First Church had 12 people who participated in the Early Response Training in January!
A team of 14 will soon be going to the Texas coast to continue rebuilding an area that was devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
One of the primary ways the Central Texas Conference responds to disasters is via our Early Response Team (ERT). Our CTC ERTs respond to disasters within the conference, as well as to help other areas facing disasters. The mission of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring presence in the aftermath of a disaster, under very specific guidelines that enables a team to be productive and caring while causing no further harm or being a burden to the affected community.
The First Church Round Rock Disaster Response Team is an UMCOR-trained group of volunteers dedicated to providing a caring Christian presence to disaster survivors. Currently, our efforts are directed to responding to needs of survivors of Hurricane Harvey. Many of those little Texas towns have been largely forgotten, but our teams have been there and will continue to serve as long as it takes to help them rebuild.
Visit the UMCOR website to sign up for upcoming UMCOR Early Response Training. (** ALL new Early Response Team Members are now required to be compliant with MinistrySafe. You will need to fill out the MinistrySafe Compliance form and view the online training. First Church members should turn in your form to Rae Frenette in order to complete the screening process which includes a background check, application, interview and reference checks. There is a fee for the background check.)
Contact Dave Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Click the blog entries below to read our prior blog posts.
Hurricane Harvey Update: October 29, 2017
First Church has a long tradition of responding to need in areas near and far. Youth and adult mission teams have responded to floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and more. When Hurricane Harvey hit south and southeast Texas, the challenge was the biggest yet, with many of the victims belonging to family and friends. A $10,000 goal was set for making up to 120 flood buckets and at least that many health kits. The church responded in a miraculous way that now has surpassed $63,000. Nearly 500 flood buckets have been packed, with nearly 400 already delivered to the flood-ravaged areas. The projected cost for a flood bucket by UMCOR standards is $85 and $20 for health kits, but our Disaster Response Leadership Team and other volunteers were more efficient than that, allowing for a more robust ministry in the days and months ahead. The remaining buckets will accompany our teams of trained adults and youth, as they do desperately needed recovery work.
Presently, 30 persons have been specially trained for Disaster Response (training required to be an UMCOR Disaster Response Team member). Interestingly, we have been notified not to send more flood buckets or health kits separately, as those needs have been more than met at this time. Because this is a long haul effort, lasting for at least a year, more of those buckets and health kits will be needed later as supplies are depleted.
Meeting the challenge of Harvey has had three phases. The first was rescue, helping those displaced and deploying demo. This phase went surprisingly quick and the demand for homes and shelter in our area was lower than expected. Our flood bucket and health kit drive was part of phase two. We are now in the much longer third phase in which the major appeal is for response teams and tools. Some of our remaining funds will be used to provide supplies and meet other needs of persons served in that recovery effort.
First Church has been working with three conferences to meet this challenge: Central Texas, Rio Texas, and Texas. Because of your generosity, we have become a southern hub for Disaster Response for the Central Texas Conference…a training and host base for other churches. Thanks to our First Church Disaster Response Leadership Team for their guidance and coordination. Even more, thanks to each of you for sharing so generously of your resources that powerfully share the love of Christ and change lives forever!