Disaster kits in short supply across Oregon-Idaho Conference


With wildfire season beginning across the west, the hope and prayer is always that everyone stays safe. But the reality is, our churches and communities need to be ready to respond.

While – knock on wood – no fires are posing immediate threats to churches and communities across the Oregon-Idaho Conference this moment, interim disaster response coordinator Louise Kienzle is sounding the alarm bell for churches to start creating more disaster response kits as the supply is woefully low.

If and or when a disaster strikes, community volunteer organizations usually seek out the support of United Methodist Churches because of its well-known reputation for disaster response. The support our churches usually provide comes in the form of disaster kits: everything from hygiene kits to soot sponge kits to school supply kits.

When disasters strike, families are left with very little and the church can play a part in making life a little easier. Kienzle said the Oregon-Idaho Conference only has about 100 disaster kits – of varying supplies – in storage around the Conference, which simply isn’t enough for a potential season of wildfires.

Visit the Oregon-Idaho Mission Opportunities website to learn more about the UMCOR-approved disaster kits a local church can create. Also reach out to Kienzle at drc@umoi.org for more information.

Another great way to help would be to contribute to the Oregon-Idaho Conference disaster response fund. Money in the Designated Disaster Response Fund is used to help survivors with monetary needs, for example: providing gift cards for immediate needs, helping to pay temporary housing, helping to cover rebuild/repair costs, furniture, personal items and so much more. This money is offered as cases are presented at the Unmet Needs Table throughout the course of the recovery process, often years.


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