grant to undergird initial response efforts.

Hurricane Dorian


Solidarity grants have been awarded to UMCOR partners including the Florida and North Carolina conferences and the Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church to assist with response efforts.

Wildfires in California (2017-18)

UMCOR supported the California-Pacific and California-Nevada annual conferences as they responded to the needs of those affected by the devastating wildfires of 2017 and 2018. Grants were awarded totaling over $1.5 million for response and recovery ministries. UMCOR training and consultation is ongoing.

Hurricane Michael (2018)

UMCOR partners are continuing their local recovery in response to Hurricane Michael in the Alabama-West Florida, South Georgia and Florida annual conferences. UMCOR solidarity grants were awarded to support initial response efforts in the Alabama-West Florida and Florida conferences. Additionally, recovery grants were approved in the amounts of $118,271 for the Florida Conference and $617,368 for the Alabama-West Florida Conference to support vital survivor services, including disaster case management, reconstruction and volunteer coordination. UMCOR is supporting these conferences as they develop and plan to resource their long-term recovery programs.

Hurricane Florence (2018)

UMCOR awarded $10,000 solidarity grants to the North Carolina and South Carolina annual conferences to support response efforts. Recovery grants were approved in the amounts of $825,050 for South Carolina and $1,428,000 for North Carolina to support vital survivor services, including disaster case management, reconstruction and volunteer coordination. In the North Carolina and South Carolina conferences, recovery programs were launched in January 2019. UMCOR continues to support these conferences with training, consultation and further development.

Hurricane Maria (2017)

From the outset of the storm, UMCOR has worked closely with the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico to develop of a comprehensive plan for recovery. This has included support for disaster case management, direct assistance, volunteer coordination, materials and supplies, and contracted construction services. UMCOR and the MCPR are currently serving communities in 25 municipalities throughout the island. UMCOR has awarded grants and relief supplies totaling over $20 million. For more information or to schedule a volunteer team, please follow the link below.

Hurricane Harvey (2017)

UMCOR has awarded partners in Texas and Louisiana grants totaling over $13.8 million to aid in the recovery of 12,603 survivors.

Hurricane Irma (2017)

UMCOR has awarded $9.1 million to the Florida Conference to support its comprehensive recovery program that seeks to aid the recovery of 10,320 survivors.

Disaster Response Map


More News and Stories

Flood victims savor 'God moments'

In the midst of recovery efforts from devastating flooding, communities throughout the Midwestern United States are seeing God in one another through small acts of service.

Puerto Rico recovers from 2017 hurricanes, aided by UMCOR, UMVIM

The month of September marks two years since Hurricane Maria brought widespread destruction to Puerto Rico. The recovery has progressed steadily, thanks largely to the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, and with the help of UMCOR training and funding and more than 200 Volunteer in Mission teams.

UMCOR assists with 2018 hurricane recovery

United Methodists in North Carolina and Alabama-West Florida are undertaking large-scale recovery programs for those affected by U.S. hurricanes in 2018, with assistance from the United Methodist Committee on Relief.