Readying | Resourcing | Responding


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. 

Chainsaw Training

The Western NC Conference has a strict chainsaw use policy. Early Response Team members must have the U.S. Forestry Service certification. Alternatively,  ERTs can provide qualifying documentation that they have been evaluated for chainsaw safety. One way to achieve this is to attend our Chainsaw Safety Training and be evaluated. The course is short and basically consists of proving that you have the knowledge to use a chainsaw safely. 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.

To request an ERT training email


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. 

  1. Register below.
  2. Complete background check.
  3. Complete Western NC online Safe Sanctuaries Course. Access to this online course will be provided after you register.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:
    1. A photo-ID to check-in
    2. Your certificate of completion for the ERT course that you will take online. 
    3. Your certificate of completion for the Safe Sanctuary course that you will take online.
    4. A chair (like a camping chair) - the MRC has a limited number of seats. 


ERT Recertification 

If you have an ERT badge that is about to expire, you can complete the ERT recertification online coursework. Email to register.

Disaster Preparedness

Continuing Education