UMCOR and disaster response


When disasters strike in the United States or Internationally, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responds.
But unlike past practice, UMCOR no longer accepts donations designated for specific disasters or location. Instead, all donations for disasters go into two common pools, either for U.S. Disaster Response (Advance # 901670) or International Disaster Response (Advance # 982450) so they can be prioritized within those areas of ministry. This practice creates a fast and effective way to make certain the full resources of UMCOR can be made available for disaster needs.
Disaster response is only part of the UMCOR mission. Elevating poverty and hunger, global health, and sustainable development are part of the long-term strategy of UMCOR. More information for these and other areas of focus for UMCOR can be found on their website.

Response starts in the annual conference

Port Orchard Tornado Damage
Tornado Damage in Port Orchard WA. (Cindy Haverkamp photo)
UMCOR relies on each annual conference to prepare and take actions necessary to anticipate disaster areas most at risk within their conference. There are resources available on the Oregon-Idaho Conference website to help individuals and churches prepare for disaster.
Disasters may be very extensive or localized and relatively small in scale. UMCOR works with the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator to determine what assistance may be needed, or if the disaster may be determined to be within the capability of the affected annual conference. For that reason, each annual conference is expected to make appeals, be organized, and establish a reserve of available funds for preparation and response to disasters within their boundaries.

The Oregon-Idaho Conference has two funds for this purpose:
  • Disaster Fund (#260) – created to prepare for and respond to disasters.
  • Early Response Team Support Fund (#261) – created to help support the deployment of Early Response Teams.
Cal-Pac response team
A California-Pacific Conference response team sifts through the ashes of a home. (photo courtesy calpacumc.org)
When disaster strikes, UMCOR works with the affected annual conference(s) to provide financial material, training, and consultant support tailored to the needs resulting from a particular disaster. All this support is only made possible by faithful giving from churches and individuals.
Our partners in the Pacific Northwest Conference are currently dealing with the aftermath of tornado damage in Port Orchard, and recovery efforts from wildfires continue in California. Donations can be directed to these specific needs by donating directly to the funds established by the Pacific Northwest, California-Nevada or California-Pacific Conferences.
If you wish to donate to nearby annual conferences for disasters they are dealing with, here is where to send the funds:

See a video collage of the Port Orchard Tornado damage
Pacific Northwest Annual Conference
P.O. Box 13650
816 S 216th St #2
Des Moines, WA 98198
Please put Disaster Fund (#352) or ERT Fund (#353) on the memo line
California-Nevada Annual Conference
PO Box 980250
West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250
Please put CN Disaster Fund on the memo line
California-Pacific Annual Conference
PO Box 6006
Pasadena, CA 91101
Please put Advance 24050 on the memo line