Disaster Response: Latest News


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Updated Aug. 23, 2016

Louisiana Flood Relief and 150 Other Disaster Relief Efforts – How We Can Help!

The flooding in Louisiana brings back painful memories for those who witnessed and responded to the devastation after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. United Methodists were instrumental in that recovery and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is already sending funding, working with local governments and other relief agencies to continue helping those in Louisiana recover from flooding on Aug.11, 2016 and again over the next weekend. This disaster is being called the worst disaster since Superstorm Sandy.

This new flooding has caused delays in accepting teams, but Louisiana is accepting registrations. Please be patient as their response may be delayed as they deal with this new flooding and continue to deal with the earlier flooding.


Disaster Relief Opportunities

St John's (NH) Mission Team to Southern Louisiana Dec. 3 -10, 2016, Cost - $250, not counting airfare. Contact Keith Launchbury of St, John’s UMC in Dover, NH at Keithlaunchbury@gmail.com or (954) 303-1022.

New England/New York Annual Conference Disaster Relief possibility to West Virginia Oct. 30-Nov. 5, 2016, dependent on volunteer interest.  We will be partnering with the New York Annual Conference, taking up to 12 volunteers and we will be driving. More details after we gauge interest in these dates.  Contact Barbara Burnside, New England Conference Disaster Response & Mission Coordinator at baburnside@neumc.org by Oct 6.

What you can do to help

  • Hold the survivors and those still in harm’s way in your prayers
  • Do not self-deploy or send unrequested material donations (See story on clothing and other unrequested donations, which become the disaster after the disaster.)
  • Get your church involved in assembling cleaning buckets, health kits, and other relief-supply kits, which can be used in response to this and future disasters.  The New England Conference has a local collection site within easy driving distance from most areas.  Please contact the closest site prior to delivering buckets/kits to confirm drop-off hours.
  • Until volunteers are needed in newly flooded areas of Louisiana, consider volunteering in other locations that are ready to receive your help (click here for a list some of the latest projects)
  • Volunteer forms can be found under the link at right
  • Give to UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response, Advance #901670. Your gift will allow UMCOR to respond to this and other disasters across the United States.  Louisiana has already asked for UMCOR's help and UMCOR has already sent funds.  The Advance # for UMCOR's US Disaster Response is 901670. 

The Louisiana flooding is one of 150 active disasters where UMCOR is currently responding in the U.S. and UMCOR typically makes a dollar stretch until it screams.

UMCOR makes sure that conferences account for exactly how the money is spent and that everyone who receives help has been vetted by a case manager, ensuring that only those who truly have unmet needs receive the limited and precious resources.  UMCOR also monitors how much can be spent on staff to manage the relief and recovery efforts. 

Upcoming Trainings

The latest training available can be found on the Upcoming Training Opportunities page of this website.

The New England Conference is blessed to have many trained ERTs, but we have a significant number who need recertification.  In preparation for an invitation from the new disaster areas, we invite you to contact Barbara Burnside to schedule a recertification training and our conference will:

  • Receive inquiries from ERT- trained persons willing to lead teams if requested. Interested and qualified persons may contact Barbara Burnside at baburnside@neumc.org
  • Set up several training events for ERT certification or re-certification.

May God bless you to be a blessing in this time of need and every day!