Update: Hurricane Florence


Learn how you can help relief efforts with United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)  and to donate to relief efforts. More...

Call the toll free line 1-866-264-8488 for questions regarding Early Response Team (ERT) deployments or issues. Call the Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, Virginia Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, at 757-408-6653 for disaster-related questions or concerns.

Find information on the Conference Disaster Response Plan, disaster response policies, forms and protocols and contact information for conference and district disaster team members. More...

The following message is from the Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, Virginia Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, related to ERT deployment for Hurricane Florence as of September 17, 2018 at 10 a.m.

I am on a conference call this morning with UMCOR and the UMC CDRC’s and we have been asked to remind all ERT Teams and churches to not self-deploy in response to Hurricane Florence. We are half-way across the country checking in with all the AC’s and every CDRC has echoed this. This is such a large event that all response efforts must be closely coordinated.. I know that there are congregations that have relationships with churches in NC, SC, and GA and even those desires to jump in to immediately do something should be discouraged at this point. It is simply not safe and many communities are still cut off and are not accessible.. We must , I repeat must, not become a second disaster by going to help when resources are not in place to support our desires to assist. ERT Teams are a conference resources and can not deploy as an ERT team without the permission of the CDRC. Once I receive an invitation from another conference for assistance I will coordinate that response with the host CDRC. If a church team just absolutely must go somewhere to help right now, then there are MANY locations across the country that are ready to host teams. Churches should call the SEJ UMVIM office for information on location and need.

The following message is from the Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, Virginia Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, related to Hurricane Florence as of September 11, 2018 at 10 a.m.

•    Please review the conference disaster plan and your roles and responsibilities in it.
•    Clergy should report to the DS and District Disaster Coordinator any damage to the parsonage, church and a snapshot of what the community looks like when it is safe to do so.
•    Churches along evacuation routes are encouraged to be hospitality/ comfort stations for those evacuating. 
•    Follow any and all instructions from local and state emergency management including evacuation orders.
•    Clergy, if you have UMCOR Credentialed ERT persons in your congregations please have them check in with the Conference ERT Coordinator Rev. Kirk Culpepper at DisasterInfo@vaumc.org , or the “Virginia Conference UMC ERT”  Facebook page or by calling 757-434-0078.
•    Resources:
o    Nhc.noaa.gov                   (National Hurricane Center)
o    Vaemergency.com           (Virginia Department of Emergency Management)
o    Conference Disaster Coordinator              Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz               vacdrt1@gmail.com        757-408-6653


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