TAC Disaster Response: Louisiana Floods

8/15/2016

As I'm sure you are aware, the State of Louisiana is suffering from another historic flooding event. While we praise God that we appear to have been spared another round of widespread flooding in the Texas Annual Conference, our heart nonetheless breaks for our sisters and brothers in Louisiana. Our two conferences have a long history of supporting each other through times of disaster, and I know you are all eager to help our neighbors. While we continue to pray for the Louisiana Conference, its residents, its churches, and its leaders, we want to offer some concrete advise on the best ways to respond AT THIS TIME.
 
During and immediately after a disaster, what you do NOT do is often more important that what you do. So, despite our eagerness to help, please refrain from the following:
 
1. Please do NOT take up a collection of items based solely on news or even personal reports from Louisiana. This would include clothing, shoes, diapers, food, and water. Unsolicited donations can lead to a second disaster when an organization's infrastructure has been damaged as badly as Louisiana's has been.
 
2. Please do NOT contact churches in Louisiana directly with an offer to assist or send teams. Please allow the local churches time to respond to their local community, and please allow the conference and denominational response system to function. This includes contacting churches with offers of financial assistance, physical donations, and work teams. There are some procedures that need to take place before those offers can be properly received.
 
We are in close communication with church officials in Louisiana. They will notify us when and with what type of assistance they need.
 
In the meantime, here are some things you CAN do that would greatly benefit our loved ones in Louisiana.:
 
1. Urge your churches to give generously to UMCOR Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670. Please funnel any money you collect through this UMCOR account. It is from this account that UMCOR distributes financial assistance to disaster-affected conferences. At this time we do not anticipate UMCOR setting up a separate account specifically for the Louisiana flood.
 
2. If you wish to assemble flood buckets, please make sure you are using the most recent packing list, which can be found at http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies/Relief-Supply-Kits/Cleaning. Once your church has assembled all of your buckets, please contact Rev. Scott Moore at smoore@txcumc.org to arrange transport.

If UMCOR or the Louisiana Annual Conference requests specific assistance, we will immediately forward that information to the district offices and post it on the conference website.
 
If you have any questions please contact one of the following conference disaster personnel:
Rev. Scott Moore smoore@txcumc.org
Christine Riggle criggle@txcumc.org
Carol Greenslate cgreenslate@txcumc.org
 
In Christ,
Rev. Scott Moore
Executive Director, Mission Center
Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church