When a disaster occurs—such as a tornado, flood or fire—the Minnesota United Methodist Early Disaster Response Team can be ready to go into the affected area within approximately three to five days. The bishop approves the deployment of a six- to 10-member team into a disaster area for between three and 30 days to make homes and people safe, sanitary, and secure. Each team member participates for no more than one week. The Early Disaster Response Team has two fully equipped trailers that can be moved into a disaster site. The presence and visibility of the trailer shows neighbors that people of faith are there to respond to their needs and that we do care.
There are three main ways to provide disaster assistance:
1. Make a financial contribution: Disaster team training, response, and equipment are funded by voluntary donations from churches and individuals. If you wish to support disaster response, there are several ways to donate:
• To assist with disaster response efforts in Minnesota: Send a check to the Minnesota Conference office (122 W. Franklin Ave., Ste. 400, Minneapolis, MN 55404) and be sure to list "MAC Disaster Response" in the memo line OR go here to make an online donation (select "Other Donation" and write in "MAC Disaster Response” to ensure your donation is routed to the right place).
• To assist with the United Methodist Church’s international disaster response: Give to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Learn more and make an online contribution to UMCOR.
2. Join a disaster response team: Gary Bochman is the conference’s disaster response coordinator. Contact him to learn about training for new team members or for church disaster preparedness. Check the “Events” section of the conference website to learn about Minnesota disaster response trainings, or visit the North Central Jurisdiction Volunteers in Mission website to learn about regional disaster response trainings. All volunteers must complete the Safe Gatherings background check process in order to join a disaster response team.
3. Assemble a kit to help people in disaster areas: Cleaning kits, hygiene kits, and school kits are sought by UMCOR. Learn more about kit assembly and delivery.
Disaster Response Coordinator, Gary Bochman
firstname.lastname@example.org / 952-201-3688
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church