Early Disaster Response Training (ERT)

Be prepared to respond to the next disaster. Early response training covers the basics of early disaster response, including roof tarping, cleaning out damaged homes, spiritual and emotional care, team protocols, and more. The purpose of the training is to prepare our United Methodist Volunteers to do good and do no harm.  Click here for a description of what well-trained ERT teams look like. Click here for "Seven Important things to know about Disaster Spiritual and Emotional Care." 

Proper credentials are sometimes required for individuals and teams responding in the first few days after a disaster. Participants who successfully complete this training will receive those credentials, including an ERT badge.  

Training sessions are open to all people ages 18+. All participants will complete a background check through UMCOR.  All participants must also complete Safe Sanctuary training. Click here to watch the video, and click here to access the verification form. 

To schedule a training for your church, contact Dan Kirk at dan@awfumc.org.

Upcoming Disaster Early Response Team Training sessions:

August 12, 2023
8:30 AM until 3:30 PM

Christ UMC
6101 Grelot Rd
Mobile, AL  36609

Room CCAA | Required training for certification as an Early Response Team members. Prepares individuals to be the presence of Christ in the early days of disaster relief following a storm, flood, or other catastrophic event. This United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) sponsored training event prepares volunteers to serve as the hands of Christ in the wake of disaster by teaching best practices of care for survivors, helping to preserve and protect property from further damage, accessing and working with the systems and available resources, and developing a team that can swiftly respond to the needs of the community. Volunteers of all skill sets are encouraged to receive this training that leads to ERT Certification and an UMCOR identification badge needed for early access to some disaster sites. Together, ERT's meet those who are dealing with the aftermath of disaster and remind them that they are not alone. Cost: $20 – includes training, lunch, and the ERT Manual.

For certification, individuals must be 18 years of age or older, bring their driver's license (or I.D.) with them, and submit to an online background check (done at the training). Members of Christ United may use the Discount Code 415ERT to have their registration fees paid by available Disaster Response funds. Please ‘Apply Discount’ at end of registration.


For more information, please contact Rev. Mike Gaby, or 251.342.0462, ext 231.

To schedule a training for your church, contact Dan Kirk at dan@awfumc.org.

Additional Training Sessions - 200-level courses

There are currently no training sessions scheduled at this time. To schedule a training for your church, contact Dan Kirk at dan@awfumc.org.

The following conference trainers are both early response trainers and UMCOR badged:

Amelia Fletcher, Baypines District*

John Swanson, Montgomery-Prattville District

Ron Toole, Pensacola District

Dan Kirk, Marianna-Panama City District

Chris Ackerman

For information about United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training sessions, click here. With this training, learn how leaders can effectively lead teams to areas near and far to be in mission to a hurting and broken world for Christ’s sake. This training is helpful for team leaders going to tornado disaster areas in Alabama (not early response), as well as mission teams traveling all across the world.