The United Methodist Church brings God’s hope, healing, and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by natural disaster. Through Disaster Response and Volunteers In Mission, we provide disaster response, relief, and rebuilding to communities that have been impacted by natural and human-created disasters. Learn more about the five phases of a disaster and which ones you can be a part of by clicking here. As United Methodists, it is always crucial that we wait for an invitation from the affected community and do not self-deploy.
Turkey & Syria Earthquakes
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck southern Turkey at 4:17 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, the most powerful earthquake recorded since 1939. In the hours that followed, at least 78 aftershocks were reported, followed by a second earthquake of 7.5 magnitude. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, and responders are still recovering victims. UMCOR has released solidarity grants to longstanding partners in the region to help provide tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, ready to eat meals, and first aid kits to those who have been displaced. You can help by giving a financial donation to UMCOR's International Disaster Response fund, Advance #982450.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as a category 4 storm in September of 2022. Whole cities and communities were devastated in Florida, and teams from West Ohio are being scheduled. If you are interested in deploying to Florida, please complete the form here.
Eastern Kentucky Flooding
At the end of July, torrential rains struck Eastern Kentucky, causing severe flooding in multiple areas. West Ohio has received an invitation to send volunteers for clean-up and rebuilding efforts. Contact Jim Savage at 270-993-8908. Monetary donations can be made to UMCOR's U.S. Disaster Response fund online here, or by sending a check to West Ohio Conference, 32 Wesley Blvd, Worthington, OH 43085, with '#901670' in the Memo line.
Flash flooding in the St. Louis area at the end of July affected thousands of residents. ERT teams are needed, mostly to perform muck-outs and debris removal. Sign your team up to help here: 2022 Flood Response Volunteer Form (brtapp.com). If you have questions or need more information, contact Scott Burdin prior to submitting the form at 660-676-3454 or sburdin [at] moumethodist.org.
Western Kentucky Tornadoes
On December 10, 2021, a storm system unleashed a devastating tornado that traveled hundreds of miles across Western Kentucky, leaving severe destruction in its wake. Teams are being accepted, both ERT and non-ERT. Contact Kim Gilliam at gilliam1 [at] twc.com to schedule a team. Donations are still needed; you can donate to UMCOR's U.S. Disaster Response fund online here, or by sending a check to West Ohio Conference, 32 Wesley Blvd, Worthington, OH 43085, with '#901670' in the Memo line.
Hurricane Ida Recovery
Recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida are open to ERT and work teams. Click here to register your team.
Other Recent Disasters
- Detroit flood recovery: click here or email dano.omalley [at] gmail.com (Dan O'Malley)
- Louisiana hurricane long-term recovery: https://www.la-umc.org/hurricanehelp
- California-Nevada Wildfires: interested volunteers can fill out the form here
Ways to Support Disaster Response
- Click HERE to donate online to West Ohio Disaster Response. 100% of your gift will assist individuals and families recovering from disasters within West Ohio.
- You can also write a check to West Ohio Conference with 'West Ohio Disaster Response' in the memo line and send it to West Ohio Conference, Attn. Disaster Response, 32 Wesley Blvd, Worthington, OH 43085.
Survivors often experience chaos, fear, grief, and anxiety in the aftermath of natural disasters. These emotions can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Our prayers have the power to activate healing and courage in the face of great unknowns.
Long-term disaster response volunteer opportunities from around the country can be found by clicking on the Disaster Recovery tab on the UMVIM webpage here. Please do not self-deploy to disaster areas. For more information, contact mgrace [at] wocumc.org.
- Early Response Team training: ERT teams of The United Methodist Church assist in the aftermath of natural disasters. Click here for upcoming ERT trainings.
- VIM Team Leader training: VIM teams assist with rebuilding during the long-term recovery process. Click here for upcoming VIM trainings.
- Disaster Readiness Training: Host a training at your church in order to prepare for disasters before they happen. Click here for more information.