Disaster Response News Archive
Conference Disaster Response Coordinator offers disaster preparedness tips
We are officially in the storm season. Do you have a plan if a natural disaster happens in your community? Disaster preparedness for our Conference begins when our churches are prepared, and our churches are prepared when our members are prepared.
Make sure that you have an "emergency" plan ready and in place for your home. You should have an emergency kit (or bag) ready at a moment's notice. Some of the things that should be in your emergency kit...
United Methodist Disaster Warehouse in Decatur offers resources for congregations' disaster response ministry
The arrival of spring in Alabama also brings the threat of severe weather. However, North Alabama United Methodists know severe weather can happen any time of the year and can cause great damage in their communities. Therefore, many North Alabama congregations and volunteers are committed to being ready to offer disaster response ministry when such weather happens.
The United Methodist Disaster Warehouse in Decatur is a great resource to aid congregations in this ministry....
Congregations invited to support UMCOR through One Great Hour of Sharing on March 10
Since April 27, 2011, our Conference has been the recipient of significant grants from UMCOR. Without UMCOR's support, we would not have transformed so many lives by helping them recover from the storms.
UMCOR is able to share 100% of our donations go directly into the field, not to administrative costs. The reason they can do this is because their operating expenses come through the annual One Great Hour of Sharing Offering.
Now is the time for us to pay...
North Alabama Conference looking for groups to complete conversion of disaster response shower trailers
Our Conference had four campers to convert to shower trailers for use by Early Response Teams as well as Recovery Teams. One such shower trailer is located in the Northwest District and is fully functional. I wish we could say the same for the other three. There is still work to do, so we need your help. Perhaps your church or a men's group would like to become involved in a service project. These shower trailers require a Class III receiver hitch for the towing...
UMCOR cleaning buckets are urgently needed
UMCOR cleaning buckets are urgently needed to resupply the Conference Disaster Response Warehouse.
In response to Hurricane Sandy, all cleaning bucket supplies were shipped to areas of need and the local warehouse stock was depleted. Donations of supplies and packed buckets are now needed so volunteers will be ready to quickly respond to the next disaster.
Download Cleaning Bucket supply list.
Please note: The Disaster Warehouse is staffed by volunteers, so...
UMCOR training event prepares team for disasters
The North Alabama Conference is pleased to announce the development and training of our first Emotional and Spiritual Care Team (Care Team). This team will work in conjunction with the Conference Disaster Response Program in providing much-needed emotional and spiritual care during and after a disaster. The conference hosted UMCOR consultant Rev. Mary Hughes Gaudreau at a training event held at the United Methodist Center June 28-29. Rev. Gaudreau trained 36 Care Team Members and 24 Care...
North Alabama responds to Florida flooding - more cleaning bucket supplies needed
On Friday, June 29, 2012, someone at the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot (the headquarters for UMCOR’s relief-supply operations) contacted the North Alabama Disaster Warehouse in Decatur requesting 300 Cleaning Buckets for the flooded parts of Florida due to Tropical Storm Debby.
Volunteers gathered in the extreme heat and loaded the supplies that afternoon to be shipped to Live Oak, Florida. The supplies arrived on Sunday afternoon.
As the shipment began to move south on Friday...
Cullman First UMC to celebrate the reopening of Sanctuary building on March 18
On Sunday, March 18, 2012, the congregation of Cullman First UMC will gather for worship in its Sanctuary for the first time since April 27, 2011, when a tornado caused major damage to the historic sanctuary and other parts of the church building. The storm destroyed the roof, blew out the stained glass windows and caused other major damage.
Senior pastor Rev. Mitchell Williams and other church leaders expect an exciting, energetic and emotional time of worship on Sunday when both...
Bishop and Mrs. Willimon offer message of thanks to the Conference for storm recovery work
Thank you North Alabama!
In this video message, Bishop Will and Patsy Willimon say thank you to North Alabama United Methodists for your continuing disaster recovery work in response to the April 27, 2011 storms.
After image displays, click to play video.
If you have trouble viewing the video go to http://vimeo.com/36387546....
Conference Disaster Response Team assessing storm damage and volunteer needs
The North Alabama Conference Disaster Response Team is working with District Offices and assessing damage from the storms that passed through the North Alabama Conference area in the early hours of Monday, January 23, 2012.
North Alabama Conference Director of Mission and Advocacy Rev. Matt Lacey shared this message earlier today in an email to the Disaster Response Update email list.
Our prayers go out to all those affected by last night's storms as lives were lost and homes and...
