Disaster Preparedness + Response

Let’s go help people!

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”  – Proverbs 3: 27

Helping your church and community prepare for and respond to disasters is one of the many ways we as United Methodists in the Greater Northwest Area put our love of God into action.

We are living in a time when it seems there is one disaster after the next – flooding, wildfires, global warming, a pandemic and so much more. That is why Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky has made disaster response and preparedness – caring for our earth and communities – a missional priority of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area.

We hope you and your local church will bookmark this page as a valuable resource when it comes to preparing for and responding to disasters.

New resource!

As you share materials about Disaster Preparedness & Response and the work of climate justice in your local church, consider using this learning guide to engage thoughtful discussion.

Four ways local churches can help prepare/respond

Connecting Neighbors

One church can make a huge impact on the community. In times of strife, a church can become a community center, a warming shelter, church members can use prayer chains to connect with congregants who may be stranded, etc. This UMCOR-developed training empowers local churches to be leaders in preparing their congregants, preparing the church and serving their surrounding community.

Making & storing kits

Making UMCOR-approved hygiene or school supply kits (and more) is one way for people aged 5 to 105 to make a tangible impact. But the GNW Disaster Response and Preparedness Team is also asking for churches to thoughtfully consider becoming storage sites for these kits and other supplies that may need to be deployed at a moment’s notice.

Volunteer your time

Volunteers are also needed to respond to communities in times of crisis or in times of clean-up and rebuilding. Conferences deploy Early Response Teams (ERTs) to help after a disaster strikes and United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) groups help with the rebuilding phase. Both require some training to get involved. For those who have a passion for this kind of hands-and-feet-of-Jesus ministry.

Give generously to others

Sometimes the greatest help you can offer is through your generosity. By giving to either the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho or Pacific Northwest Conference disaster response funds (UMCOR advances) you are allowing Conference leaders to provide the right resources at the right time.