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Disaster Response Ministry

UMC disaster response team

SOS! In case of emergency.

You've had a disaster. Now what? Click button at left.


Rev. Kayla Roosa
Disaster Response Coordinator
[email protected]

Rev. Bob Miller
Disaster Response Coordinator
[email protected]

Training Events & Upcoming Opportunities

To qualify for VIM first-time scholarships, a team must have at minimum, one trained adult. It is highly recommended for VIM Mission Journeys.  Michigan VIM trainer: Jody Pratt, [email protected]

Volunteer Blitz

After the Storm (Detroit Disaster Service)
October 1st-7th , 2023  
Serving residents affected by the June 2021 disaster flooding: Basement clean-out, drywall, furniture and appliance removal. Serve for one day or stay longer. Lodging is available at Detroit Metro UMC, Cass Community (Sue Pethoud  Coordinator) or Calvary UMC.
Details/Schedule your time to serve: 
Cheryl Tipton, Disaster Resource Coordinator 

Michigan Conference Early Response Basic Training (ERT)

What does it take to become an ERT Volunteer? $35 and one day! That is all. One eight-hour day of Training in the Basic Early Response Team Training gives you the basics for entering into a disaster zone. You will receive a badge that will certify you for three years of service, a T-Shirt with the Michigan ERT Logo, a Manual that explains what you can and can’t do and lunch. This all comes with needed information by a certified ERT Trainer.

With badge, T-Shirt and manual, you and a team of at least Seven ERT Volunteers will be ready when a request comes for assistance from the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator of the Michigan Conference or one of the other Conferences in the United Methodist Church. You will be invited in to get dirty, sweaty and tired through mucking out basements, taking out drywall, tarping roofs, removing damaged furniture and belongings all for the joy of serving God as the hands and feet of Christ.

If you would like to be a part of an ERT Team, consider registering for one of the scheduled training events listed below or sending your name and contact information to the Michigan Conference  Early Response Team Trainer, Bob Freysinger, [email protected]

Scheduled training dates at this time are:

Saturday, November 18, 2023
Farwell UMC
281 E Ohio St.
Farwell, MI 48622
Registration 8:30 am / Training 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Cost: $35 includes snacks, lunch. A materials download will be sent when registered.
Registration: Contact Jody Pratt at [email protected] to reserve a seat. Please include the following information: name, church name, birth date, address, email, phone number.
Deadline to register: November 8, 2023

Contact Bob Freysinger
[email protected] 
Michigan Conference Early Response Team Trainer

Michigan is ready to respond

Tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, famine; anything that disrupts people’s lives and places life at risk, calls us to be the compassionate hands and feet of Jesus Christ.  The Michigan Disaster Response Team works year round to prepare, plan and equip teams so we can respond when disaster strikes.

Learn how you can help without hurting the response process and then see updates on response projects we are involved with.

Four ways you can help with disasters.

1. Pray

We are called to pray, organize prayer groups and chains and bathe those in need in prayers of peace, God’s abundant Grace, wholeness and safety for those affected and those there to help.

2. Give

While our immediate compassionate instinct is to send food, clothing and household items in times of crisis, we recognize that often causes more harm than good.  In the initial crisis phase, there is no more flexible, reliable and effective response than a financial gift to either our Michigan Conference Response and Recovery or United Methodist Committee on Relief, where 100% goes directly to aid, UMCOR Sunday.

3. Donate

Preparedness. We assemble thousands of flood clean-up buckets and personal hygiene kits during the year, so when disaster strikes, we are able to load them on trucks and get them to the right place in days. Working with other annual conferences, we keep centralized response kits ready to go.

4. Volunteer

Michigan coordinates with national, state and local agencies to bring wholeness to disaster zones. Disaster zones are dangerous so our volunteers  arrive only after first responders have completed their rescue missions.  At the invitation of the affected community our teams move in and often for years following the crisis. To accomplish this we must be trained and prepared. Connect with Dan OMalley, our Disaster Response Coordinator or push the button below to learn about mission opportunities through Volunteers in Mission.

Last Updated on September 26, 2023

The Michigan Conference