Disaster Response

Early Response Training (ERT) and Recertification Courses: October 7 & 8 

In response to weather disasters in the South Bend and Kokomo regions, and in other areas of Indiana and the U.S., there is a recent need for United Methodists who are trained and readied to be a Christian presence in the aftermath of disaster. An ERT recertification class will take place 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday, October 7, and an ERT training class, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, October 8, 2016, Good Shepherd UMC, 4700 Vance Ave. Fort Wayne, IN. Registration deadline is Sunday, October 2, 11:59 p.m. You may register for classes by clicking the links below. 

ERT Recertification class on October 7

Early Response Training (ERT) on October 8


South Bend needs you

Our Indiana Conference Disaster Response Team has been immersed in recovery and relief efforts in South Bend for the past weeks and they are still connecting with the people of South Bend to continue the work necessary to move forward. However, the needs are great and more hands are needed.

The area is in great need of trained Early Response Teams and trainings are being facilitated for volunteer teams that are interested in being certified. 

Trainings and home base for ERTs responding to the needs in this area have been established at Clay United Methodist Church, 17646 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN 46635. Overnight housing is available at Clay UMC with prior arrangements.

Learn how you can contribute

Cleaning bucket information, site assessors needed in South Bend


To move forward with recovery efforts in the South Bend area from the recent floods, Site Assessors are needed immediately. 

Barbara Tripp from UMCOR will be in South Bend to help with Site Assessment Training, Early Response Training, and Team Leader Training, Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9. This is an excellent opportunity to receive quality training and help in Early Response work. 

Contact Acting Disaster Response Coordinator Mike Irvine by email at mike.irvine@inumc.org or by phone at 812-554-0337, if you are interested or have questions.



Details for Kokomo Connectors

"There is a need to identify persons who have had Stephen Ministries’ training who can come and be with displaced residents. Rev. Jeff Newton of Trinity UMC in Kokomo is referring to this group of volunteers as “Connectors” because they will connect with the residents by listening to them and then connect them by making the residents aware of resources that Rev. Newton and his team have identified. Rev. Newton’s goal is to have 2–3 volunteers serving as “Connectors” per day, Monday through Friday as relief efforts are underway."


Kokomo and South Bend

The state of Indiana has been in the path of natural disaster during the past week, and two areas of our conference (South Bend and Kokomo) have been affected with severe damage. Our Indiana Conference Disaster Relief Team has been at work to connect those impacted with the assistance and resources needed to begin recovery, as we continue to learn more about the needs of those in these areas.

Here’s what we know at the moment:

Disaster recovery begins with an Early Response Team

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

The 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.

It is important to understand that ERTs are trained primarily to respond within their own community. To travel to another district, conference or jurisdiction requires an invitation from that area's ERT coordinator.

All ERTs are trained by authorized UMCOR trainers and given badges by their own conference. All ERTs are encouraged to wear bright green T-shirts as a means of recognition.

Stay up-to-date on invitations to volunteer and scheduled trainings by subscribing to Mission and Social Advocacy e-newsletter - click here to subscribe.

For more information about UMCOR relief projects, click here.

For more information about the North Central Jurisdiction Volunteers In Mission, click here.

Interim Conference Disaster
Response Coordinator


Rev. Mike Irvine