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 NGOs, volunteers, experts, local government and other organizations can help communities recover from disaster.

Bolster Response
Efforts

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

Severe weather and tornadoes in southeastern United States

In Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, disaster preparedness training equipped conferences and churches to respond to disaster effectively. ERTs and relief supply distribution are on standby as assessments are made.

Severe weather in the Midwest

The United Methodist Committee on Relief is in close connection with the annual conferences responding to severe weather in the midwestern United States.

The Great Plains Conference was awarded a $10,000 solidarity grant and we are beginning assessments on how to best support relief efforts as they develop.

Assessments are ongoing in the Iowa conference and we are supporting them with Emergency Response Team “Train the Trainer” courses.

Once weather permits, assessments will begin in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Mountain Sky conferences. We await reports from other partners as they work with other district and state response teams. As we receive more information we will provide updates here and on our social media channels.

Continued response efforts in the Southeast 

Meanwhile, recovery efforts in the Alabama-West Florida Conference continue after the March 3 tornado outbreak. In Lee County alone volunteers are assisting by providing pastoral care, overnight shelters, food supplies and financial support. UMCOR sent a trailer of supplies and issued a $10,000 solidarity grant immediately after the storm. We continue to provide supplies as requested by the district Disaster Response Coordinator.

Please continue to pray for those affected by the storms, consider a donation to UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response and visit the conference website to volunteer your time. (Because response time rapidly changes, please check this site before sending a group to assist.)

  • UMCOR has awarded a solidarity grant of $10,000 to the Mississippi Conference and Alabama-West Florida Conference as they actively engage early response teams to clean up following a tornado and flooding. Those wishing to support can give to the UMCOR US Disaster Response.
  • UMCOR has deployed personnel to support the Tennessee Conference as they assess damage from the same storm system and consider their response.
  • Alaska Conference received a solidarity grant of $10,000 following an earthquake on Nov. 30, 2018. UMCOR has responded to requests for training and other support.
  • Reports of mandatory evacuations are coming in from the California-Nevada Conference, which has requested UMCOR support.
  • UMCOR awarded $100,000 to the Ecumenical Seminary of Puerto Rico to repair disaster-caused damage to residential housing for students and faculty.
  • Pacific Northwest Conference received a solidarity grant of $10,000 to provide relief services and cleanup on behalf of those affected by a tornado.



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 andvolunteer 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 use the form linked 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

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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.