The New York Conference Disaster Response Office has been in contact with UMCOR as we continue to monitor the effects of Hurricane Harvey and make plans for an appropriate response. At this point we are in a position of "waiting" - but that does not mean one of inactivity. UMCOR is working with local Disaster Response Coordinators to identify and prepare Early Response Teams for future deployment, identifying volunteer housing, and preparing a database of supplies and equipment which can be moved into affected areas when appropriate.
Disaster response coordinators are connecting to UMCOR’s relief supply system and budgetary assistance as they plan for shelter support along the evacuation routes.
Bishop Bickerton has been in contact with Bishops from the Texas Conferences. In addition, Tom Vencuss, NYAC Coordinator of Missions Ministries, will be part of an UMCOR conference call with Disaster Response Coordinators from Texas tomorrow evening and will be able to provide updates.Tom will then be in dialogue with Bishop Bickerton and the Cabinet to determine and coordinate an NYAC response.
At this point there has not been a request for volunteers, and persons or teams are not to self deploy. UMCOR has requested that local churches begin to assemble Clean-up Buckets and Health Kits. We will send out a schedule of locations and pick up dates later in the fall.
As UMCOR, and the Conferences and local communities continue to respond to the effects of Harvey, please pray for those whose lives may be impacted by this catastrophic event.
Those who wish to support the work of UMCOR as it responds to this and other disasters in the US are encouraged to give to UMCOR’s US Disaster Response Advance #901670.