Hurricane Harvey - Update

Hurricane Harvey - Update

Tom Vencuss


Even as Hurricane Harvey was forming, United Methodists, through UMCOR and our connectional system, were preparing for a response: queueing up clean up buckets and health kits, alerting Early Response Team volunteers, and making emergency grants available. In response, in some areas local churches are serving as emergency shelters, ERTs are on the ground, and UMCOR is working with other relief/recovery agencies. For the latest UMCOR response update please click here.

Following UMCOR protocols:

  • Volunteers and volunteer teams should not self-deploy.
  • We serve only upon an invitation from the host Conference. At this point only one Conference has requested volunteer teams and they request that these be experienced Early Response Teams. 
  • Only those items requested are to be sent to Mission Central for transport to the affected areas. 

As part of our response the New York Conference is:

  • Putting out a call for churches to assemble UMCOR-designated clean up kits and health kits. A schedule of collection dates and sites will be posted with a first pick-up in early October. 
  • In the process of scheduling both Basic and Recertification ERT classes - a schedule of times and locations will be available within several days.
  • Identifying experienced team leaders to lead Early Response Teams. It is also our intention to have a trained DESC (Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care) person on each team. There is a team currently scheduled for early October (full) but it is our hope to send one team a month. A schedule of teams will be posted.

It is important to remember that this will be a long recovery. Early Response Teams may be needed for several months and then the long process of recovery begins. Updated information will be posted on this website as it is received. In the meantime, keep the people of Texas and Louisiana in your prayers.