Disaster Response Team Update July 10, 2014

July 11, 2014

During June and early July 2014 the state of Iowa has experienced 65 severe storms. All 8 United Methodist Districts have been affected.  The governor has made Disaster Declarations in 59  Iowa counties: we’ve had hail damage to thousands of cars, homes and at least 10 UM churches, 16 confirmed tornados, flooding across the state, record cold temperatures, record breaking rainfall, thousands of wet basements, hundreds of flooded homes and so much more, all in the last 6 weeks.

It would be easy to be overwhelmed, but consider these numbers:  1872 Clean-up buckets distributed all across the state; 4 Tool trailers deployed; 7 (one yet to be announced) District Disaster Response Coordinators all connected and responding to the needs in each district; the Chainsaw Team (all volunteers) deployed in the Cedar Rapids area; all 8 district offices communicating, connecting those in distress with help available; Field Outreach Ministers reaching out and offering prayers and hope; district superintendents, the bishop and Rev. Bill Poland visiting, listening, praying, present in our pain;  hundreds of phone calls, texts, tweets and notes sent; and, most importantly, thousands and thousands of volunteers, neighbors, friends and strangers reaching out and pitching in to help.  



PRAY: Pray for those affected by water and wind.  It is in prayer that we unleash the power of God for one another.

FINANCIAL DONATIONS:  Your donations are needed.  Thanks to your donations, we have given grants to several congregations to assist with the expenses of clean-up and repair.  ALL funds given thru Advance Special #223 are used to help those in our conference affected by disaster.

VOLUNTEER:  Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster (LAP-AID) has activated an Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC) and will be coordinating volunteers to help homeowners affected by the June 30, 2014 storms. If your church or organization has a group that is interested in volunteering Friday (7/11), Saturday (7/12), Sunday (7/13) or the week of July 14, please contact Sue Driscoll,  sdriscoll@uweci.org or call the EVC at 319-892-6575 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. The age requirement for volunteers is 16 years or older. Volunteers 16 to18 must be accompanied by adult chaperones. Volunteers will need to register with the Emergency Volunteer Center.

They are looking for groups of 4 to10 volunteers that could help with mucking, clean-up, removing personal items, damaged by water, power washing, and tree and debris removal. Some lifting is required.

The priority will be to help the elderly, disabled, veterans and low income individuals needing assistance with clean-up. Some of the homeowners affected by the storm are in outlying areas of Linn County.

BE A FRIEND:  Contact those you know affected by the flooding, tornados, wind or hail and chat, pray, listen, cry, send a note and be a friend.  Those dealing with the loss of home, church, school, and friends need YOU to be “with” them in this difficult time.  Take the time to listen and pray together.

CLEAN-UP BUCKETS:  Clean-up buckets are needed all over the state.  Buckets can be made and delivered to any of our UMC Summer Camps, Pictured Rocks, Camp Okoboji or Wesley Woods for temporary storage.  Consider having 10-25 buckets stored in storage in your church or town for emergencies. (Directions for making a Clean-up Bucket are attached.)

Contact your District Disaster Response Coordinator to request help, with questions or to volunteer to help.

Southwest – Vicki Wedemeyer  712-249-6703

North Central – Paul Evans 712-490-9693

Central – Julie Wehner  515-201-8183

South Central – to be announced, contact the District Office 

East Central – Mike and Becky Wood  319-270-3940

Northeast – Marlys Anderson  563-379-2243

Southeast – Arden and Karen Hughes  319-621-3872

Northwest – Jena or Kirk Manchester  319-981-2971

Feel free to contact Catie and John Newman, Iowa Annual Conference Disaster Response Coordinators, with any other questions.

God’s Blessings to you!

Catie and John Newman

IAUMC Disaster Response Coordinators


712-899-4067  phone or text

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."   Psalm 147:3

"When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."   Isaiah 41:10