November 24, 2013
The New England Conference has received some inquiries about volunteering to help in disaster recovery efforts for those affected by severe weather that spawned an outbreak of tornadoes in several Midwest states on Sunday, Nov. 17. A disaster response structure is being organized, but for now, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) advises us to pray for those responding in this emergency phase and for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed. Those who want to help now can create cleaning buckets, health kits, etc, for those families or make a cash donation to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440. This will help replenish UMCOR relief supplies and enable UMCOR to ship cleaning buckets, health kits, and other supplies to people in need. It is another great way you can bring relief and comfort to families reeling from a devastating emergency.
According to UMCOR, the tornadoes left widespread damage and killed about eight people. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee were all affected by severe weather, but the most widespread damage occurred in the town of Washington, 140 miles southwest of Chicago, where a powerful EF-4 tornado destroyed or damaged an estimated 250-500 homes, according to news reports. UMCOR has reached out to affected annual conferences to assess immediate needs.
Please DO NOT send clothing or any items that are not specifically requested, as this often creates a disaster after the disaster. A more helpful response would be to put together UMCOR health kits or cleaning buckets. Instructions on building various UMCOR kits and where to deliver them are the Conference website under Mission & Ministry, in the Disaster Response & Coordination tab: http://www.neumc.org/pages/
Any updates received about when Early Response Teams (ERTs) are invited to apply to help, will be posted as soon as we receive word. If you have any questions, contact Barbara Burnside, Conference Disaster ERT & Missions Coordinator, email@example.com or 978-682-8055, ext 135
Storms devastated the Midwest in mid-November 2013. Photo: Steve Smedley, The Pantagraph/AP Photo