“Breaking” Disaster Response News

“Breaking” U.S. Disaster Response News


**UMCOR’s top 4 worst and best ways to help after a disaster**

Check out the entire list of disaster response sites on the USA Opportunity List

Most Recent Requests

1.25.17 Hattiesburg, MS and Petal, MS were severely impacted by tornadoes the weekend of January 21, 2017. They have requested trained Early Response Teams (ERT), trained chain saw teams, and heavy equipment teams. ERTs need to be self-sustainable. Please click here for additional information and contact information.

1.25.17  Southeast Arkansas is seeking teams to help with repairs needed as a result of the March 2016 floods. The damage incurred is a result of the same storms that devastated areas of Texas and Louisiana. Organization of Long Term Recovery was delayed for various reasons but is now in place and operational. Projects are identified and funding secured but volunteer help is little to none. When considering mission opportunities, please consider our neighbors in Southeast Arkansas. Several priority cases are waiting. To volunteer contact Ron Jones, Site Volunteer Coordinator, at woodrat3@live.com or Janice Mann, Disaster Response Coordinator, at disaster@arumc.org.




– North Central Jurisdiction –


12.22.16 This fall Minnesota was hit with a flooding event that is now in the recovery stage. FEMA has awarded some money to Minnesota for survivors. As always, they will be in need of help in the coming year. The Albert Lea area was affected along with other parts of the state.

Contact Paula Colton, the Minnesota Conference Disaster Coordinator, for ways to help in Minnesota.

Email Paula at pkcolton@gmail.com


10.28.16 ONGOING  I pray that this finds you well.  I am Rev. Bud Budzinski and I am the Wisconsin Southwest District Disaster Coordinator and the new Wisconsin
Conference Disaster Coordinator.

Pastor Jim Aniol has requested workteams to help with flood recovery in the Southwest District, specifically the De Soto area.  These do not have to be ERT.  This area has been hit hard (close to the Mississippi River) and could use assistance.  The contact person is Christine Harrington and her email is Loverocks@mwt.net.  Thank you.

If you have any questions, please contact me via email or 252-432-2810.

God bless. In Christ,  Bud

INDIANA CONFERENCE (Kokomo and South Bend)

12.22.16 update on South Bend, In August 2016 there was a flooding event that affected over 900 homes in the South Bend, IN area. Assessments have been completed to date. They are now taking UMVIM teams to help with the rebuilding effort. Construction teams are needed for this recovery.  Mike Irvine and Beth Stickles-McDaniel are heading up the leadership effort for the recovery. Please email Mike or Beth to schedule your teams.  mike.irvine@inumc.org & vim@inumc.org

10.7.16 Progress is being made in both Kokomo and South Bend, Indiana as these summer storm stricken communities organize for long term recovery. In each case the long term volunteer registration information will be announced on this site when it is available. In South Bend the case managers will begin working with families this week along with the construction manager determining what repairs and/or rebuilds needs there are. As this information comes together, teams will be requested. South Bend does need persons with mold remediation experience or training to perform this task in multiple homes. If you are available to assist with this, please email southbendvolunteers@gmail.com letting them know of the number of people available, dates and if you have equipment.

This week in Kokomo volunteers will begin calling homeowners for updates on their insurance repairs versus what damage they had. Because this was damage from a tornado there is more insurance coverage than for the rain water backup in South Bend. Case managers will be trained October 18 and 19th following which they will begin meeting with families. If you are interested in being a case manager which is an 18 – 24 month commitment, please contact the Indiana Volunteer in Mission Coordinator Beth Stickles McDaniel at vim@inumc.org. Again, registration for work teams will be announced on this site when details are available


Published: 27 September 2016: Wisconsin was recently hit with torrential rains that caused state-wide flooding, and a State of Emergency was declared in Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Eau Claire, Jackson, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk, Trempealeau, and Vernon counties. In Wisconsin we are well aware that recovery from flooding takes time and resources. Bishop Jung requests assistance from local church members in three different ways: first, take a special offering at your worship services and church events in the coming weeks, designated for Wisconsin Disaster Response, Advance #7775; second, assemble flood buckets and deliver them to our Conference Center; and third, pray. “The third request is simple, but powerful and desperately needed,” he said. “Encourage your people to pray. Remember those affected by flooding during your worship time. Join your hearts and voices to your sisters and brothers across the conference so that we might be a faithful witness through intercession and petition. Mighty acts happen when the people of God join together in prayer.” Click here to read a letter from Bishop Jung with more information, and watch for future updates from our Conference Disaster Response Team as we learn more about the lives affected and the property damaged throughout our state.



