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

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

Flooding in Arkansas

All Early Response Teams are prepared to respond to the record-breaking flooding in communities along the Arkansas River. UMCOR has awarded a $10,000 solidarity grant to the Arkansas Conference to assist with initial and immediate relief efforts. Clean-outs will be the primary response as waters recede. UMCOR cleaning and hygiene kits and conference trailers stocked with clean up equipment will greatly assist in those efforts.

Tornadoes in Indiana and Ohio

Assessments are being conducted on damage done by a string of devastating tornadoes. UMCOR has awarded a $10,000 solidarity grant to the West Ohio Conference to assist with initial and immediate relief efforts. Early Response Teams are on standby in West Ohio and space for volunteers is being coordinated in Indiana.

Tornadoes and flooding in Oklahoma

UMCOR has awarded $10,000 solidarity grants to both the Oklahoma Conference and the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. The conferences are conducting assessments as areas become accessible, setting up staging areas for volunteer teams to be accommodated and preparing to accept Early Response Teams. UMCOR is in close communication with the conferences as the response continues to unfold.

Severe weather in the midwestern United States

UMCOR remains in close connection with the annual conferences responding to the effects of severe weather this Spring in the midwestern United States. Assessments and support are ongoing in the Iowa, Dakotas, Great Plains, Wisconsin and Mountain Sky conferences.

UMCOR awarded $10,000 solidarity grants and supported Early Response Teams with “Train the Trainer” courses for many of these conferences. Volunteers continue to help in numerous ways: muck out operations, debris removal, supporting temporary shelter operations and working with local partners on next steps in recovery.

Severe weather in the southeastern United States

In states such as Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, disaster preparedness training equipped conferences and churches to respond effectively to tornadoes and flooding. Solidarity grants were awarded, Early Response Teams and relief supply distribution were deployed, case management is underway and assessments for recovery efforts are ongoing.


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.