Prayers for All in the Path of the Storm: North Georgia Response to Harvey

9/7/2017


Updated September 8, 3 p.m.

NOTE: We have received requests for badged ERT Teams in Texas and Louisiana. Currently certified UMCOR Emergency Response Team members can find details under "ERT Teams" below. 

Over the past week the people of the North Georgia Conference have rallied to the aid of our neighbors hit by Hurricane Harvey. They continue even as they begin preparation to give aid to those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Humble servants are volunteering many hours to coordinate our response efforts. Churches are teaming together to do great things. Thanks to the generosity of members, semi trucks have been secured by Gainesville First UMC, Athens First UMC, and Cannon UMC to take UMCOR Buckets and Kits from North Georgia to the regional UMCOR warehouse in Alabama. This is all significant because our North Georgia "warehouse" is more like a storage unit that can only accommodate a box truck. It would take personal vehicles numerous trips to get all of our donations to Alabama.

We have numbers of churches engaging their communities so that schools, businesses, and individuals can join together with the church in the lead. Small churches, and big churches, and churches all across the conference are stepping up. Many are emphasizing UMCOR and how our working together makes a difference. And it's all continuing to develop and gain momentum as we encourage one another in loving God, and loving our neighbors (as we do ourselves) in this response to this historic hurricane.

Prayer and Giving

As the North Georgia Disaster Response Team coordinates across the Conference and across the connection, two priorities continue to rise to the top: Prayer and UMCOR funding. 

Donations can be made to UMCOR through any North Georgia Conference United Methodist Church. Clearly mark "UMCOR: US Disaster Response" (Fund Number 4390). Or give online at UMCOR's website.

ERT Teams

We have received our first requests for UMCOR trained Early Response Teams in Texas and Louisiana. As you make plans, also consider that we be most useful to Hurricane Irma response.
  • The Rio Texas Conference is asking for currently certified ERT members for help with debris removal of down trees and roof tarping. Many homes have water damage from damaged windows and roofs.  Teams will base out of Corpus Christi and should register at https://riotexas.org/ert-volunteer-team-registration. ERT trained individuals/small groups not part of a team should register at https://riotexas.org/ert-individual-and-small-group-signup
  • The Louisiana Conference is now scheduling trained and badged ERT's for Hurricane Harvey response. Please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UMCVolunteerRegistration to register.
  • The Texas Annual Conference is ready to receive volunteer teams to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief.  The work consists mainly of cleaning out flooded homes and requires extensive physical labor.  We would prefer that at least one member of your team be ERT trained.  Teams should bring their own protective gear and tools.  All members need proof of Safe Sanctuary training and clear background check from your local United Methodist Church.  You will be housed at a host church in the conference.  Team leaders can register their team athttp://www.txcumc.org/newsdetail/disaster-volunteer-team-registration-9275846

Many communities in the path of Hurricane Harvey are still in the emergency phase, and in this phase local emergency responders and community officials control the response and will let us know what they need and when they need us. This will take time to play out, and will require our time and attention long after the fact.

At this point, we encourage anyone interested in volunteering, to join the work in Lumberton, NC or any of the Hurricane Matthew devastated areas as the need is great and our best energy can be put to work right now! (Click here to read more about needs in Lumberton and how to volunteer.)

Relief Supplies 

UMCOR has let us know that there is a need for Relief Supplies. Find assembly instructions at www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies. If your church is assembling Relief Kits, contact Terry Raymond. He may be reached at terry767@bellsouth.net.

In addition to UMCOR Relief Kits, please consider donating items for muck-out listed below. NOTE: UMCOR can accept only new items for distribution.
  • Box fans (To dry out houses following flooding.)
  • 25’ heavy duty 14 gauge extension cords (To move the fans around inside a home)
  • 2 gallon garden sprayers (To fight mildew and mold)
  • Flat billed shovels (Remove mud, wet carpet, pads, sheet rock insulation, etc.)
  • Rakes with 3” tines (Remove tree limbs, leaves and muck from inside homes and yards)
  • Wheel barrows (2 wheels, so they will not turn over going to the street)

Congregations are invited to send UMCOR Relief Kits or muck-out material to satellite/hub receiving sites (below). Those supplies will then to be transported to the regional Decatur, Ala. warehouse, then on to Sager Brown and Houston region. 

