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

Get Involved

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.

Active Responses

Tropical Storm Barry

As Tropical Storm Barry threatens the gulf coast, please join us in prayer for those that have already been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding. UMCOR is in close communication with disaster response coordinators in the region. Emergency Response Teams are standing by and prepared to respond when needed (reminder to all ERT teams to please not self-deploy). As we continue to monitor the progress of the storm and its potential impact, we will share ways in which you can help.

Flooding, Illinois Great Rivers Conference
Assessments are ongoing as areas become accessible. UMCOR is participating in statewide volunteer coordination and is engaged in partnerships including Illinois VOAD. Methodist volunteers are organizing from within the conference.

Flooding, Great Plains Conference
UMCOR is supporting response efforts with a solidarity grant as well as recovery group trainings in cooperation with other partners.

  • Assessments are ongoing
  • 7 Early Response Teams are completing muck out and debris removal for 112 homes
  • Working in Peabody, Mulvane, Douglas, Rose Hill and Augusta
  • 750 UMCOR cleanup kits distributed across affected areas
  • 3 Early Response Teams are completing muck out of 60 homes in Columbus and Fremont
  • Transitioning from relief phase to recovery phase
  • Methodists are participating in developing long-term recovery committees

Shooting, Virginia Conference
Following the Virginia Beach shooting, UMCOR continues to provide crisis counseling in partnership with 15 Methodist clergy.

Flooding, Arkansas Conference
UMCOR is supporting response efforts with a solidarity grant. Assessments are continuing in Ft. Smith and volunteers are assisting with muck out, clean up and debris removal as well as distribution of 1,440 clean-up buckets and 1,300 hygiene kits. UMCOR completed “Just in Time” training as well as Early Response Team and Muck Out training across the state. Long-term recovery strategizing and planning is beginning.

Flooding, Missouri Conference
Over 600 relief kits have been distributed. Volunteers are deployed, and muck outs are taking place.

Flooding, Texas Conference
UMCOR is assessing and evaluating needs in the McAllen area.

Flooding, Tornadoes and Storms, Mississippi Conference
UMCOR is supporting the conference though ongoing recovery efforts such as clean-up/repair/reconstruction, volunteer management and case management. Volunteer teams are being accepted.

Tornadoes, West Ohio Conference
UMCOR is supporting response efforts with a solidarity grant. Volunteers are organizing to provide debris removal and clean up. Churches are providing hospitality.

 Flooding, Iowa Conference
Assessments are ongoing and UMCOR is supporting the conference through the establishment of Early Response Team “Train the Trainer” courses. The conference is in communication with districts, state VOAD and other partners. They are also accepting volunteers. Contact Catie Newman at disaster.response@iaumc.org.

Flooding, Dakotas Conference
UMCOR is providing relief assistance on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota through the distribution of relief items and the coordination of debris removal and clean-up projects.

Ongoing Response


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.

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.