What is ERT: When disaster strikes, the local church usually provides the first response to members of the congregation in need. This basic understanding—that disaster response is local—helps form a foundation for UMCOR’s national training and response. UMCOR equips United Methodists to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, supporting conference and church ministries on disaster response so that they can be the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world.
Early Response Teams (ERTs) fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage while providing a caring Christian presence.
ERTs are not a first-response group of emergency workers, nor are they recovery, rebuild, or repair teams. Under very specific guidelines, ERTs assist survivors, without causing further harm or being a burden to the affected community. ERTs require an invitation to travel to another district, conference, or jurisdiction. Participating ERTs are encouraged to wear bright green t-shirts as a means of recognition.
ERT Training Opportunities: All ERT members are trained by authorized UMCOR trainers, and are given identification badges as evidence of successful completion of the basic class.
ERT Team Leader Training (2 hours): Participants learn the basic roles and responsibilities of Team Leaders and Assistant Team Leaders. The Team Leader Course is designed to explore more of what those functions of a Team leader are before and after a disaster hits a community. Some of the topics are Linguistics, Preparations, Job descriptions, Team member functions, and checklists.
To register, contact the Shalimar UMC office at 850-651-0721 or the Pensacola District office at 850-434-0118.