Disaster response for flooding in Kentucky

Disaster response for flooding in Kentucky

August 05, 2022

Disasters have taken a heavy toll on the country’s southern tier. Most recently in the form of a massive and widespread flood in Kentucky. As the pictures of flooded homes and communities in Kentucky come across our televisions and newsfeeds, our hearts go out. 

“In the early days of a disaster, we really encourage people to help by donating funds and praying for one another,” Newman said. “Like many of you, my first instinct is to pack the car and go help, but please don’t.”    

In the days and weeks to come, information will become available, and the Iowa Disaster Ministries Team will share that and opportunities for you to help. The reality is that all available resources, housing, spaces, and rooms are being used to house and help survivors of the flooding. Volunteers will simply be in the way at this time.  

Ways to Help Now
  • PRAY for those affected, those grieving, those in shelter, and those responding.
  • DONATE a financial gift to UMCOR Disaster Response, Special Advance #901670. To donate by check, mail it to 2301 Rittenhouse Street, Des Moines, IA 50321. Write in the memo line UMCOR Special Advance #901670, and it will be sent to UMCOR.
  • REACH OUT to those you know who have been affected by the flooding. Call them or send a note or text. Knowing that others care and are praying makes a HUGE difference. It’s the best of who we are as a connectional church. 
  • MAKE CLEAN-UP BUCKETS and HYGIENE KITS for UMCOR and Midwest Missions. Both have already delivered hundreds of kits and have plans to deliver more. When we have a place to receive these donations in Iowa (please do not bring them to the Conference Center), Iowa Disaster Ministries will publish an update. Both clean-up buckets and hygiene kits can be brought to Ingathering sites on Saturday, November 5, 2022. Go to UMCOR.org or Midwest Missions Distribution Center, midwestmissions.org, for guides about how to make clean-up buckets and other kits.
  • GET TRAINED AND GET A TEAM TOGETHER so that when the time is right, you can go and help. At this time, only invited UMCOR Certified ERT Teams can respond in Kentucky. But soon ALL volunteers will be invited. ERT and UMVIM Training will help to prepare you for volunteering. Contact Catie Newman, CDRC, disaster.response@iaumc.org, or johnstruckfarm@wiatel.net, or call her at 712-899-4067 to schedule ERT or UMVIM Training. 
Answers to most often asked questions 
  1. I would like to go help, and I can cook and am very handy, when can I go? 

    We really prefer teams, and individuals are hard to find work for. However, contact the site you would like to work with and ask them if they can use your unique gifts. PLEASE Do NOT simply show up. It can really cause problems. 
  2. Can we donate other items? 

    NO! At this time, ONLY Clean-Up Buckets, Hygiene Kits, and Financial Gifts are requested. I know that other groups are collecting other items, but there is No place to take them and no one to handle them at this time. In the future, we will be able to help in more ways. 
  3. Do Clean-Up Buckets and Hygiene Kits have to be complete?

    YES! If they are packed in a bucket. Extra items can be boxed and marked “extra Items.”   
  4. Where do I find the list of what goes into a kit? 

    Go to UMCOR.org or Midwest Missions Distribution Center, midwestmissions.org, for guides about how to make clean-up buckets and other kits.
  5. Can we send the extra kit items that we have? 

    Yes! But they must be packed in boxes and clearly marked “Miscellaneous Extra Hygiene Kit Items” (or bucket items.) You can also send these to Ingathering, clearly marked. 
  6. Do we send money for shipping?

    NO! Any and all financial donations can be sent directly to the conference center for UMCOR Special Advance #901670.
  7. How old do you have to be to volunteer? 

    You need to be 16 years old to take the ERT Training and 18 to serve on a team. Sixteen-year-olds can serve on a UMVIM team along with a parent or guardian.

    UMVIM Leader Training is for the LEADER of the team. 

    Serving on UMVIM teams depends on host needs, team makeup, and safety requirements (many teams have youth and adults working together.) 
  8. What is the difference between ERT and UMVIM? 

    ERT – Early Response Training is from UMCOR 
    UMVIM  - United Methodist Volunteers in Mission 

    VIM -  This training is helping you to know how to lead a team, focused more on Long Term Team Response. 

    ERT - Emergency or Early Response Team - This is a more hands-on, immediate response. What to do, what not to do, what to expect when you get to a recovery site, and how to “be” with survivors, focused more on immediate response in the first days after the disaster.

    ERT Teams are self-sufficient - they sleep on floors - cook their own meals, and are there in the first days after a disaster to help in whatever ways that they can. 

    ERT Teams may help recover possessions, clean out homes, move survivors into new housing, tarp roofs, cook meals for the community, or various other tasks. 

    ERT Training is great for volunteers who come later also, as it helps with a shared language, expectations, and how to deal with the clean-up they are asked to do. 

    The trainings work together very well together. 
  9. How do I register for the Training? 

    For ERT, email Catie Newman at disaster.response@iaumc.org. 
Feel free to contact the District Disaster Coordinator in your District or Conference Coordinator Catie Newman with further questions. 
Conference Coordinator – Catie Newman, CDRC 
disaster.response@iaumc.org or johnstruckfarm@wiatel.net 
Catie 712-899-4067 phone or text,    
District Disaster Response Coordinators (DDRC) 
Aldersgate – Open at this time,  Contact the District Office or  
     Catie Newman,  disaster@iaumc.org, 712-899-4067 (phone or text) 

Camp Clear Lake – Open at this time,  Contact the District Office or  
     Catie Newman,  disaster@iaumc.org, 712-899-4067 (phone or text) 

Riverview Park – Bill Gibbons  
515-725-0335, bpgibb1975@gmail.com 

Pictured Rocks – Andrew Happ, 319-241-0223, pastorhapp@gmail.com 
     Phil Rogers, 319-573-0589, okduckman@aol.com 
     Keith Pitts, 319-361-4255,  pastorkeithp@gmail.com 

Golden Valley – Jeff Bixby,  563-370-1659, umcjeff@yahoo.com