United Methodist Committee on Relief

UMCOR Responds to Current Disasters Around the World

In the wake of recent disasters in the United States and abroad, the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) is working to fulfill unmet food, clean water, temporary shelter, hygiene supplies, and non-food item needs. UMCOR's work starts when search and rescue operations for survivors is over. We accompany communities in their long-term recovery. UMCOR works with Conference Disaster Response Coordinators (CDRC) to assess needs and to design and implement disaster response activities.


Puerto Rico

UMCOR is in communication with Bishop Ortiz Vidal and other leaders of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico. The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico has invited UMCOR to partner with them in their relief and recovery efforts with training, project development support, and grants. UMCOR is preparing funding support to our partners on the island. New York Annual Conference is exploring ways to support those coming to New York City from Puerto Rico to relocate. Florida Annual Conference will also seek ways to address the needs of survivors coming to Florida from Puerto Rico. UMCOR is in communication with both conferences and is ready to support them upon request.

Sierra Leone   In immediate response to the tragic mudslide in Sierra Leone, UMCOR awarded a grant of $10,000 to The United Methodist Church of Sierra Leone for emergency provision of food, medical services, and assessment of needs. Today, UMCOR is working with Sierra Leone Annual Conference to provide tents, water filters, water containers, bedding, and hygiene kits for displaced families.
Texas The Texas Annual Conference also has volunteers deployed. It is estimated that volunteers from United Methodist churches within the conference have mucked out more than 5,000 residences. In total, 10,500 cleaning kits, 3,500 hygiene kits, and 500 school kits have been distributed. The conference is also planning for long-term recovery programs and is training volunteers for the programs. UMCOR is preparing funding support to the conference. The Rio Texas Annual Conference has distributed 2,700 cleaning kits. The conference has also used 56,000 feet of tarp to cover damaged roofs to act as a temporary replacement. UMCOR awarded the Rio Texas Conference an emergency grant of $10,000 to expedite the stabilization of 120 residences, benefitting 276 individuals. Relief supplies, such as cleaning kits, hygiene kits, and bedding kits, have been distributed to approximately 2,500 households. UMCOR is preparing additional funding support to the conference.

Louisiana The Louisiana Annual Conference has Early Response Teams and other volunteers deployed in the Lake Charles area. From within the conference, 2,000 cleaning kits are being distributed to those in need. UMCOR is preparing funding support to the conference.

Florida Following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Cathy Earl visited impacted conferences and United Methodist Churches in Florida and Texas. Earl met with CDRCs, local churches, and disaster response volunteers while actively engaging and working with cleanup crews. Florida has ordered 1,000 hygiene kits and 7,128 cleaning buckets from UMCOR Sager Brown. UMCOR will support its partners and conferences impacted by the hurricanes through grants and technical guidance. After assessments are complete, UMCOR anticipates granting additional funds to the impacted conferences. Florida is working with affiliates to begin the next phases of relief and early recovery. UMCOR Sager Brown is sending 3,700 cleaning buckets to Florida Annual Conference to support cleanup efforts. The cleaning kits will be distributed where they are most needed. More relief supply kits from UMCOR Sager Brown will be sent to other churches in Florida impacted by hurricane Irma.

Georgia Following Hurricane Irma, UMCOR’s U.S. disaster response program manager, Scott Tibbetts, and disaster response consultant, Barbara Tripp, traveled to the South Georgia Annual Conference to meet with conference leadership and support relief and recovery operations.  

South Carolina To address damages caused by Hurricane Irma, the South Carolina Conference organized assessment teams to develop recovery programming. UMCOR is awaiting completed assessments and is ready to offer support as needed.  

U.S. Territories The U.S. Virgin Islands suffered major damage from both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria. UMCOR is in communication with its partners on the U.S. Virgin Islands and is ready to respond with relief and recovery programs when requested. 

Non-U.S. Territories  UMCOR is communicating with its partners in the Caribbean and awaiting an assessment from them to provide effective relief to those affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Mexico Devastating earthquakes in Mexico killed at least 320 and caused widespread damage to homes, hospitals, and government infrastructure. UMCOR is in communication with the local Methodist Church and is ready to respond to partners’ requests for relief and recovery assistance. Global Ministries two missionaries, Hector LaPorta and Amanda Cherry, are serving in Mexico City, Mexico. Both reported they are safe and accounted for. Though the impact of the earthquake was widespread in Mexico City, the neighborhoods where they live were not as heavily damaged as others in the city. Both missionaries are actively working with volunteers from the Methodist Church and from local universities to assist with clean up and assessment. The community is in great need of pastoral support as many people have died because of the earthquake. There is also need for housing, food, and non-food items for families who have lost their homes.        

Learn more about UMCOR's response to current disasters:

Learn how you and your church can respond to current disasters and support UMCOR’s efforts.

UMCOR in the news: 

Wall Street Journal Advertisement 

USA Today Article 

CNN’s Charitable List – Impact Your World

The Washington Times Article

United Methodist News Service – “Churches helping one bucket at a time”

Times News - Kingsport Tennessee Article

Cape May County Herald Article

Gulf Breeze News Article

Sun Community News Article

United Methodist News Service - "UMCOR is there for the long haul"


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