As we continue to assess the needs in the Marianna, Port St. Joe, Panama City and surrounding areas, we will need as many ERT teams as possible. Badged out-of-conference teams are invited to the panhandle area. All teams must plan to be self-contained (bring your own food, water, gasoline* and either have your own housing/lodging or enter and leave the same day). *Depending on your service area, gasoline and groceries may be available. We are asking that all volunteer teams register through this portal so that your skills may be matched with the appropriate need.
Woodlawn UMC has faithfully served as our disaster response command center. Katie Winton has been instrumental in the response and produced this brief video. You might consider showing this in your next worship service. Click here for video.
There are several training opportunities available in the coming weeks. Click here for details.
Upcoming Disaster Early Response Team Training sessions
more training sessions are being scheduled and will be listed soon.
November 14, 2018 - Montgomery FUMC - RE-CERTIFICATION
November 17, 2018 - Cokesbury UMC
November 17, 2018 - Prattville FUMC
November 18, 2018 - Auburn UMC - RE-CERTIFICATION
December 1, 2018 - Greystone UMC
Additional Training Sessions - 200-level courses
"Mucking Out" Training - November 17, 2018 - Spanish Fort UMC
Chainsaw and Safety Use Training
November 17, 2018 - Auburn, AL
Please continue to pray with us that God will lead our efforts to glorify Him.
Thank you for your continued generosity and desire to help those in the panhandle of Florida. The response from the Alabama-West Florida Conference will be a long-term effort.
It is extremely important to remind local churches and any volunteer teams to please register through this portal. Your skill level will be matched with the appropriate needs. Even if you have a desire to work with a specific church, we ask that you register your team so that we do not have too many volunteers in one area that could potentially overwhelm a church or area in need.
As time progresses, it is natural to see a decrease of volunteers. We need many more teams in the coming weeks and months. The conference is asking that each local church identify members who could attend training to then serve. Click here for upcoming trainings.
There is a crucial need for trained assessors (UMCOR trained and qualified ERT persons) to come into the Port St. Joe community as soon as possible. After surveying the damage to homes, the majority of them have not been inspected. Housing has been arranged for up to 24 people. Volunteers would be responsible for their own breakfast and some restaurants are open in the community. Please register through the portal.
The conference has established a formal partnership with 28 churches that received damage from the hurricane and their pastors. These pastors have been given a prayer partner who can not only care for spiritual needs but can help communicate back to the conference any specific needs from the church or community. If your church has a desire to partner with a specific church, please let Rev. Ashley Davis know of your plans so that we do not duplicate efforts.
We continue to ask for monetary donations through the conference. This money is already being distributed to support staff salaries at churches that currently are not operational on a day-to-day basis. Our connection is at work thanks to your generosity.
We will continue to send updates as needed and greatly appreciate the many ways you have shown your expressions of love and care.
Thank you for the tremendous outpouring of love and support you continue to provide to those in the panhandle. There are a few important updates related to the AWF relief efforts.
If you did not see the release yesterday, we now have a new portal to register your team. Regardless of the skill level, it is critical to register so that your talents may be best matched with the current needs. Click here for the release.
At the moment, we are discontinuing the request for supplies. Your generosity has been positively overwhelming. Due to limited space, we are asking that only UMCOR cleaning kits (flood buckets) be assembled and delivered to our district collection sites. Should we need supplies in the future, we will communicate that request.
The Alabama-West Florida Conference is now accepting out-of-conference ERT Teams who are badged and 100% self-contained (bring your own food, water, gasoline and either have your own housing/lodging or enter and leave the same day). We are appreciative of these dedicated volunteers who have a heart for mission and service. You may register your team here.
Thank you again for your continued dedication and support.
The Alabama-West Florida Conference is announcing a new online portal that will register Hurricane Michael volunteer teams. The new portal was established through the Planning Center software, which many medium- and large-sized churches use to register church check ins, membership tracking, registrations and fees.
This user-friendly site is simple and allows conference leaders to quickly match teams and their skills with the appropriate need. Teams are also able to request specific work days. The data will come into the Incident Command Center at Woodlawn UMC where they will assess the information. In the long-term efforts, the conference will assume this responsibility.
“Due to the overwhelming response we have seen from people wanting to help, this is the best way we can be effective and serve the most people in need,” said Rev. Shawn York, Hurricane Michael Response Director. Rev. Ashley Davis, AWF Director of Connectional Ministries, stated, “It is also essential that the conference be able to track volunteers, regardless of skill level, for potential grants. We are grateful to Chris Holbrook at Gulf Breeze UMC for his work on this site.”
The response effort is also now open to out-of-conference ERT Teams who are badged and 100% self-contained (bring your own food, water, gasoline and either have your own housing/lodging or enter and leave the same day). We are appreciative of these dedicated volunteers who have a heart for mission and service.
Click here to access volunteer team portal.
Port St. Joe and FUMC Panama City are in need of the traditional UMCOR cleaning kits (flood buckets) that we frequently encourage churches to assemble. They have received several shipments but need more due to the severe storm surge Hurricane Michael produced. We encourage our local churches, Sunday School classes, youth groups and others to assemble these as soon as they are able and deliver to a district collection site. From there they will be delivered to these local churches.
Thank you for the numerous ways you are helping!