Friday, November 16, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Response

A Letter to Una Jones, Assistant General Secretary, Mission Volunteers (MV), from Greg Forrester, UMVIM Northeastern Jurisdiction Coordinator -

Dear Una,

Grace and Peace to you this day!

You have all been watching the catastrophe unfold in the Superstorm Sandy affected areas. It is not good, but there are many beacons of hope that are shining through the dark places. Churches are reaching out to their communities providing shelter, warmth, fellowship, and comfort. They are being "the church.” They are doing their very best with an awesome support system that we call the United Methodist church.

Many of you from outside the region are looking to physically respond with ERT teams. The Northeastern Jurisdiction has over 1500 persons trained and badged through our UMCOR process. We have thousands more who have responded to flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The Greater NJ conference has 150 ERT and New York conference over 500. These conferences have been fielding their ERT teams this past week. Their Disaster Response coordinators have been busy with the relief process and setting up logistics for further response.

So what does this mean? We are establishing a process whereby teams can register in each of the areas. First priority will be given to teams responding from the Northeast as less resources will be required for them to respond. Many of the areas are still in the Emergency Phase and even credentialed persons are being denied access by National Guard and regional police unless they are from the area. PLEASE BE PATIENT.

There are already numerous reports of unaffiliated and unrequested volunteers hampering the recovery efforts.

We do not want the United Methodist church highlighted as one of these groups. PLEASE BE PATIENT.

For ERT teams (only team leader register your group):

Greater New Jersey - send email to:
You will be contacted by a representative of the conference disaster team.
Please list: Name and contact info, Church, Annual Conference, team size, dates available to respond

New York Conference: Go to and register on their website with information requested

Pen-Del Conference: Email to:
You will be contacted by a representative of the conference disaster team.

Please list: Name and contact info, Church, Annual Conference, team size (5-7 recommended), dates avail.


We will be needing teams in the region for the foreseeable future and will be establishing a process for teams. Thank you for looking to serve and we want you here with us - at the appropriate time and through channels established by the affected conferences.

MEANWHILE - continue to collect supplies for Cleanup buckets and Health kits. We have already distributed thousands and will need thousands more. Your gift to UMCOR US Disaster Response, Hurricanes 2012, Advance #3021787, will help UMCOR to be with storm survivors over the long term of their recovery. PRAY!!!

Should you have further questions or concerns please contact the UMVIM NEJ office so as to allow the affected conference Disaster teams the time necessary for their work.


Greg Forrester, UMVIM NEJ Coord.


  1. Greg, thanks for your continuing superb leadership in the Northeast Jurisdiction. Susan Meister, Haiti Response Plan

  2. We tried to server through UMCOR but could not get anyone to respond. So, we sent a team to NJ with Samritan's Purse and had a great serving experience.

  3. If you are facing shortage of drugs or other essential supplies, you can check with this site which is offering medication in affected areas.

  4. it was terrible and horrible fact in history of America, Disaster insurance claims to rescue homeowners from hurricane "Sandy"


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