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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Making UMCOR-approved hygiene or school supply kits as well as Conference-specific cleaner air kits, soot sponge kits or ash sifters offers various ways for people aged 5 to 105 to make a tangible impact. The Oregon-Idaho Conference is also asking for churches to thoughtfully consider becoming storage sites for these kits and other supplies that may need to be deployed at a moment’s notice. Louise Kienzle (email@example.com) Oregon-Idaho Conference United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) coordinator, is leading this effort.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Other disaster planning resources for local churches/teams
OR-ID Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan - guidance for planning at all levels.
Functional Checklists - broken out from the Basic Plan as guides for actions you may be required to take in different phases of a crisis, when danger is immanent or has occurred, and for preparation of necessary after- action reports:
- Local Church and other Ministry Actions
- District Superintendent Actions
- Mission and Ministry Coordinator Actions
- Episcopal Actions
- Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Actions
- Conference Volunteers in Mission Coordinator Actions
- Assessment Guide
- Disaster Ministry Handbook - Jamie Aten and David Boan, codirectors of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, provide a practical guide for disaster preparedness.
- Protecting Houses of Worship - FEMA has developed a series of resources for faith and community leaders to assist with preparing for various emergency situations.
Typical Role of UMCOR in Different Phases of Disaster - a guide of what to expect from UMCOR in responding to different levels of disaster.
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.