Satellite locations receiving buckets/ kits/ and requested supplies during weekday business hours:
  • Trinity UMC Rome, 606 Turner Mccall Boulevard, Rome, GA 30165-2718
  • Gainesville First, 2780 Thompson Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506
  • Athens First, 327 N Lumpkin St, Athens, GA 30601
  • Covington First, 1113 Conyers St., Covington, GA 30014
  • Cannon UMC Snellville, 2424 Webb Gin House Road, Snellville, GA 30078
  • Hamilton Mill UMC, 1450 Pine Rd., Dacula, GA 30019
  • Powder Springs UMC, 4329 Marietta St., Powder Springs, GA 30127
  • Wesley UMC, 825 North Belair Rd., Evans, GA 30809
  • Trinity on the Hill UMC, 1330 Monte Sano Ave., Augusta, GA 30904
  • Thomson First UMC, 353 Main St., Thomson, GA 30824
  • Elijay First UMC, 75 McCutchen St., Ellijay, GA 30540
  • Hillside UMC, 4474 Towne Lake Pkwy., Woodstock, GA 30189
  • Barnesville First UMC, 375 Thomaston St., Barnesville, GA 30204
  • Cornerstone UMC Newnan, 2956 Highway 154, Newnan, GA 30265
  • Conyers First UMC, 921 Main St, Conyers, GA 30012
Don't see a drop-off location near your church? Look out for a date mid-September to bring your kits to a central intown-Atlanta location for transport to the Alabama warehouse.

I serve as North Georgia Conference disaster response coordinator and may be reached at scott.parrish@ngumc.net.

Rev. Scott Parrish
Associate Director of Connectional Ministries
Disaster Response Coordinator

 



From UMCOR:

Five Ways to Help Following Harvey

As United Methodists from across the country offer support and await an invitation to assist the Early Response Teams and disaster coordinators in Harvey clean up and recovery, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) shares five ways we can help now:

5 Things We Can Do Now

1. Please continue to pray for those whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. Please also pray for the first responders, Early Response Teams, disaster coordinators, and many volunteers in the Texas, Louisiana, Rio Texas, and Central Texas Annual Conferences who are working tirelessly to provide relief after Harvey.

2. Make relief kits. There is an immediate need for UMCOR relief supplies. Find instructions at www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies

3. Give. You can give through any North Georgia Conference United Methodist Church. Clearly mark the donation "UMCOR: US Disaster Response." (Note: Fund Number 4390.) Or give online at UMCOR's website.

4. Donate only those items requested.

5. Please wait for an invitation to volunteer.
 



August 26 Update

Prayers for All in Path of Storm

Prayers for all in who are in the cone of uncertainty. I have been in the cone several times, and it is incredibly nerve-wracking. Special prayers for those who must evacuate. May all be safe and the damage minor. 
—Bishop Sue


Catherine G. Earl, United Methodist Committee on Relief's Director of Disaster Response, has updated us ahead of Hurricane Harvey.

She shared that UMCOR is already in contact with the Annual Conferences in the path of Hurricane Harvey along the Gulf Coast. These conferences are prayerfully coordinating their planning, supplies and response activities.

Other nearby Conferences are connecting to UMCOR, its relief supply system and budgetary support as they plan for shelters along the evacuation routes.

Early response teams are on alert, and churches to house those teams during the relief phase are being identified.

Please pray for them and help get the message out to wait for clear decisions and invitations before sending donations or volunteers to impacted communities. They know you will respond to support them if help is needed! 


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