Disaster Response News

The United Methodist Church brings God’s hope, healing, and renewal to people whose lives have been disrupted by natural disaster. Through Disaster Response and Volunteers In Mission, we provide disaster response, relief, and rebuilding to communities that have been impacted by natural and human-created disasters. Learn more about the five phases of a disaster and which ones you can be a part of by clicking hereAs United Methodists, it is always crucial that we wait for an invitation from the affected community and do not self-deploy.

Hurricane Idalia

On Aug. 30, 2023, Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida, bringing flooding and damage. In anticipation of the hurricane, UMCOR staff conducted a 2-hour workshop for cabinet members and conference leadership to review the conference disaster response plan. UMCOR awarded a grant to the Florida Conference for emergency supplies.

Wildfires in Hawaii

In 2023, wildfires on Maui caused significant loss of life and widespread damage. Outside groups are not being invited to respond to the disaster due to lack of housing. You can help by giving to UMCOR's U.S. Disaster Response fund, Advance #901670.

Mississippi Tornado

On March 24, 2023, a powerful tornado traveled at least 170 miles, killing more than 25 people, injuring hundreds and causing damage primarily in Mississippi. The supercell that produced this deadly twister also appeared to produce tornadoes causing damage in northwest and north-central Alabama and then Georgia. The Mississippi Conference is in need of work teams to help with rebuilding.

Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as a category 4 storm in September of 2022. Whole cities and communities were devastated in Florida, and teams from West Ohio are being scheduled. If you are interested in deploying to Florida, please complete the form here.

Eastern Kentucky Flooding

At the end of July 2022, torrential rains struck Eastern Kentucky, causing severe flooding in multiple areas. West Ohio has received an invitation to send volunteers for clean-up and rebuilding efforts. Contact Jim Savage at 270-993-8908. Monetary donations can be made to UMCOR's U.S. Disaster Response fund online here.

Missouri Flooding

Flash flooding in the St. Louis area at the end of July 2022 affected thousands of residents. ERT teams are needed, mostly to perform muck-outs and debris removal. Sign your team up to help here: 2022 Flood Response Volunteer Form (brtapp.com). If you have questions or need more information, contact Scott Burdin prior to submitting the form at 660-676-3454 or sburdin@moumethodist.org

Hurricane Ida Recovery

Recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida are open to ERT and work teams. Click here to register your team. 

Ways to Support Disaster Response


  • Click HERE to donate online to West Ohio Disaster Response. 100% of your gift will assist individuals and families recovering from disasters within West Ohio.
  • You can also write a check to West Ohio Conference with 'West Ohio Disaster Response' in the memo line and send it to West Ohio Conference, Attn. Disaster Response, 32 Wesley Blvd, Worthington, OH 43085.


Survivors often experience chaos, fear, grief, and anxiety in the aftermath of natural disasters. These emotions can be overwhelming and paralyzing. Our prayers have the power to activate healing and courage in the face of great unknowns.


Long-term disaster response volunteer opportunities from around the country can be found by clicking on the Disaster Recovery tab on the UMVIM webpage here. Please do not self-deploy to disaster areas. For more information, contact mgrace@wocumc.org.


  • Early Response Team training: ERT teams of The United Methodist Church assist in the aftermath of natural disasters. Click here for upcoming ERT trainings.
  • VIM Team Leader training: VIM teams assist with rebuilding during the long-term recovery process. Click here for upcoming VIM trainings.
  • Disaster Readiness Training: Host a training at your church in order to prepare for disasters before they happen. Click here for more information.