Disaster Preparedness


EARLY RESPONSE TEAMS go into an affected area after the first responders have secured the area and invited them in. Their purpose is to assist survivors to be “safe, sanitary and secure” which includes being a compassionate listener as survivors tell their story. Work may include removing debris, mucking out, tarping a roof, etc. ERTs must be self-contained since housing, food, electricity, etc. may not be available in or near the affected area. Because the work is often spiritually and emotionally draining, as well as physically exhausting, ERTs are usually deployed for only 3-4 days at a time. Conference ERTs are trained, credentialed and registered through the Disaster Recovery Ministry of the conference.


  • ERT Training: Click here for training information.  
  • ERT Work in Western NC: Early Response Teams will be notified for deployment by the District or Conference Coordinator(s).  
  • ERT Work in other Conferences: Invitations to aid can be found at UMVIM.
  • DISASTER RESPONSE TEAMS are volunteer work teams who enter the affected area after ERTs have completed their work. Typically, disaster teams are doing clean-up and debris removal only. Teams may go in for a day or longer. While ERT training is helpful, it is not necessary. Credentials are not required; however, the emergency management staff in a local community may set up their own process for managing volunteers working there.

VOLUNTEER LONG-TERM WORK TEAMS sometimes called Building Teams or Mission Teams, are the teams that go into the affected area during the long-term recovery process to do repairs and rebuild houses or churches. These teams are usually working with the long-term recovery organization in the area who is doing case management to identify needs and resources. While construction and/or “handy man” type skills are highly desired, they are not necessary. Volunteer work teams may work in an area for a day, a weekend, a week or longer. Usually housing is available through local churches who may offer their fellowship hall and kitchen for the volunteers to use while working in the area. Credentials are not required.

Disaster Response Grants

To apply for a disaster response grant, click the link below.

Click here to open the WNCC-UMC eGrant.net application.

Click here to download instructions for accessing and using eGrant.net.

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