9.26.16 Hello Dear Friends,

Iowa is experiencing flooding in the North East, North Central and East Central Districts, including the cities of Waterloo, Cedar Falls. Greene, Centerville, Vinton, Cedar Rapids and many more communities.  Both the Cedar and the Iowa rivers are flooding  at this time.  Crest is expected on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.  At this time both rivers are expected to crest lower than the record breaking flooding of 2008.  As of today, NO Volunteers are needed, We will let you know as the recovery progresses.  We covet your prayers, as we work together in the face of Disaster.
Pastor Catie Newman
Iowa Annual Conference
of the United Methodist Church,
Disaster Response Coordinator


9.22.16 Communities across Northeastern Iowa are experiencing flooding after storms dumped heavy rain over the past few days. The National Weather Service estimated up to 10 in. may have fallen in some areas. More flooding is expected in the next few days in Northeast Iowa and through the Cedar Rapids area. The 2nd-highest crest on record is forecast for the Shell Rock River at Shell Rock and it has been reported that the Cedar River is forecast to crest in Cedar Rapids at 24.1 feet by midday Tuesday.

We Need Your Help!

  • Please Pray for all of the people and communities affected by these storms.  It is in prayer that we unleash God’s power for one another.
  • Make Cleaning Buckets–  A Cleaning Bucket is a 5-Gallon Bucket with a lid, filled with cleaning supplies, including: Liquid laundry soap, dish soap, insect repellant, scrub brush, cleaning wipes, liquid household cleaner, scouring pads, clothesline, dust masks  gloves, clothespins and sponges.  To see instructions for assembling a kit and for more detailed information go to, umcor.org.
  • Please visit East Central District Facebookand NorthEast District Facebook sites for up-to date details.

Cleaning Buckets can be delivered to any of the three IAUMC Camps Pictured Rocks, Wesley Woods or Camp Okoboji…or Contact the District Disaster Response Coordinator in your District to find the nearest Location and arrange for Drop-off.

IOWA District Disaster Response Coordinators (DDRC)
Southwest – Vicki Wedemeyer-Shriver,
712-249-6703, swidumcdrc@gmail.com
North Central – Paul Evans,
712-490-9693, gumcpastor@q.com
Central – Julie Wehner
515-201-8183, revjules@msn.com
South Central – Sharoll and Hal Edmundson,
641-673-4669, sharolledmundson@yahoo.com
East Central – Keith Pitts,
319-361-4255, pastorkeithp@gmail.com
Northeast – Contact the District Office, 319-268-7502,
Or Dennis Rippentrop, Charles City, IA 641-330-4083
Southeast – Arden and Karen Hughes,
319-621-3872, akhughs@gmail.com
Northwest – Jena or Kirk Manchester,
712-840-1834, jena.manchester@iaumc.net

Please call in advance and set a time to deliver your Cleaning Buckets, to insure that someone will be available to help you.

MMDC – Midwest Mission Distribution Center, Chatham, ILNeeds to Restock!

8.25.16 The Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham, IL has been working hard to restock the warehouse. MMDC has sent all (two truckloads!) of the stockpiled Cleaning Buckets to flood and tornado survivors across the country. They are in need of the materials that make up Cleaning Buckets. To learn what goes into a Cleaning Bucket Click Here
Pat Wright the Director of MMDC said in an email just the other day that they were packing cleaning buckets and loading them directly on a truck to be sent out. Email  Pat Wright  director@midwestmissiondc.org at MMDC to schedule your volunteer team. If you would prefer to donate money to MMDC so they can purchase the products in bulk follow this Link. This page will show you how to donate money directly to MMDC.
9.19.16 MMDC still wanting to replenish their local supply of cleaning buckets!  There might be enough in the general UMCOR system, but very few at MMDC!

