“In the hours and days after disaster, those who survive are looking for anything to give them hope. Early Response Teams can provide the kind of immediate response that restores hope, builds faith, and encourages those who are looking to their neighbor for support.“
—Rev. Tom Hazelwood, assistant general secretary, United Methodist Committee On Relief

Serving & Outreach is providing a 2-day training seminar for UMCOR Early Response Training 

Friday, January 17, 6:00pm – 9:00pm and Saturday, January 18, 8am – 4pm (must be present both days to receive certification).  Cost is $35.  Register by clicking here.


When disaster strikes, the local church usually provides the first response.

UMCOR equips Early Response Teams to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, supporting conference and church ministries on disaster response so that they can be the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world.

ERTs are not a first-response group of emergency workers, nor are they recovery, rebuild, or repair teams. Under very specific guidelines, ERTs assist survivors, without causing further harm or being a burden to the affected community.

All ERT members are trained by authorized UMCOR trainers, and are given identification badges as evidence of successful completion of the basic class.


UMCOR’s national ERT training is recognized as consistent across the nation. Because the work of UMCOR is faith-based, ERTs get to be the caring hands and feet that God needs from us for those who are devastated by disaster. Also, though there are scores of early response workers from other organizations, the need is usually still vast.


Participants will gain an overall understanding of disaster response and the phases of disaster so that team members understand exactly where their work fits into the broader response.

The training also gives team members a basic understanding (follow-up training supplemented by additional courses is recommended) of what work the teams may be asked to tackle. They are much more likely to tarp broken roofs and board up windows, secure doors for safety, remove wet wallboard and furnishings.

Watch this short, informative video about the ERT training

“ERTs are the first to arrive after the emergency works have located and sheltered survivors. They can be the first touch from the hands of God’s people to provide reassurance to God’s Beloveds that we care.” 

Christy Smith, UMCOR

Visit cumcmemphis.org/serve or contact Nathan Brasfield, 261-4386.
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