Tornado Response

It has been less than a year since tornados and strong thunderstorms swept across Indiana, leaving behind loss and devastation. On Thursday, March 14, fellow Hoosiers once again experienced disaster. We join together in prayer for those in Randolph, Delaware, Jefferson, and Switzerland counties which were affected and for those who are responding.

At this time, we have not received reports of any churches being damaged. Authorities and first responders are still assessing the area. Our care and response remain focused on individuals, families, and surrounding communities.

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:

  • Continue to pray for all those who have been affected, directly and indirectly, as well as the first responders and those working to restore outages.
  • Financial contributions can be mailed to the Conference lockbox (INUMC, Dept 6089, Carol Stream, IL 60122). Please mark them with “Indiana Disaster Response.” You may also give electronically to 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 john.young@inumc.org.
  • If you have damage and needs for us to respond to in your area, please reach out to Ron Heustis at rlheustis@gmail.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 jennifer.huff@inumc.org.
  • It is important for our Conference to have trained ERTs. After disasters like this, ERTs typically help, when asked, to clean up debris and tarp roofs before long term recovery begins. If you are interested in ERT training, please 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.

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