Disaster Ministries serves as a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of disaster, fostering partnerships between United Methodists and others to help rebuild homes, communities, and lives. Our Conference offers training courses from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to help staff, churches, and volunteers learn how to prepare and respond to disasters.
Early Response Team Training
The foundation of effective disaster response is built on willing and well-trained volunteers. UMCOR provides several courses for Early Response Teams (ERTs) through a network of badged local trainers. ERTs fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to help to prevent further damage while providing a caring Christian presence.
ERTs are not a first-response group of emergency workers, nor are they recovery, rebuild, or repair teams. Under very specific guidelines, ERTs assist survivors without causing further harm or being a burden to the affected community.
ERT Classes help participants understand how United Methodists are involved during a disaster, how we get prepared for a disaster, and what we can do when a disaster strikes.
Basic ERT Class
Required to receive an ERT badge and become part of a fully certified team. You will be badged after your background check is complete.
Your ERT badge is good for three years, at which time you will need to take an ERT Recertification Class.
April 22, 2023 from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at First UMC – Rocky Mount
100 S Church St, Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Advanced ERT – Skill Development Classes
We offer the following half-day UMCOR Level 200 classes to enhance the knowledge and skills of our Early Response Teams:
Cleaning a Flooded Home
Designed to discuss issues related to flooding, mold, and other water damage issues.
Designed to provide resources for supplying the necessary equipment and arranging transportation for the ERT, as well as ensuring the worksite safety.
Designed to advance the understanding of the safety officer role and encourages enhanced understanding of work hazards, environmental hazards, use of PPE, and impact of worker fatigue.
Provides tools and experiences for those who will help make initial assessments for early response needs. Trained assessors are able to recommend the needs at each property and provide initial guidance to arriving teams.
Designed to help those who will manage a site and/or deployment of volunteers. Highly recommended for District Disaster Coordinators and Team Leaders.
Designed to better equip team leaders for their role. We highly recommend team leaders complete this class and/or the UMVIM Team Leader Training.
Emphasizes different response needs and activities related to wildfires.
Disaster Training for Local Churches
When disaster strikes, the local church usually provides the first response. The visible presence of the church is an essential and effective ministry that brings God’s hope and healing to people in times of crisis.
Connecting Neighbors is an UMCOR designed course for local churches to help prepare both the church and local community to plan and prepare for disaster response. The class includes components that will prepare participants to work with others in:
- Developing a disaster plan that fits with the local church mission (including both outreach and internal needs)
- Connecting the church to outside resources and to the community’s emergency plan
- Identifying the types of disasters most likely to impact the local church community and the needs that may arise
- Assessing the church’s resources to meet those needs
- Identifying the church’s role in disaster readiness and response
- Developing a communication system for disasters
- Planning for local response
Other Trainings Recommended by the NC Conference
We are currently developing content for a class in Emotional and Spiritual Care following a disaster.
We are also exploring ways for teams to train in Chainsaw Safety, CPR (often available locally), First Aid (often available locally), and other requested areas.