Responding to Disasters

by | Jul 30, 2021 | Disaster Response

The Desert Southwest Early Response Team (ERT) has responded to disasters outside and within the bounds of the annual conference.

Recently, a team of ten from our conference and one from California-Pacific Conference traveled to Lake Charles, Louisiana to care for the people and properties following two major hurricanes, a winter freeze, and what a media outlet referred to as “biblical rains.” Roofs were ripped from houses, interiors were flooded, and the survivors were profoundly affected. While much of the work was completed by local teams, our group replaced the tarps on three residences that were compromised or missing, and removed damaged furniture, cabinetry, flooring, and wallboard from two properties in five days.

The most important work was caring for the survivors. Listening to their stories gave the team inspiration to endure the hot, humid climate. A homeowner on oxygen whose disability check goes to pay for gasoline to run the generator powering his house, a VietNam veteran with COPD, an elderly woman who recently lost her son adult son to cancer, all expressed their deepest appreciation and thanks for our work. One woman said she had prayed for a year that someone would fix her roof and we were the answer to her prayers. Certainly, the team received more than we were able to give.

In June, sixteen ERTs worked with Salvation Army to prepare and distribute food boxes to the many families in Globe, Arizona displaced by the recent wildfires. Supplies were also prepared in advance for families likely to experience flooding and landslides resulting from the heavy rain on denuded mountainsides. Again, teams listened to the grief and fears of the survivors.

The work of the Early Response Teams is reverent and rewarding.

ERTs are trained and recertified every three years. The next training event is September 2 in Prescott, Arizona. To register please contact Carla Whitmire at cwhitmire@dscumc.org or go to the Disaster Response site on our conference webpage https://dscumc.org/blog/2021/06/25/early-response-team-training-august-11-2021/

Join the team and be blessed!

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Author: Carla Whitmire

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