Pastor shares testimony of early response efforts
Rev. Mike Butler is the pastor at Fairview UMC in Cullman. He also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for Central District Disaster Recovery, coordinating UMCOR volunteers working through the North Alabama Conference in the Northern Walker County area, as well as assisting with the Walker County Long Term Recovery Committee. He sent the following email in May to pastors and partners to inform them of early response efforts in the North Alabama Conference and in his area. We...
Restore Sipsey cooperative to host dedication for completed homes
On Sunday, November 13, Restore Sipsey will celebrate the completion of two rebuilt homes with a dedication for the homeowners.
The town of Sipsey lies in the heart of Walker County and grew from a coal mining community. A town of approximately 160 households, it is plagued by high unemployment.
In April 2011, Sipsey received a direct hit from an EF-4 tornado, which destroyed 65 homes.
Dr. Donnie Cantley, a member of Riverchase UMC, visited Sipsey in early May and...
The Power of Connection
As coordinator of Disaster Recovery for the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, I could write any number of stories of survival and heroism during the April 27 tornado outbreak in Alabama.
It has been an amazing time of strength and courage on the part of the people of Alabama. As a United Methodist clergyperson who has a unique perspective on this tragedy, it has been the power of our United Methodist connectional system that has been so impressive to...
Partnership with locally organized volunteers allows greater impact in Pleasant Grove
The town of Pleasant Grove was hit by an EF-4 tornado on the afternoon of April 27, 2011, damaging or destroying an estimated 2,500 homes. The tornado sustained winds of 190 miles per hour and traveled nearly 81 miles with a path 1.5 miles wide.
Much work is needed to rebuild Pleasant Grove.
A volunteer effort called the Locally Organized Volunteer Effort was formed to begin the work of recovery in Pleasant Grove (LOVE) under the leadership of Gorden Thomason, a member of Oak...
Six months later, rebuilding in full swing in North Alabama due to the help of gracious volunteers
Over the years, the North Alabama Conference Disaster Response Team had trained, prepared and responded to disasters such as tornadoes. Team members were ready to respond and a Disaster Response Plan was in place. However, no plan could anticipate 62 tornadoes in one day.
Yet from the first moments after each storm, United Methodists were in action. During the first few weeks following April 27 storms, more than 70 early response teams from in-state and out-of-state immediately...
Guin storm survivors receive assistance from college students on alternative fall break
The Harris family relocated to the town of Guin earlier this summer after tragedy struck their family. They thought they had survived the April 27 storms with no damage, only debris in the yard and loss of electricity.
Two days later when electricity was restored, a power surge ignited a fire, which destroyed their home. All five family members survived, but not without injury.
Lily, the nine-year-old granddaughter of Tim and Belinda Harris, suffered severe third degree burns on 75...
Huntsville youth minister puts eccentric pastime to use for storm survivors in Tuscaloosa and Phil Campbell
What does an ultrarunner do to help survivors in the event of an epic tornado outbreak in his home state? In the case of one Huntsvillian, he trains to run the length of the state.
John Nevels, full-time engineer and part-time youth minister at Holmes Street UMC in Huntsville, will run 454 miles from Gulf Shores to Ardmore in ten days, beginning October 22, 2011. The epic run, entitled the Alabama Relief Run, will highlight Tuscaloosa, Hackleburg, Phil Campbell, Moulton and Harvest – all...
Hulaco local pastor watches lives change during rebuilding from April storms
With a Management in Information Systems degree in one pocket and a background in construction, Rev. Keith Monk began his career as a part-time local pastor with Pleasant Grove UMC in Hulaco, Ala., on Easter Sunday in 2010. To focus on his ministry, he left his construction business behind.
On April 27, 2011, the sparsely populated town of Hulaco was struck by an EF-4 tornado with a path one-mile wide with sustained winds of 190 miles per hour. The storm left a trail nearly 47 miles long from...
Significant UMCOR grant will help North Alabama Disaster Recovery make a difference in many lives
Immediately following the work of early response teams, the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church installed a Disaster Recovery Team to enable families with financial difficulties to rebuild their homes to a safe and secure status from the disaster of the April 27 tornadoes. In order to assist the work already in motion, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Board of Directors approved a two-year $1 million recovery grant for the Conference’s efforts.
UMCOR gives $1 million for Alabama tornadoes
At the end of April, Alabama residents were stunned by a record 62 tornadoes that killed 250 people and left homes, businesses and municipalities in tatters.
All but two of those tornados touched down somewhere in the United Methodist North Alabama Annual (regional) Conference. This week, directors of the United Methodist Committee on Relief approved a $1 million grant to that conference to assist in the state’s recovery.funds had been low earlier in the year, particularly for U.S....