The Committee on Relief has three priorities: Readying, Resourcing, and Responding. Readying refers to our work and ministry in advance of anticipated and unanticipated disasters and crises.
Important COVID-19 Update
Given the evolving nature of COVID-19 and following guidance from local, state, and federal public health agencies, we are working to develop a thoughtful and safe plan to resume in-person trainings. We ask for your patience.
The Western NC Conference has a strict chainsaw use policy. Early Response Team members must have the U.S. Forestry Service certification or attend our Chainsaw Safety Training and be evaluated. These classes happen periodically. Please check back for upcoming dates.
Early Response Team Training
ERTs go into an affected area after the first responders have secured the area and invited them in. For ERT deployment please see our Disaster Response page. Disaster Response works with and deploys ERTs. Mission Operations trains and re-certifies ERTs. 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 Committee on Relief.
Register (as an individual) and pay the fee to become an ERT. Registration is now open. After you register, the following items will need to be completed. You will receive access information for each of these steps. This applies to new ERTs and rectifying past ERT credentials.
- Register below.
- Complete background check.
- Complete Western NC online Safe Sanctuaries Course. Access to this online course will be provided after you register.
- Complete the Western NC online ERT Training Course. This will require you to download and read the ERT Student Handbook. Included in this course are also several videos. There are 12 classes in the course. You must receive a score of 80 or higher to pass this online course. Access to this online course will be provided after you register.
- Attend the ERT Training Day (posted below). The Training Day is from 9am to Noon. The day will consist of a course refresher, on-site demonstrations, a q&a (so bring your questions), and your final ERT exam. Your picture will also be taken for your new badge. Badges will be mailed from UMCOR in Atlanta a few weeks after the Training Day. You will need to bring:
- A photo-ID to check-in
- Your certificate of completion for the ERT course that you will take online.
- Your certificate of completion for the Safe Sanctuary course that you will take online.
- A chair (like a camping chair) - the MRC has a limited number of seats.
NEXT ERT TRAINING DAY
- Please ready yourselves, your facilities, and any Early Response Teams.
- Familiarize yourself with the National Hurricane Center Resources: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov
- Familiarize yourself with Ready NC: https://readync.org/EN/Index.html
- Remember to respond with relief only after an invitation from the appropriate local leaders.
- Visit UMCOR at: https://www.umcor.org
- Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship
- An Overview of the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship
- IS-360: Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: A Guide for Schools, Higher Education, and Houses of Worship
- IS-366: Planning for the needs of children in disasters
- IS-914: Surveillance Awareness: What You Can Do
- IS-906: Workplace Security Awareness Course
- Flood Preparedness Playbook
- Hurricane Preparedness Playbook
- Tornado Preparedness Playbook
- Wildfire Preparedness Playbook
- Winter Storm Preparedness Playbook
- CDC Preparedness & Response
- Red Cross Online Disaster Response Classes