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Disaster Response Ministry



"Giving Help, Hope and Healing to Survivors of Disaster"

Connect to:
Our North Georgia Conference Disaster Response Coordinators: Rev. Dr. Thom Shores at teachnpreach@hotmail.com or Rev. Scott Parrish at scott.parrish@ngumc.net

Be in Disaster Response Ministry

What is the first step to become active:

Our UMCOR trained ERT trainers are volunteers who offer the beginning class, ERT renewals, and 200 level classes in locations across North GA. With our few trainers we, who are also ERT team leaders and deploy, we seek to make the training & networking available in locations which make disaster response ministry accessible to all of our 800 North Georgia churches. 

Current Trainings Offered

Early Response Team (ERT)
Basic Class and Renewal Class

Beginner ERT Class

Details TBA

Renewal ERT

Clyde Almy will be offering a Zoom renewal ERT soon. Details TBA.

Please contact Rev. Dr. Thom Shores at teachnpreach@hotmail.com to have your church host an ERT or Renewal class for your district & the conference. 

UMCOR Early Response Team (ERT) Training

What is an Early Response Team (ERT)?

While ERTs are not first responders, they fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise prevent further damage, while providing a caring Christian presence.

Latest News

Newnan Long Term Recovery

Teams are needed to assist with the homes damaged by the March 25, 2021 tornado. 

Teams and individuals wishing to serve should contact Melanie Reeves at RiverLife (678) 796-8840. 

Melanie Reeves can let a team leader know what the present requested needs are and then coordinate with your team to help fill those needs. One reminder is always be flexible as needs can change rather quickly.  There is a great need for volunteers willing to do framing, hang and finish sheetrock, and install flooring, windows and siding.  Newnan can use licensed plumbers, electricians, and general contractors willing to donate their time.  There is also a need for skilled individuals that are willing to lead volunteer groups.

Spring 2021 

The tornadoes and strong winds that hit Newnan & area counties on March 26 have taken all of our attention! Thank you to the many churches who've sent ER Teams, shared funding, or shared prayers. We'll continue assisting in Newnan with Long Term Recovery efforts and may need your ongoing assistance in the months ahead. Find more of the story & ways you can help HERE

Winter 2021

It's already been an early start to severe weather as we had tornadoes in Georgia in late January & then potential for severe weather in early March. Please be weather aware, stay current with conditions in your locale, & have a plan!

UMVIM has recently updated their COVID policy for mission teams & for host sites. Be aware of this if you plan to send any mission teams from your church this summer. You may also find helpful practices and language in the document as your church returns to normal mission and ministry. 

COVID 19 Resources:

CDC offers the following general considerations to help communities of faith discern how best to practice their beliefs while keeping their staff and congregations safe.  Millions of Americans embrace worship ... MORE

Guidance for Early Response Teams during COVID-19

UMCOR USDR understands that early response team members who are not infected with the COVID-19 virus or may
have already recovered from the virus want to help. Every state and territory is now under a federal disaster declaration;
most states have shelter in place and social distancing guidelines. These general guidelines for early response teams are designed so you can effectively help volunteers through this crisis ... MORE

What you should know about COVID-19 to
protect yourself and others


CDC Interim Guidance for General Population Disaster Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated UMVIM Guidelines for Project Sites & Team Leaders during COVID-19

NGA Deployment Procedures

Disaster Response Teams working through The United Methodist Church are known for arriving early and being among the last to leave in times of disaster. By coordinating with local and national response organizations and following established protocols, the United Methodist connection is effective and useful. Here is the deployment procedure for ERTs (Early Response Teams):

  1. ERTs from within the affected Conference are deployed first (if available).

  2. When additional ERTs are needed from outside that Conference they will request assistance from the Conferences in their Jurisdiction. (Contiguous conferences first and then outward.) 

  3. Should additional teams become necessary from outside the affected Jurisdiction then notification will come from the Jurisdictional UMVIM coordinators (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission). 

Connecting Neighbors

The Connecting Neighbors curriculum consists of an overview of disaster ministry with three units and supporting handouts.

Module 1: Ready Congregants focuses on preparing individuals and families to be disaster-ready. 
Module 2: Ready Churches emphasizes the importance of protecting church property and the people within the property, before and immediately following a disaster, and of appropriate use of church property in disaster response. 
Module 3: Ready Response encourages churches to explore their capacity for various disaster response ministries and to consider ways to engage community partners.

Connecting Neighbor Curriculum

Teams Needed!

There is an ongoing need for church mission teams across the southeast and the United States. For disaster response, this can range from early response teams to long term recovery, i.e. rebuilding including flooring, sheetrock, etc. There are thousands of underinsured and uninsured homeowners who need our assistance in NC, SC, GA, AL, and FL where whole communities have been devastated by hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding over the last two years. We need every North Georgia church to send a team or be part of a team! Just be sure to add heightened COVID-19 protocols to your mission.

The current UMVIM disaster response project list including contacts is here.

Each annual conference has a disaster response page, and those impacted by disaster run their response and are always the best contact AFTER they invite in outside ERT and conferences. 

NGA Emergency Call Chain

Immediately following a disaster in our Conference, the pastor of a local church inspects damage to any/all church property and makes two phone calls to:

a) The District Superintendent

b) The Trustee Chairperson for their local church (Trustee Chairperson contacts the insurance company for the local church and begins deliberations according to church's policy.)

See the full call chain below:


Of course, it is also extremely important that a pastor and church are aware of the community needs during a disaster and engaged in appropriate ministry. Your conference disaster response teams can help your church to be in ministry to the community as we bring our expertise, trained personnel, and tools and resources to help your church help your community.  

North Georgia Warehouse

The Conference Disaster Response Warehouse is open by appointment to volunteer groups of 8 or fewer. Churches delivering Cleaning Buckets should make an appointment in advance with the warehouse manager and bring no more than 8 volunteers to unload the delivery.

Masks are mandatory and must be worn throughout time volunteering and practice social distancing. 

Please make an appointment with Dr. Stephen Redmond redmond09@aol.com at 678-428-7997.

We are grateful for the support of North Georgia churches in the warehouse ministry! In 2019 we had 213 volunteers from 23 churches representing 10 districts work over 1000 hours! In 2020, the work shifted to COVID-save protocols and small, distanced groups, but the ministry continued. 

Learn more about the disaster warehouse ministry here.

We are grateful for churches and individuals who financially support the NGA Disaster Response Warehouse through NGUMC Advance #7510.

Relief Supply Kits 

Check with the warehouse BEFORE your church builds kits as needs change due to demand. Find instructions for UMCOR relief kits at:

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Your prayers and your financial gift to UMCOR is the very best help as we coordinate with our partners across the United States. Find updates and a giving platform for UMCOR here or donate to your church and designate Advance #901670 for UMCOR US response and recovery, or to North GA Advance #4040.  


 North Georgia Conference works in coordination with UMCOR, our sister UMC conferences, with Georgia Emergency Management & the county EMAs, and with state & national VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster).