Our United Methodist response to communities impacted by a disaster is to offer a Ministry of Presence.  That means being a compassionate companion on a survivor’s road to recovery.  Our overall goal is to be available to listen, to acknowledge the trauma and to help with relief and recovery. 

Our Ministry of Presence

  • Local church participation:  The spontaneous involvement of a church congregation in local community relief efforts.  This involvement is best achieved by having a pre-determined Disaster Response Group, pre-staged supplies and pre-determined contacts with emergency response groups/agencies in the community.
  • Organized local assistance:  Conference and local church volunteers staff government sponsored local assistance operations.  This would include providing resources such as gift cards for immediate needs, cleanup supplies and hygiene kits from one of our conference storage depots.  It might include providing direct hands-on help to survivors at their home helping to address immediate damage and to mitigate further damage.
  • Funding recovery activities and resources:  Donations from the Cal-Nev Conference Disaster Response Fund, UMCOR and local churches towards both short-term and long-term needs.  This often includes helping to purchase recovery supplies and services, grants for interim housing, food and essential household goods and funding towards repair and rebuilding.
  • Participation in the long-term recovery:  Typical roles include serving as a member of the long-term recovery group, assisting with survivor case management and providing teams to help with repair and rebuilding efforts.

Office of Disaster Response

Our Conference Disaster Response Coordinator represents the Cal-Nev Conference in responding to disasters in our geographic footprint by interacting with government agencies and non-profits to establish our Conference role in any given disaster situation.  Our Coordinator directs Conference engagement in communities impacted by disasters and works to sustain the capacity of the Conference to respond to disasters and to provide the means to positively assist disaster survivors.

Disaster Response Partners

Our Conference Disaster Response Ministry coordinates our work with other United Methodist Conference Disaster Response Programs.  We also partner with other regional and national disaster response organizations.  They include:

  • The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the humanitarian aid arm of the United Methodist Church - UMCOR - Global Ministries (umcmission.org)
  • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (National VOAD), a coalition of 70+ of the nation’s most reputable national organizations (faith-based, community-based and other non-profit organizations) and 56 State/Territory VOADs - Homepage | VOAD (nvoad.org)
  • Northern California VOAD (NorCal VOAD), an association of organizations and their government partners that provide disaster-related services to residents throughout the 48 northernmost counties in the state - Cal VOAD | Improving outcomes for people affected by disasters
  • Federal Emergency Management Assistance, Region 9 (FEMA, Region 9), oversees federal emergency management for the following states/ territories: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, US Pacific Territories and tribal nations in the Western US - Region 9 | FEMA.gov
  • California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), California cabinet-level agency responsible for overseeing and coordinating emergency preparedness, response, recovery and homeland security activities within the state - Cal OES Internet Home Cal OES Home

Our other partners include: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Mennonite Disaster Services, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, United Way and Catholic Charities.

Disaster Response Ministry Reference Materials

Here are links to a variety of reference aids about Disaster Response.


Steve Elliott
Conference Disaster Response & UMVIM Coordinator (Director)
(925) 640-9797

Jessie Conklin
Young People’s and Camping/Retreat Ministries and Disaster Response/Volunteers in Mission
(916) 374-1528