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Early Response Team Updates

“The Mission of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster.”


This team is neither a first response group of emergency workers nor a recovery rebuild or repair team; rather it fills a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the presence of the church. While there are specific tasks assigned to early response teams, no task is more important than the people it serves.

It is important to understand that ER Teams are trained primarily to respond within their own community. Your team does not need an invitation to respond in your own community or in your own Methodist district. To travel to another district, conference, or jurisdiction, requires the invitation by the affected community. 

Below are invitations the Tennessee Conference has received requesting Early Response Teams.

Please contact the Conference office (DisasterResponse@tnumc.org) and let us know when you deploy. We want to celebrate your work as well as pray over your efforts and for your safety.

October 5, 2017 – Florida

Florida is ready for volunteers. Trained ERTs will be placed in IRMA relief and those who are not trained will be serving with recovery for Hermine and Matthew. The link to volunteer is here: https://florida-reg.brtapp.com/hurricaneirmaregistration.

For more information regarding needs in Florida, you can go their disaster response page, found here:http://www.flumc.org/disasterrecoveryministry.

September 19, 2017 – South Georgia

Although Hurricane Irma was a tropical storm when it hit Georgia, it left its worst impact in Coastal Georgia.  South Georgia Conference is looking for current ERT and trained chainsaw teams to help in Chatham and other coastal counties.

Lodging can be arranged in local churches; however, teams may need to cook their own meals or use local restaurants.

Interested teams can contact me.

Luis O. Morales, MPS-EM, BSN; South Georgia UMC; Conference Disaster Response Coordinator; Email: morhilll@gmail.com; (478) 216-7729

August 29, 2017 – Rio Texas

The Rio Texas Conference is asking for ERT’s. Only currently certified ERT members are being accepted.

Teams will base out of Corpus Christi and should register at https://riotexas.org/ert-volunteer-team-registration.

ERT trained individuals/small groups not part of a team should register at https://riotexas.org/ert-individual-and-small-group-signup.

Current needs include debris removal of down trees, and roof tarping. Many homes have water damage from damaged windows and roofs.

Please send this invite to all of your currently certified ERT trained persons!


September 8, 2017 – Louisiana

The Louisiana Conference is now scheduling trained and badged ERT’s for Hurricane Harvey response. Please direct your ERT’s to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UMCVolunteerRegistration to register.


September 8, 2017 – Texas

To register a team to serve in the Texas Conference Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts, please fill in information on the form at


Please note that most of the work at this time includes mucking out and gutting of homes. This work is dirty and conditions may be hazardous, so please bring appropriate protective gear for all team members including respirators, Tyvek suits, gloves, eye protection, etc.

Members must be over the age of 18 and have proof of Safe Sanctuary Certification from your local church (contact your local church office for more information).


Early Response Team Training


ERT Basic Course | TBA

ERT Recertification | TBA


To express your interest in being trained and to be notified of dates for upcoming training, please send a message to: DisasterResponse@tnumc.org