WEST OHIO Tornadoes

9.28.16 Update on Cincinnati Flooding 

Ohio floods

On August 28, three to five inches of rain fell in the Cincinnati, OH, area, causing flash flooding in many communities. The Ohio River Valley District office was flooded, as was Keys of the Kingdom United Methodist Church. One month and many volunteer hours later, the ORV District office is now dried out, the flooring has been replaced, and the walls and front door repainted. Keys of the Kingdom is still sharing space with another United Methodist church nearby. Recovery has been slow for the approximately 400 homes that were flooded; homeowners with private insurance have been able to move forward, but those relying on help from the City of Cincinnati may have longer to wait. Each claim must be investigated before assistance is offered, and case managers are in short supply. The ORV Disaster Response coordinators are working with other disaster agencies to support these homeowners. To help with Disaster Response in West Ohio, you can give online here.


– Elsewhere in the USA –

NORTH CAROLINA – Matthew – calling for more ERT’s

11.4.16  The North Carolina Conference is in need and ready for Early Response Teams (ERT) to come help clean up after Hurricane Matthew.  A lot of of our towns have been majorly affected by floods from Matthew and it is overwhelming with the amount of effort it is going to take to provide relief to these communities.  We will need assistance from as many conferences within SEJ as possible to help us recover from this storm.  There is need in the Outer Banks of NC, Robeson County (Lumberton, one of our most impoverished areas), Kinston, Goldsboro, Greenville, Princeville.  The list goes on and we need help!

Interested ERT teams can reach out to our Disaster Response Committee for specific priority locations, needs, and scheduling at disasterresponse@nccumc.org<mailto:disasterresponse@nccumc.org> or they can call 1-888-440-9167.

Thanks! Rob Pavone, NCC UMVIM Coordinator



HURRICANE MATTHEW – updated listings for Southeast Jurisdiction.  

(South Carolina, Virginia, South Georgia, North Carolina, the Bahamas, and Haiti.)

12.22.16  South Carolina Conference has been dealing with flood recovery since this summer and damage from Hurricane Matthew. In addition to these disasters, they are also working tornado recovery. The state is in great need of Long Term Recovery volunteers. Teams are needed to assist in the Rebuilding Effort. To Volunteer contact Sara McCutchen at smccutchen@umcsc.org or 803-888-3051



10.28.16  Remember all the flooding from 2015-2016?  In Williamson County we are down to our final 12 homes needing repairs and rebuild!  We also have a deadline of February 28th to close everything out!  WE need YOU!  Please contact our volunteer coordinator Juli Ivie to make arrangements to come help whether it is for a day or for a week or more.  Please send her an email at taylortxvolunteers@gmail.com or call her at 817-995-4058.  Lodging is available in a couple of different places if you need that.  The majority of the work is either roofing or drywall repair/replacement, painting, etc.  We have a total rebuild if we get the funding.  Don’t know how to do some of the jobs?  No worries, our construction guy can teach you.  Thank you for your help.



10/6/16. The Virginia Conference Disaster Recovery Ministry is engaged in home repair and new construction through work centers it established in three areas affected by the February 24, 2016, tornado outbreak: Evergreen in Appomattox County, Tappahannock in Essex County, and Waverly in Sussex County.  Teams from around the Southeastern Jurisdiction are invited to join them in 2017. Housing with excellent kitchen facilities is available in each location. There is no charge for teams to serve; teams are only responsible for the cost of  their food and transportation, though financial contributions from teams with available resources are welcome.  For additional information or to schedule your team, contact Forrest White, Long Term Recovery Manager and UMVIM Coordinator for the Virginia Conference, at VirginiaUMVIM@gmail.com or 804-938-1026.    



