Early Response Teams (ERTs) fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise 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.
Early Responders receive eight hours of training in order to fulfill this important role.
The Basic ERT Training teaches participants the basics of disaster response, including how to stabilize and secure homes safely, and how to work effectively with survivors and others on the response team. This standardized class is require for the basic ERT UMCOR identification badge.
The Disaster Response Team of the Michigan Area continues to set up ERT Training sessions. Here’s what’s on the calendar so far in 2018. All trainings run 9am to 5pm. Please contact Bob McCormick to register. 810-357-5617; firstname.lastname@example.org
- March 17, 2018: Traverse City: Mosaic Church,1249 3 Mile Rd S, Traverse City, MI 49696
The Rev. Tom Hazelwood, former Assistant General Secretary for Domestic Disaster Relief for UMCOR, explained the important role of the trained early responders: “In the hours and days after a disaster, those who survive are looking for anything to give them hope. ERTs can provide the kind of immediate response that restores hope, builds faith and encourages those who are looking to their neighbor for support.”