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 (UMCOR)/ United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (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 raise team funds and agree to attend training sessions conducted by the team leader prior to departure.
What do early response teams do?
• Provide a Christian presence... this does not sound like a task...and it is not, however it can be the most important thing a team can do • Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property (stabilize) • Tarping • Debris removal • Cleaning out of flooded homes • Teams may be asked to manage donated materials, gather information or other things as deemed necessary by the community • Observe survivor’s needs and report these to the local operations • Be a part of the caring ministry of “listeners” who will help the survivor begin to heal
We need certified ERTs to respond to disasters in the days after they happen.
The Mississippi Annual Conference—empowered by love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship—forms spiritual leaders, faith communities and connections so more disciples of Jesus Christ transform the world.