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ERT training scheduled for November 18

Disaster relief team in Detroit

The Michigan Conference seeks volunteers to become UMCOR-certified early responders by attending a one-day Early Response Team training next month. Register by November 8.

Collecting relief supplies and assembling kits during the Michigan Conference’s fall disaster preparedness rally, which continues through October 22, is just one way churches and individuals can respond faithfully to our call to help neighbors after a disaster.

Another tangible way is joining a Michigan Conference Early Response Team (ERT) when the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) calls for aid following floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes. ERTs respond to a disaster once first responders have left, removing debris, patching damaged roofs, and making disaster sites safe and secure for long-term recovery work to begin. They also provide emotional support for homeowners as they struggle to put their lives back together.

So, what does it take to become an UMCOR-certified ERT volunteer? $35 and one day of your time. The next ERT training is scheduled for Saturday, November 18, 2023, at Farwell UMC, 281 E. Ohio St., in Farwell, MI. Registration begins at 8:30 am, and training goes from 9 am to 5 pm.

To reserve your seat, contact Jody Pratt at [email protected]. Include the following information in your email: name, church name, birth date, mailing address, email address, and preferred phone number. The deadline to register is November 8.

Pratt, a certified ERT trainer, will conduct this eight-hour basic training. Once completed, you will have the knowledge and skills to enter a disaster zone as part of an ERT. You will receive a badge certifying you for three years of service, a T-shirt with the Michigan ERT logo, a manual explaining what it’s like being a volunteer early responder, and lunch.

With a badge, T-shirt, and manual, you will be ready to join a team when a request comes for assistance from the Disaster Response Coordinator of the Michigan Conference or one of the other conferences in The United Methodist Church. You will be invited to get dirty, sweaty, and tired by mucking out basements, tearing out drywall, tarping roofs, and removing damaged furniture and belongings — all for the joy of serving God as the hands and feet of Christ.

If you have questions about the ERT training or what’s expected of a volunteer team member, contact Jody Pratt at [email protected].

Last Updated on October 6, 2023

The Michigan Conference