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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
Our other partners include: American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Mennonite Disaster Services, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, United Way and Catholic Charities.
Here are links to a variety of reference aids about Disaster Response.
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