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.
Disaster team training, response, and equipment are funded by voluntary donations from churches and individuals. If you wish to support disaster response, there are two ways to donate:
• 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.
• Make an online donation by clicking here (select "Other Donation" and write in "MAC Disaster Response to ensure your donation is routed to the right place).
Contact Disaster Response Coordinator, Gary Bochman (firstname.lastname@example.org / 952-201-3688), to learn about training for new team members or for church disaster preparedness Each district in the Minnesota Annual Conference has a Disaster Response Committee. Check with your district for contact information of your Disaster Response District Coordinator. Get involved at your local level.
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. Support this ministry by giving through your local church and writing Minnesota Conference Disaster Response on your giving envelope or check memo line.
Some of the churches and members of the Minnesota Conference have asked where to direct cash gifts. Please send gifts to the Minnesota Conference office (122 W. Franklin Ave., Ste. 400, Minneapolis, MN 55404) and write “MN disaster relief” on your check so that your contribution can be recorded and used for its intended purpose. The Minnesota Conference and its Early Disaster Response Team will determine the best use of these funds. Recovery efforts continue long after disasters occur, and gifts now will make a huge difference in the months to come.
You may donate to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in response to current disasters. One hundred percent of your donation supports disaster response in that area. Learn about the many ways that United Methodists are helping brothers and sisters in Christ through disasters by visiting the UMCOR website.
All 87 counties in Minnesota have been declared a federal disaster area at least once since 1965, according to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. It is easy to say, "It can't happen here!" But it can.
Preparation is the best response. Every church can be ready to respond and minister in the event of a disaster, whether it is of natural, technological, or human cause. Consider attending a disaster preparedness training event. Training teaches churches to be able to continue in the event of a disaster and to be able to serve as a resource in their own communities and surrounding communities in the event of a disaster.
Sign up for conference e-newsletters to see announcements of upcoming training events.
Prepare for the next round of disasters, whenever they may hit. UMCOR Disaster Preparedness Academies take place in the North Central Jurisdiction from time to time. Check the NCJ Volunteer in Mission Disaster Response page for opportunities and trainings.
Disaster Response Coordinator, Gary Bochman
email@example.com / 952-201-3688
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church