10.6.16. 4,000 homes were affected by flooding in March 2016. Many areas are in need of construction volunteers. The Mississippi Conference has active recovery groups in Clarksdale, Greenville, Cleveland, Indianola, Hattiesburg, and Columbia, covering a region spanning from the north Mississippi Delta to the southern region of the state.  The August 2016 flooding affecting Baton Rouge impacted 100 homes in three small communities in southwest Mississippi’s Wilkinson County. To volunteer or inquire, please contact

-Charles Estes for Clarksdale: 662-902-7335

-Rev. Justin White for Greenville: 601-573-4297

-Anna Mitchell for Indianola: 662-401-1463

-Lee Peltan, MD for Cleveland: 440-773-6321 or drpeltan@aol.com

-Shep Crawford for Wilkinson County: 601-888-3102

For more information please contact Mississippi Conference UMVIM Coordinator Rev. David Newton, umvim@mississippi-umc.org, 228-216-6567. ( Updated 10/6/16)


12.22.16  The Oklahoma Conference is taking group registrations for Long Term Recovery volunteer teams for 2017. The Oklahoma Conference website has a link to register your volunteer group Click Here to register.  Karen Mangano is the volunteer coordinator for the Oklahoma Disaster Response.

Please contact volunteer@oklahomadisasterresponse.org   or call 405-802-0904 for volunteering in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma disaster survivors from storms in 2015 and 2016 are also ready to recover.  As a family we will work together to accomplish the goals each task brings.  Our project managers have experience that can teach volunteers the skills they needs.  Our ministry can teach you how to properly muck-out a flooded home and tarp a roof.  Once recovery begins we can teach you how to remove and install a new roof, repair a roof, install insulation both blown and batt, hang drywall as well as finish it out with tape and mud, replace subfloor and install peel and stick, tile, and laminate flooring, install exterior siding, hang a door, install windows…  If it needs to be done we have the experience and tools to make it happen.

All that you need is a willingness to love a survivor by being the hands, feet and ears of Christ.

Volunteering to help disaster survivors is easy!  Please call our volunteer coordinator Karen , 405-802-0904, to get started today!



Great Plains: The Great Plains Conference is currently responding to multiple tornado and flood events. They could use teams to assist with these efforts. For more information email Great Plains Disaster Coordinator, Hollie Tapley


9.23.16Since 2012, the Greater New Jersey Conference’s Disaster Recovery arm, known as A Future With Hope has rebuilt 242 homes with the help of 11,401 volunteers from 44 states, DC and Canada. But a full 4 years after Superstorm Sandy, it is estimated that approximately 5,000 families’ homes are still in need of repair from damage caused by the storm.   Volunteer teams are still sorely needed to help stretch the remaining disaster relief funds to serve as many of those 5,000 families as possible.  Read the article in the GNJ Relay and sign up your team to volunteer today.  Or join the throngs of other volunteers coming together for a workday in Monmouth County on November 5th.  Call Lisa Park at 732-359-1012 for more information.


9.23.16 Volunteers are needed in the Connellsville area for cleanup and rebuilding in response to the flash flooding there August 28-29.  About 150 homes were affected.  There is a need for trained Early Response Teams and general UMVIM teams.  Use connellsvillevolunteers.org to register.

LOUISIANA FLOODS (NOT Baton Rouge)  news feed.

9.1.16 Louisiana Conference UMCOR Long Term Recovery has set up in three critical areas of the state to tackle the job of helping residents return to their once flooded homes—the North Shore (Slidell), Ouachita Parish (Sterlington/Monroe) and Vernon Parish (Near Leesville). The Louisiana Conference is ready to receive teams from across the state and from throughout the country that are ready to give hope to those still counting their loss. Both skilled and unskilled volunteers are needed for the recovery effort. There will be skilled individuals to teach every level of volunteer how to do the work needed. And if you have a construction-related skill, we can put your expertise to good use.  Case Management has been ongoing and many clients are ready to receive teams immediately. Team lodging is available in dorm type accommodations in churches. and there are areas available to park recreational vehicles. Teams may be preparing their own meals; meal plans are available in some locations. Lodging and material costs are minimal. To register your team, contact Rev Larry D Norman, Volunteer Coordinator, by emailing lduckn@aol.com ordisasterreliefvolunteers@laumc.org or calling (225) 933-1881. At present, team registration is being handled individually. Additional information and web site registration will be available soon at www.LA-UMC.org. Thank you for serving as the hands and feet of Christ!


