Disaster Response Ministry

 

Your Community, and your county and state, need YOUR congregation to be trained, ready, and in the network to assist in a time of disaster! Let us help you to be connected in the Georgia Emergency Management & UMCOR networks so that your church is prepared to serve in a time of disaster. 

August 30, 2023 Hurricane Idalia Impacts

We are currently in coordination with South GA and Florida Conferences and stand by to support as requested. We pray and prepare as we serve our neighbors in a coordinated relief and recovery effort.

North Georgia January 12 tornado response

Multiple tornados hit a 6 county area, & as of January 17 the National Weather Service and GEMA are still active in assessments. Local ERT quickly responded when requested, & soon ERT from outlying areas responded in an effort coordinated at both local & state levels. Read more here about our significant North Georgia UMC involvement as our communities need us in a time of disaster.  UPDATES HERE. 

Hurricane Ian & Nicole Updates:

Click this link for current information as we continue to support Florida in their disaster recovery.

News Updates

Thank you UMCOR for helping us to help our neighbors in need! Read the exciting story HERE

 Be a Church Ready

for 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. 

We follow the UMCOR ERT training, so these are typically all day on a Saturday in the classroom from around 8:30am-4:30pm for the 1st ERT class, & renewals are usually a half day.

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. 

Current Trainings Offered

Early Response Team (ERT)
Basic Class or Renewal Class

TBA

Advanced Training

TBA

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.

Newnan Long Term Recovery

Exciting News Thank you UMCOR for helping us to help our neighbors in need! Read the exciting story HERE

Network

 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 Assisting in Disaster). This effective partnering helps our prayers, presence, gifts, and service make the most difference in a time of greatest community need.

Giving

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.  

West Point, March 26 Tornado

We are currently in active ERT response assisting in Troup County. Find more of the story HERE including how you can get involved. Look over this page for more information on training and both ERT & LTR ministries.

January 12 Tornado Long Term Recovery

Community ministry is beginning to shift from the early relief work of ERT's into the Long Term Recovery which will require our continued support the next 3-4 years. Look for updates here, in NGUMC news, and HERE as we need many churches supporting this recovery mission of our neighbors here in North Georgia Conference. 

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). 
  4. This is coordinated through the Conference-Disaster Response Coordinators as we partner well for effective early response ministries.

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:

EMERGENCY CALL CHAIN

Of course, it is also extremely important that a pastor and church are also 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.  

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.

Click here for the Connecting Neighbor Curriculum

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 also 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:
https://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies

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For more information

To connect your church in the UMCOR network please contact our North Georgia Conference Disaster Response Coordinators: Rev. Dr. Thom Shores at teachnpreach@hotmail.com or Rev. Scott Parrish at scott.parrish@ngumc.net. You can also call (678) 533-1398.