Disaster Ministries Fall Update

Disaster Ministries Fall Update

November 02, 2015

Morningside College students volunteer at their "Into The Streets" Mission day.

This Fall many areas in our country have seen heavy rainfall.  In South Carolina, California and Southern Texas that rainfall has been of record breaking amounts, causing flooding, mudslides and loss of life.  The photographs of the destruction are overwhelming.  Many have lost everything.

Many of you have asked “how can we help?” and “when can we go?”  Like many of you, our instinct is to load up and go help.  


At this time the conferences that are affected have asked for us to: 

  • Say home. Pray. Help with financial donations and PRAY.  In the weeks and months (and years) to come there will be much that we can do, and VIM Teams will be needed.  
  • Get UMVIM Leader training (Contact Melisa Bracht-Wagner 319-929-3281), and/or ERT Training (Contact Catie Newman 712-899-4067) and start assembling your team so that when the call goes out for help you are ready.
We as a conference have offered our prayers, help, resources, tool and shower trailers and our support to all of the conferences affected.

At the end of this article, is the contact information (that we have so far) so that you can make arrangements to volunteer and help or to keep updated. As United Methodists our goal in Disaster Recovery and Response is “to be a caring presence in the midst of Disaster.”

In other news, on October 7, 2015 Morningside College students had their annual "Into The Streets" Mission day and worked with Disaster Response.  They cleaned out our big storage trailer and checked and restocked 250 clean-up buckets and put them into winter storage.



Catie and John Newman
IAUMC Disaster Response Coordinators
712-899-4067 phone or text

To make connections in:

South Carolina

South Carolina has been hit twice in the same area with torrential rain and flooding. 

  • They ask that we DO NOT COME HELP at this time, they have good local help and will let us know when we can come.
  • They ask that we MAKE HEALTH KITS and SCHOOL KITS, pray, and donate to Disaster Response – United States or directly to the South Carolina conference disaster response

If you need assistance or want to volunteer, call our Disaster Response Hotline at 1-800-390-4911 or email screcovery@umcsc.org.


  • TACCOR (Texas Annual Conference Committee on Relief) provides disaster relief services within the geographic areas of the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Learn more athttp://www.taccor.org/ 


  • California-Pacific Conference is asking for NO VOLUNTEERS at this time, they will let us know when they are ready. 

California – Nevada 

  • Volunteers for Fire Disaster Response NOT NEEDED at this time
  • At this time, volunteers from outside of the California-Nevada Conference are not needed for the Rocky/Valley and Butte/Amador fire efforts taking place in the California-Nevada Conference.  Efforts are currently in the immediate response stage. Announcements will be sent via Instant Connection, and social media channels, when there is a need for volunteers, and long term plans are put into place. 


  • Meanwhile, Oklahoma IS IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS IN MISSION as, “from January to June in Oklahoma [2015], ninety six (96) tornadoes touched down and over fifty (50) inches of rain fell creating disaster situations in sixty six (66) of the states seventy seven (77) counties.” 
  • Day teams of UM volunteers are now being deployed. All volunteer offers, for individuals and for teams, are processed through the Conference VIM (Volunteers In Mission) website www.okvim.org.  Individuals and teams can register themselves.
  • Please try to use this online form rather than calling or e-mailing your offers. Using the website puts everything immediately into one database.
  • Teams are currently largely doing clean up and debris removal. There will be need further down the line for the rebuild phase. So, in the short term, the jobs will vary as we are informed of needs and send people out. However, later on there will a great need of teams to help with the rebuilding of people’s homes.
  • They can currently only accommodate volunteers for one day at a time. Projects and accommodations are almost in place for teams who can serve at sites for longer periods and who need lodging. Please bear with them as they get their plans in place to ensure adequate and safe accommodations for incoming teams so that they can meet all the appropriate Safe Sanctuaries requirements as well as work together with  host churches so that their own programs can go forward unhindered.
  • Aligning themselves with the practices of all UMCOR partner recovery sites, they will ask teams that will be accommodated to provide $15 per person per night to assist the churches in covering their overhead costs. They will also ask for a donation of $100 per person on each team as a donation for materials. These funds will be collected by their Recovery Centers with which each team works, and will ultimately be managed by the emerging Long Term Recovery Committees.