Updated: September 5, 2019
As Hurricane Dorian continued to threaten the U.S. east coast, United Methodists were connecting with Methodists in the Bahamas to start relief efforts.
The Bahamas Conference of the Methodist Church already is fielding requests to help those being evacuated from the “unprecedented devastation” to receive basic supplies and find a place to live, says its president, the Rev. L. Carla Culmer.
But the survivors also need someone to hear their stories. “We want to see how we can counsel and listen and be there for them,” she told UM News in a Sept. 5 phone interview.
After striking the island nation on Sept. 1, Hurricane Dorian caused “vast devastation” and left 70,000 people in need of immediate humanitarian relief, says Mark Lowcock, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
How to help
Donations for the Bahamas can be made through UMCOR’s
International Disaster Response Advance #982450. Money from this fund is used to respond to disasters around the world.
In the U.S., donate to the U.S. Disaster Response Advance #901670 for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
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The United States has experienced more than 200 confirmed tornadoes, as well as a devastating blizzard, damaging winds, rainfall and hail this year.
Today’s superstorms need an organized response – and that is what UMCOR is doing.
UMCOR’s board of directors recently authorized the distribution of $20,236,883 in funds for U.S. disaster response, touching 10 states from Iowa to Florida, Nebraska to Alabama, as well as Puerto Rico.
Funding is provided by thousands of donors like you, each giving as they can. Your support is needed to ensure UMCOR continues its organized response.
Please help our neighbors today!
CURRENT DISASTER RESPONSE
UMCOR and our partners are responding to disasters both in the United States and around the world. Please join us in prayer for the areas affected and consider a gift to UMCOR Disaster Response. As we assess the impact of these storms, we will provide timely updates as we receive information. We will also share additional ways in which you can provide assistance.
Wildfires in California
As thousands flee wildfires in California, UMCOR is in close conversation with the disaster response coordinators of the California-Pacific and California-Nevada Conferences of The United Methodist Church.
UMCOR is already actively engaged in California in response to previous wildfires and we anticipate supporting both conferences as they identify and respond to the needs of the populations affected by the current wildfires.
We pray for the safety of the firefighters and first responders as well as those evacuating their homes. UMCOR stands ready to support the response of the conferences with relief kits, Early Response Teams, and funding.
Hurricane Michael on the Gulf Coast
We are proud to say that because of UMCOR’s investment in disaster response training, our partners are better prepared to reduce risk and respond effectively to the needs of survivors.
UMCOR partners have begun their local response in the Alabama-West Florida, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. Other neighboring conferences have provided assistance, and all were well prepared to respond quickly using UMCOR response training and the UMCOR supply network.
Affected Conferences are not yet ready to receive out-of-conference volunteers. We remind those wishing to provide assistance to please not self-deploy or donate unsolicited items. Many areas are still engaged in emergency response efforts.
Before Hurricane Michael made landfall, Conference Disaster Response Coordinators were in touch with local leaders and secured a 35,000ft2 warehouse in Marianna, FL with necessary equipment to expeditiously stock and distribute relief supplies.
Moreover, the Conference was awarded a $10,000 solidarity grant which partners are using to support evacuees and survivors in the impact zone. Assessments are underway and continue to expand as more residential areas open to response teams. Many church structures have been damaged or destroyed. Partners continue to receive relief supplies from UMCOR warehouses.
For more information please visit, hurricanemichaelrecovery.org, or call 888-942-4477 (please note this line should be used for information relating to the Alabama-West Florida Conference only).
In South Georgia assessments are underway and partners have deployed a shower trailer, clean-up supplies and water. Early Response Teams are mobilizing, including teams from both South Georgia and North Georgia Conferences. Local churches and partners are assembling additional cleaning kits for immediate use.
For more information, please visit https://www.sgaumc.org/newsdetail/assessing-hurricane-michael-damage-12238766.
The Florida Conference was awarded a $10,000 Solidarity Grant to deliver relief supplies to affected areas. Early Response Teams are responding and assessing damage.
For information please visit https://www.flumc.org or call 855-228-3862.
Local partners and volunteers have responded to the needs of those affected by Hurricane Florence in unprecedented ways. ERTs are active in both the South Carolina and North Carolina Conferences. Partners have delivered supplies and kits throughout the region and local churches continue to assist with damage assessments and relief efforts.
We are asking that those wishing to assist please do not self-deploy or donate unsolicited items. Affected conferences are managing their responses locally and will make requests for materials and response teams as they continue their assessments.
In North Carolina and South Carolina, long-term recovery volunteer teams are still needed in response to previous disasters, providing opportunities for those wishing to assist immediately while the Conferences continue to assess the specific needs from Hurricane Florence.
UMCOR Across the U.S.
UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response teams are hard at work not only in the Carolinas and Gulf Coast, but across the country. Often, our partners work in places affected by disasters that do not receive substantial media attention. Explore the many places UMCOR partners are currently assisting in disaster response on the map below.
UMCOR Around the World
Earthquakes and Tsunami in Indonesia
UMCOR is fortunate to consistently work with many partners in Indonesia. We are currently coordinating with partners on the ground to address immediate needs of vulnerable people affected by the earthquakes and tsunami. We have been in contact with Methodist Church leadership to support assessment, initial relief work and further evaluation and prioritization of needs as we reach recovery phases.
Since 2017, UMCOR has trained and funded Disaster Management teams in order to empower communities to proactively alleviate suffering caused by the effects of disasters. Their work allows for communities’ advance awareness and preparedness, aligning with the efforts of other conference teams and ecumenical councils from across the region.
At a national level, this initiative ensures that the maximum number of people are prepared for a storm’s impact. Moreover, the Manilla, Davao and Baguio Episcopal Area offices continue to distribute daily weather advisories to community leaders.
UMCOR IDR has authorized a 10,000 USD Solidarity grant to address immediate needs in the most hard hit provinces of Baguio while the Disaster Management Coordinators in the Philippines continue to work with their communities after Typhoon Mangkhut and maintain their assessment of damages and analysis of needs.