Storm response efforts began quickly after tornados and strong thunderstorms swept across Indiana, leaving behind loss and devastation. Our prayers surround our fellow Hoosiers, including those who reside and serve in seven of our districts: West, Central, Southwest, North, Northwest, North Central, and Northeast. Thankfully, we have not received reports of any churches being damaged. Our care and response remain focused on individuals, families, and surrounding communities.
Authorities and first responders are still assessing the damage. We are forming a plan along with federal and state agencies and other non-profits to assess and prepare for the long-term recovery process that will be required. We are grateful that United Methodists have already begun to respond as individuals, through their local churches, districts, and the Conference. We know that other organizations have also been providing response efforts, and sometimes that makes us want to respond with even more urgency. UMCOR and United Methodists are known as being the last to leave when people are in need. There will be many opportunities for us to respond and serve in the days, months, and years to come.
Here is a list of the immediate needs as of today:
- Continue to pray for all those who have been affected, directly and indirectly, as well as the first responders and those working to restore power.
- Financial contributions can be mailed to the Conference lockbox (INUMC Dept 6089, Carol Stream, IL 60122) or given electronically. Please mark them with “Indiana Disaster Response.”
- Please do not send physical donations or show up spontaneously and uninvited. These actions can overwhelm and create chaos in affected areas. We will let you know when physical donations are needed.
- Indiana disaster early response teams (ERT) have begun to clean up debris and tarp roofs in certain areas. As teams form, please follow the ratio of one ERT paired with one non-ERT. If you are interested in being a part of an ERT team in one of our many affected areas, please reach out to Rev. John Young at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have damage and needs for us to respond to in your area, please reach out to Ron Heustis at email@example.com.
- If you have questions about the various affected areas or about any of the information shared, please reach out to Rev. Jen Huff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- It is important for our Conference to have trained ERTs. The next ERT training will be April 29, 2023, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Hamline Chapel UMC, 102 W. High Street, Lawrenceburg, IN. Lunch and all materials will be provided. For more information and to register, contact Rev. John Young at John.Young@inumc.org.
Due to the evolving nature of this situation, please be sure to follow Conference guidance for ways to give and serve. We will share opportunities as we learn more.