Disaster Response + Preparedness

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”  
Proverbs 3: 27

Helping your church and community prepare for and respond to disasters is one of the many ways we as United Methodists in the Greater Northwest Area put our love of God into action.

We are living in a time when it seems there is one disaster after the next – flooding, wildfires, global warming, a pandemic and so much more. That is why Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky has made disaster response and preparedness – caring for our earth and communities – a missional priority of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area.

This webpage aims to be a resource for local churches in The Oregon-Idaho Conference, offering opportunities to act our faith in tangible ways.

Louise Kienzle, serves as The Oregon-Idaho Interim Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. Email her at drc@umoi.org.



Connecting Neighbors: Get your church involved!

One church can make a huge impact on the community. In times of strife, a church can become a community center, a warming shelter, church members can use prayer chains to connect with congregants who may be stranded, etc. This UMCOR-developed training empowers local churches to be leaders in preparing their congregants, preparing the church and serving their surrounding community.

What is Connecting Neighbors?

Making + storing supply kits (UMCOR) & more

Oregon-Idaho and the Greater Northwest are experiencing more disasters then ever before. With the closing of UMCOR West in Salt Lake City, getting UMCOR disaster relief kits is taking much longer. We can’t plan when a disaster will happen or what that disaster will be, but we can begin to build a supply of disaster kits to be available for immediate needs.

Plan a kit building activity in your church or community. Contact Louise Kienzle to learn what kits are needed and coordinate delivery to a conference Storage Center.  

Disaster Kits:

Contact Louise Kienzle →

Volunteer your time on an ERT or UMVIM team

Volunteers are also needed to respond to communities in times of crisis or in times of clean-up and rebuilding. Conferences deploy Early Response Teams (ERTs) to help after a disaster strikes and United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) groups help with the rebuilding phase. Both require some training to get involved. For those who have a passion for this kind of hands-and-feet-of-Jesus ministry. Again, contact Louise Kienzle at umvim@umoi.org.

Give generously: Support Disaster Response

Sometimes the greatest help you can offer is through your generosity. Our disaster ministries are only made possible through your financial support of UMCOR and our Conference funds. These are:

  • UMCOR Advance #901670 - source of funds for grants to support needs within the U.S. and Caribbean region. Make your contribution at the link.
  • Conference Disaster Response Fund - Fund #260; provides funds for preparedness and response within the Conference. Make your gift to Conference Advance #260 through your church, or give online here.
  • Conference Early Response Teams (ERT) Support Fund - Fund #261; provides support to help defray costs for Early Response Team preparedness and deployment. Make your gift to Conference Advance #261 through your church.

UMOI Disaster Response Fund

Other disaster planning resources for local churches/teams

OR-ID Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan - guidance for planning at all levels.

Other references:

We need your review and comments of our Conference plan to make this plan and related resources meaningful for your local, district, or conference level of responsibility. Direct your comments to the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, your District Superintendent, or Conference administrator, as appropriate.