Teams needed from Texas to Florida

10/16/2017

The South Georgia Conference has received requests for ERTs (Early Response Teams) and mission teams from Annual Conferences affected by recent storms. Coastal communities here at home and in Texas and Florida can use our help, as can communities affected by Hurricane Matthew last year. Remember that when you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer as a mission team, each requesting Annual Conference controls the process and coordinates the United Methodist response.  

Want to Serve in South Georgia?

Here at home, Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma left its worst impact in Coastal Georgia. Badged, current ERT and trained chainsaw teams are needed in Chatham and other coastal counties. Lodging can be arranged in local churches; however, teams may need to cook their own meals or use local restaurants.

Interested ERTs can contact Luis O. Morales, South Georgia Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, at morhilll@gmail.com.

Want to Serve in Florida?

We have received confirmation that Florida is ready for volunteers to respond to Hurricane Irma. Trained ERTs will be placed in Irma relief and those who are not trained will be serving with recovery for Hermine and Matthew.

Click here to volunteer through the Florida Annual Conference.

For more information regarding needs in Florida, visit their Disaster Response information page at http://www.flumc.org/disasterrecoveryministry.

Want to Serve in Texas?

Two Annual Conferences in Texas are calling for ERTs or mission teams.

The Texas Annual Conference is ready to receive volunteer teams to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief. The work consists mainly of cleaning out flooded homes and requires extensive physical labor. At least one member of a team must be ERT trained. Teams should bring their own protective gear and tools. All members need proof of Safe Sanctuary training and clear background check from your local United Methodist Church. Housing is available at a host church in the conference. Team leaders can register their team here.

The Rio Texas Conference is asking for currently certified ERT members for help with debris removal of down trees and roof tarping. Many homes have water damage from damaged windows and roofs. Teams will be based out of Corpus Christi and should register at https://riotexas.org/ert-volunteer-team-registration. ERT trained individuals/small groups not part of a team should register at https://riotexas.org/ert-individual-and-small-group-signup.

Want to Serve in Louisiana?

Teams are currently working two different disasters in Louisiana. The state is in the early response phase (i.e. mucking out) in response to Hurricane Harvey in the southwest part of the state and in the recovery phase (i.e. rebuilding) in response to the 2016 floods in the Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Gonzales and Hammond areas. Register your team at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UMCVolunteerRegistration

Want to Serve in North Carolina?

We encourage anyone interested in volunteering to join the work in Lumberton, NC, or any of the Hurricane Matthew devastated areas as the need is great and our best energy can be put to work right now! Click here to read more about needs in Lumberton and how to volunteer.

Want to Serve in Puerto Rico?

There is not yet a call for ERTs or other mission teams in Puerto Rico. Our Annual Conference is in communication with the Bishop of Puerto Rico and has offered our prayers right now and our teams when they are ready for that phase of the response. Even though the situation is significantly worse, the same process will be involved once Puerto Rico is ready to receive teams.

Luis Morales, Disaster Coordinator for the South Georgia Conference, traveled to Puerto Rico Friday, Oct. 13, as a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). He is representing UMCOR and meeting with Bishop Hector Ortiz, bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, to assess how The United Methodist Church and UMCOR can best support and help Puerto Ricans in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Read more here.

Feeling Called to Serve as an ERT?

The South Georgia Conference has several ERT training events scheduled in October, November, and December. Visit www.sgaumc.org/erttrainings for more information and to register.