Disaster Response

Methodist Church of Puerto Rico Extends Invitation for Volunteers

The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (MCPR) has developed a comprehensive plan for the recovery from Hurricanes Irma and Maria which devastated the island in September.  While Puerto Rican Methodists have been hard at work in the relief effort since the storm, they are now at the stage where they are ready to invite volunteers from the mainland to join them UMCOR has recently shared the process for volunteering in Puerto Rico as part of the long-term response to Hurricane Maria. Early Response Teams (and especially those with specialized skills in repairing or replacing roof trusses, masonry, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing) interested in volunteering should go through their Conference Disaster Response Coordinator.

Information can be found at: http://www.umcor.org/umcor/puerto-rico-volunteers-/puerto-rico-volunteers-information. Interested team leaders are encouraged to indicate their interest by clicking here.  All registrations will be received by the Puerto Rico Volunteer Coordinator, based out of the North Central Jurisdiction UMVIM office, for follow-up and scheduling.  Once a team receives an invitation and confirmation to serve, teams will be encouraged to visit their jurisdictional UMVIM website to register for mission team insurance prior to departure.

Go to the UMCOR webpage for any updated in the effort. information at: http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/puerto-rico-volunteers

Long Term Recover Teams Needed Through out US

Long Term Recovery Teams are being formed for Texas and Rio Texas in each Annual Conference.  Early Response Teams have been and continue to serve in the  Texas  and Rio Texas Annual Conferences,  mucking and gutting out several homes.  These sites are transitioning to Long Term Recovery.  Volunteers should be over age 18, Safe  certified, and at least one member of the team should be ERT trained.  Go to https://www.txcumc.org/texasrecovers  (for the Texas Conference)  or  https://riotexas.org/disaster-response for the Rio Texas Conference or http://www.flumc.org/disaster-response to serve in Florida.

Contact your Annual Conference Coordinator (below) for information teams being formed in your area.

UPDATE: CAL-PAC Responding to Fires and Mudslide

Representatives of the California-Pacific Conference have been present at meetings in different locations near disaster areas for the past few weeks, organizing to respond with a number of different organizations inside and outside of the church.

One of those meetings was held on Sunday, January 14, 2018 with over 100 people from 15 churches attending at Camarillo United Methodist Church and via video conference. Rev. Jim Powell, North District Superintendent, says, “The love of God through Christ’s body was displayed in a huge way through the North District congregations. We are the people who are “the first in and the last out” when rebuilding communities. My heart is moved by the generous people who are called United Methodists.”

The same could definitely be said of the efforts in the South District where a meeting was held at San Luis Rey Valley UMC with the local Volunteers Active in Disaster (VOAD) and included government officials, an UMCOR consultant, and Cal-Pac United Methodists.

These meetings have resulted in the following updates:

  • Donations can now be made to the Cal-Pac Disaster Response Advance #24000 online or by check.
  • Housing – A local church in the North District and another in the South District have volunteered to house Early Response Team and UMVIM Team members during their work
  • Office Space – A local church in the South District has offered their church facility as office space for volunteer management and case management
  • Translators – Spanish speaking persons might be needed for assisting persons in completing forms for assistance from FEMA
  • Assistance – Sources of assistance includes FEMA as well as Optum.

For more information contact Judy and Doug Lewis, Cal/Pac Disaster Response and UMVIM Coordinators.