Disaster Response News Update

3/30/2016

Bishop Swanson Message on March Flooding

Several Mississippi Conference disaster relief coordinators continue to be on-site assessing damage following flash flooding on March 10 and 11. In a video message to the conference, Bishop James Swanson Sr. offers some ways that you can consider aiding these efforts as teams partake in this important ministry. Click here to watch the video.
 
Early Response Team Training
April 23, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Maples Memorial UMC, 8745 Goodman Road, Olive Branch, MS 38654. Register at: http://bit.ly/1T4n39J. Cost is $40.00. 0.5 CEUs available to clergy for an additional $10.00.
 
April 30, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Lewis Memorial UMC, 198 Taylor Avenue, Calhoun City, MS 38916. Register at: http://bit.ly/1Pnc04H. Cost is $40. 0.5 CEUs available to clergy for an additional $10.00.
 
The mission of an Early Response Team (ERT) is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster. 
 
An early response team fills a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the caring presence of the church and to provide hope for the survivors. Through the United Methodist Committee on Relief and the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMCOR/UMVIM) partnership, you can serve with a team (typically 10-16 persons) or as an individual. Volunteers need to be in relatively good health, complete an application form, willing to pay his/her own way or help to raise team funds, and agree to attend training sessions conducted by the team leader prior to departure.
 
What will members of these Early Response Teams be trained to do?

  • They provide a Christian presence. This does not sound like a task and is NOT. However it can be the MOST important thing a team can do.
  • They take steps to prevent further damage to a family's personal property (stabilize):
- Tarping
- Debris removal
- Cleaning out flooded homes
  • Teams may be asked to manage donated materials, gather information, or other things as deemed necessary by the community.
  • They observe survivor's needs and report these to the local operations.
  • They are a part of the caring ministry of "listeners" who will help the survivor begin to heal.
We need certified ERTs to respond to disaster in the days after they happen. For more details, contact ERT Trainer, Rev. CJ Caufiled, siege.caufield@gmail.com or 601-940-7272.