Hurricane Harvey Response Update

Hurricane Harvey Response Update

September 02, 2017

Answers to Most often asked Questions and Kit Shipping Information

With so much press and different reports from the aftermath and response efforts in Texas and Louisiana figuring out how we can help can be confusing. Here is the most up-to-date information that we have from UMCOR, and our plans here in Iowa.


  • We have already sent 1000 Clean-up buckets to Texas thru the UMCOR system. 
  • Our next shipment will go out on Monday, September 18, 2015. 
  • Your kits will need to be delivered to the drop off locations NO LATER than Friday, September 15, 2017 to be on that truck.  
  • The next shipment will go out on Monday October 2, 2017, 
  • Your donations will need to be at the drop off locations NO LATER than Friday, September 29, 2017.
  • Any kits after that can go to the Thanksgiving In-Gatherings, and we will have trailers for Clean-Up Buckets at all of the Thanksgiving In-Gathering sites.    
At this time we are ONLY accepting Clean-up Buckets and Hygiene Kits for shipping. Financial gifts/offerings must be sent directly to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee On Relief) or to the Iowa Annual Conference, Special Advance #901670.


Please call ahead of time to schedule your drop off.


  • Camp Okoboji - 712-336-2936
  • Sheldon UMC - 712-374-4894
  • St. Johns, Mapleton - 712-840-1834


  • Salem UMC, Council Bluffs - 712-366-1408 Or 405-833-7275

North Central

  • Ames Collegiate - 515-292-6936
  • Garner UMC - 712-490-9693                


  • Camp Wesley Woods - 515-961-4523
  • Altoona UMC - 515-967-2991

South Central

  • Oskaloosa UMC - 641-672-2564 Or 515-451-1161
  • Camp Wesley Woods - 515-961-4523
  • Manchester UMC - 563-927-4439 Or 319-573-0589   

East Central

  • The District Office - 319-365-6273 Or 319-361-4255   


  • Washington UMC - 319-653-5446
  • Columbus Junction UMC - 319-728-2669


  1.  I would like to go help, I can cook and am very handy, when can I go? They are still in the midst of the disaster. It will take several days or even weeks for the Trained Emergency Responders to do their work, and AFTER that there will be opportunities for volunteers.
  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. When do we have to have Clean-up Buckets finished? We have already shipped 1000 Clean-up buckets, the next shipment is set to go out on September 18, 2017. You will need to have complete Clean-Up Buckets and Hygiene Kits delivered to the drop off sites NO LATER than Friday, September 15, 2017. A final Shipment will go October 2, 2017. Kits will need to be dropped off at the drop off location NO LATER than Friday, September 29, 2017. Any kits after that can be shipped with In-Gathering. (List of drop off sites below)
  4. Do I list these Kit Donations on my In-Gathering Form? YES! You can get credit for these Kits, by adding them to the total kits that you donate at In-Gathering.
  5. Do Clean-Up Buckets and Hygiene Kits have to be complete? YES!
  6. Where do I find the list of what goes into a kit? Clean-Up Buckets, Hygiene Kits
  7. 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 In-Gathering, clearly marked.
  8. Do we Put Toothpaste in Hygiene kits for Harvey? YES!  Hygiene Kits headed for Texas CAN have a regular size tube of toothpaste in them.
  9. Do we send money for Shipping? NO!  Any and all financial donations can be sent directly to UMCOR, see the website for details or thru the Iowa Annual Conference with Special Advance # 901670
  10. How Old do you have to be to volunteer? 16 to take ERT Training, 18 to serve on a team. 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)
  11. 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 - Is more hands on, immediate response. What to do what not to do, what to expect when you get to a recovery site, how to "be" with survivors, focused more on immediate response in the first days after the disaster.  
    ERT Teams are self-sufficient - 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 community or a variety of other tasks. ERT Training is great for Volunteers who come later also as it helps with shared language, expectations and how to deal with the clean-up we will be asked to do. The trainings work together very well
  12. How Do I Register for the Training? For ERT Training, email  Catie Newman at FOR UMVIM Training email
  13. I cannot make the Training on September 8 and/or 9, 2017, Will there me another training offered? YES!  Dates and Locations are yet to be finalized in early October and early November.
  14. How do we sign up to volunteer? Each of the Texas and Louisiana Conference will have a Volunteer Team Sign up connection on their conference website, WHEN THEY ARE READY, it may be several weeks, please be patient.  In the meantime consider getting UMVIM Leader Training and ERT Training, so you are ready when the time comes, (see attached flier)
Feel Free to contact the District Disaster Coordinator in your District or Conference Coordinator Catie Newman with further questions.

IAUMC Disaster Response Coordinators (DRC) 

Conference Coordinators
Catie and John Newman, CDRC  
Catie 712-899-4067 phone or text
John 712-899-4432

District Disaster Response Coordinators (DDRC)

Southwest – Vicki Wedemeyer-Shriver,

North Central – Paul Evans,

Central – Bill Gibbons

South Central – Sharoll and Hal Edmundson,

East Central – Keith Pitts,

Northeast – Phil Rogers,

Southeast – Arden and Karen Hughes,

Northwest – Jena Manchester,