UMCOR Is at Work as Hurricane Michael Assails Gulf Coast

October 11, 2018

The Southeast is getting hammered again as Hurricane Michael, now a tropical storm, is producing flash flooding across portions of North Carolina and south-central Virginia. Tropical storm-force wind gusts were occurring over portions of northeast South Carolina and eastern North Carolina at 11 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time today, according to the National Hurricane Center – while the National Weather Service warned that strong winds, heavy rain, and tornadoes were expected across portions of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina today.
Authorities have confirmed there have been deaths in Florida and Georgia since the storm made landfall at Mexico Beach, Florida yesterday afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane – the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Florida Panhandle.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and its partners are ready to assist response efforts on the Gulf Coast – and Disaster Response Coordinators are traveling to affected areas today to begin assessment work. UMCOR reminds those wishing to provide assistance to please not self-deploy, however, nor to donate unsolicited items.
The following communication channels have been created to submit prayer requests, register volunteer teams and stay up to date on response efforts.
Hurricane Michael Recovery Website:
Phone: 888-942-4477
Because of UMCOR’s investment in disaster response training, its partners are better prepared to reduce risk and respond effectively to the needs of survivors, the agency reports.
Conference Disaster Response Coordinators proactively got in touch with local leaders and secured a 35,000 ft. warehouse in Marianna, FL with necessary equipment to expeditiously stock and distribute relief supplies.
Seasoned incident coordinators on the ground assessed relief supplies, readied Early Response Teams, and are in communication with neighboring conferences to prepare for mutual aid.
California-Nevada Annual Conference Disaster Response Director Sonja Edd-Bennett continues to monitor the situation and will be communicating with UMCOR about future opportunities for involvement. As the agency assesses the impact of the latest storms and compiles information, it will provide Edd-Bennett with timely updates and share additional ways in which we can help. Edd-Bennett, in turn, will update the conference through our website and Instant Connection newsletter.
In the meantime, UMCOR asks that you keep those in the path of Michael, as well as those who will soon assist in the response, in your continued prayers.
RELIEF KITS are always needed, too. Learn how to assemble a kit – and where to send it – by clicking here.
The California-Nevada Annual Conference has benefited tremendously from UMCOR’s response to natural disasters in our two states. Please continue to support UMCOR – and in addition, please consider making a gift to the conference disaster response fund. 
To donate through the California-Nevada Conference to provide immediate relief for wildfire victims, and to meet immediate needs in the case of future disasters, make checks payable to "California-Nevada Annual Conference," and write "CN Disaster Response" in the memo line. Churches may add their donation in with their tithing form, also, and annotate in the area as "other designated giving." 
Contributing to the conference disaster response fund also helps the conference partner with UMCOR for both emergency and long-term recovery.
Mail checks to the California-Nevada Conference Center, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250.
Another way to assist is to become a part of an Early Response Team for this or another disaster. Edd-Bennett says she anticipates there will be “numerous opportunities to serve.” If you’re interested in attending an upcoming training, or for other information about disaster response and recovery, contact her at or 916-374-1525.