Blessing Alert: Train to be an Early Responder

10/8/2015

In times of humanitarian disasters, you can be ready to provide relief and loving support to survivors by attending ERT training October 24.
 
Early Response Teams are called upon in times of humanitarian disasters, be they natural or man made, to provide a loving presence to survivors, stop any further damage from occurring, and bring relief to those in need.  This may be in the form of removing water-damaged items from homes, securing structures to prevent further damage, helping affected families pack and relocate to a safer location, or providing immediately needed supplies such as food and water. 
 
According to TAC’s Executive Director of the Mission Depot Rev. Scott Moore, ERTs may also be called on during disaster recovery to help homeowners return their homes to a new "normal."  Explains Scott, “ERTs are not the very first responders.  We do not conduct search and rescue operations.  Instead, once local officials have declared an area safe, we are often one of the first organizations into an affected area to begin bringing assistance to survivors.”
 
Texas Annual Conference Disaster Ministries is hosting a training class for those interested in becoming Early Response Team volunteers.  The training will take place Saturday, October 24, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Tomball United Methodist Church.  Lunch will be provided and childcare is available.
 
Recovery Update and Training
Carol Greenslate, TACCOR representative, knows about disaster relief firsthand as the coordinator of recovery for the spring flooding in Houston. “The mission of disaster response is to be a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster,” she shares, “and often recovery needs extend far beyond the news cycle.” Adds Carol, “For example, flooding in 2015 has affected almost every county in our conference. In Harris County, there were 11,000 FEMA registrants alone.” Methodist responders go in during the early relief phase and then work in the long-term recovery. “We are thankful to the many Methodists who responded in the relief stage -- however the work is not done. Our neighbors are hurting from Wharton to Texarkana. Please keep them in your prayers and consider how you can help.”
 
Long-term Recovery
Adds Carol, “If you have heart for advocacy, we are looking for volunteers to walk with clients through their recovery plan. No experience is necessary; we will equip you.  If you feel called to help, there is a place for you in this ministry.”
Anyone interested in repair or rebuild opportunities can contact either Rev. Moore or Carol Greenslate. Teams will be forming all over the conference.
 
Get Ready
Is your church/community ready if a disaster were to occur? Conference specialists can provide resources, information and training on preparedness. To register for this training, or to get more information about ERTs or the Texas Annual Conference Disaster Ministries, please email Rev. Scott Moore at smoore@txcumc.org.

NOTE: Onsite training is also available by request to Rev. Scott Moore or Carol Greenslate at cgreenslate@txcumc.org.