Southwest Virginia Disaster Recovery – part of Holston Conference.

8.15.16 Following the February and March record snow fall, the Southwest Virginia Long Term Recovery coalition has been helping 6 counties to recover.  For volunteer teams they are down to 11 open cases. Ten of these must start with roof repairs before inside work can be done. A construction on-site manager is in place to help guide teams. the hope is to complete these cases by late fall, 2016. If you can help please contact Leigh Clark, volunteer coordinator. Phone 276-328-6247 and ask for Clark or email leighclark.wbc@verizon.net



8.15.16 I was on a call with Greg Forrester, UMCOR, today. The flood waters have not begun to recede yet in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Therefore it is not safe for volunteers to go into the affected areas. Once we get the ok from the local authorities then UMCOR volunteer assessors can go it to see what the next steps will be. I will keep you informed as I hear from the Louisiana Conference Disaster Coordinator. Continue to pray for the survivors of the flooding. They can always use an abundance of them.

8.25.16 We are all well aware of the flooding going on in the Greater Baton Rouge area of Louisiana. The ERT effort is currently being handled by in state ERT volunteers and one neighboring conference. If there is a call for out of state ERT volunteers your UMVIM office will make sure that everyone knows of the invitation. You can help now by giving to the Advance for US Disaster Response by following this link.
  • Congregations can also take up donations to fill Clean Up Kits. This Link will show what is needed to make up a Clean Up Kit.
  • You can give funds directly to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center to help purchase supplies in bulk by following this link Donate Now!
  • If you would like to give to the Louisiana Conference got to their website www.la-umc.org

Peace,  Jason Frazer, NCJ Disaster Response Liaison, 740.627.7269, jasonfrazermtv@gmail.com


OKLAHOMA Conference

8.25.16 The Oklahoma Conference is taking group registrations for Long Term Recovery volunteer teams for 2016/2017. The Oklahoma Conference website has a link to register your volunteer group Click Here to register. Karen Mangano is the volunteer coordinator for the Oklahoma Disaster Response. Please contact kmangano@okumc.org for volunteering in Oklahoma right now.

WEST VIRGINIA invites you to help

8.10.16 West Virginia Flood Response 2016 –  WV has opened up registration for teams through the WV Conference. At the moment Teams and Individuals will need to be self-sufficient and would need to fill out a Volunteer Registration form. To receive the form and or questions you may contact contact Jack Lipphardt, UMC, jwlipphardt@aol.com, 3040-639-7035. Dan Lowther the Disaster Coordinator for WV UMC and Jackwill be working on trying to get your team or yourself placed. If you are staying in a church we would ask that you make a donation if you can to offset the cost for the church for electricity, toiletries, etc. (NEW 8/10/16; Updated 9/19/16) WV Registration Form for Flood Relief



7.24.16 Mississippi Conference, Delta Grace. Teams are needed in the Mississippi Delta!!!!

Sheetrock Teams!    Roofing Teams!    Muck Out Teams!

Clean-up Teams!    Painting Teams!    Willing Heart Teams!

UMCOR has identified more than 50 homes that were affected by the Spring flooding.  Some of the homes have already been mucked out but the sheetrock, insulation and flooring need to be replaced.  A few of the homes are still in need of being mucked out.  Some homes were not flooded but were severely affected by the storms because of damaged roofs.  Delta Grace has openings for teams to come and work on these homes.  Our facilities offer comfortable beds, central air conditioning, showers with tank-less water heaters, wifi, cable TV and a fully stocked kitchen.  We also have a construction manager with 25 years of experience to guide teams willing to do the work but unsure if they have the skills necessary.  All missioners are needed.  Visit our website (http://deltagrace.org) for available dates and necessary forms or contact Rev. Veronica Pritchard at 662-466-2167, veronicapritchard@hotmail.com (NEW! Added 7/19/16)