Disaster Response

Summer 2019 – What Will Be Needed?

The 2019 hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30. Forecasters are predicting 5 hurricanes will form this year. Five more, and we’re still recovering from 2018.

Last summer seemed calm until September rolled around! First, hurricane Florence dumped record rainfall on the Carolinas. Then hurricane Michael devastated the panhandle of Florida, southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia. Tens of thousands of our neighbors were disadvantaged, thousands of homes were damaged, many communities are still reeling from the devastation and more than100 Americans lost their lives.

Mt. Bethel responded, sending Early Response Teams to North Carolina (and, we’re still sending). Our inspired servants mucked out houses, tarped roofs, and battled to remediate mold, but through it all we drew inspiration from the will of the survivors. They are why we go. They are our motivation. They are the least and the lost God calls us to serve.

What will 2019 bring? Whatever it is, Mt. Bethel’s Disaster Response ministry is working to maintain our readiness to serve. Our efforts succeed when you decide to join.


Mt. Bethel’s ERTs are working in Eastern North Carolina. The normal drive time to our work areas is 6 hours.


4 days (2 travel days – 2 work days)

Team Qualifications / Recommendations

The Team Leader must be ERT badged. The North Carolina Annual Conference prefers all team members be badged. Previous disaster experience can be substituted for badging.


CLICK HERE to view upcoming team dates and to register for an upcoming team.

Interested In Being ERT Badged?

Clyde Almy, MB Disaster Response Ministry Lead and Certified ERT Trainer, is in touch with UMCOR and UMVIM to coordinate and dispatch teams. To be a part of these teams, members must be ERT Certified. If you are not certified and would like to be, please check back here for upcoming MB certification classes.

If you wish to donate funds, you can write a check to Mt. Bethel for Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief or donate through the North Georgia Conference.

If you have further questions, contact Heather Wood, [email protected].

A disaster is an event which results in overwhelming physical, economic and/or emotional damage to a community. It results in significant harm to people and property. It disrupts the normal pattern of living. It overwhelms a community’s ability to respond. It affects individuals, families, neighborhoods, communities, and entire regions.

Disaster Phases

  • Readiness:
    Preparation phase, ongoing as ERTs must be in a constant state of readiness to deploy
  • Rescue:
    Emergency phase managed by first responders quickly followed by Damage Assessment Response Teams (DART) that are specially trained to observe, identify, and assess physical damage then determine the magnitude of response required
  • Relief:
    Emergency Response Teams (ERT) are deployed upon invitation from the affected area for debris removal, site stabilization, and survivor support
  • Recovery:
    Rebuild phase – ERTs do not deploy for this phase. However, members may serve during this phase under a different designation.

Rule of Tens

The immediate devastation of a disaster is swift, but the Relief and Recovery phases are long and hard. How long?

  • Rescue = Emergency X (example: 7 days)
  • Relief = X times 10 (example: 7 days times 10 = 70 days)
  • Recovery = Relief times 10 (example: 70 days X 10 = 700 days – almost 2 years)

It is easy to understand why Mt. Bethel needs to grow our Disaster Response resources.

How can you help?

  • Volunteer:
    • Response requires resources! Few are available at a moment’s notice, so many are needed to be able to answer the call. Click here to register with the church as a Disaster Response Volunteer. This will let us know you want to serve when you are available.
  • Training / Certification:
    • We want to provide a caring ministry that stabilizes situations and keeps ERTs from becoming part of the problem. The best way to accomplish our mission is to be familiar with proper techniques and practices. Certified UMCOR (United Methodist Committee On Relief) trainers equip students with the knowledge they need for a successful deployment.
    • In disaster events, survivor security is paramount. ERT badges assure first responders (fire, police, military) the holder is qualified to enter the disaster zone. A photo ID badge is issued by UMCOR upon successful completion of training and passing a criminal background check.
    • Click here to view the upcoming ERT Training/Certification sessions and register.
  • Donate:
    • Monetary Donations:
      Financial resources are required to purchase fuel, rent special equipment, buy food, and so many other necessary supplies. Designate “Disaster Response” for any contributions.