Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Disaster Preparedness Ministry?
The Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church established the Disaster Ministry immediately following Hurricane Katrina and Rita. The Disaster Preparedness Ministry (formerly the Disaster Recovery Ministry), now located in the conference office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the hub for assigning volunteer help and resources to areas affected by disasters.
What does Disaster Preparedness Ministry do during the relief effort?
The Disaster Preparedness Ministry is one of many volunteer organizations active in disaster. During relief, we are in daily communication with these organizations to assess damage, identify needs and assign resources where they are needed most.
Who identifies needs?
Needs are identified by District Disaster Coordinators, Case Managers and local churches. The District Disaster Coordinator and district team work together to identify individuals and communities that need help recovering from a disaster. Local churches identify vulnerable populations within their congregations and communities that have been affected by disaster.
My church wants to help. What should we do?
To see where and how you or your church can help those affected by disasters, contact Disaster Ministries at 1-225-303-3293 or email@example.com. When a disaster occurs and during recovery, volunteers will be needed. A registration form will be added to the la-umc.org website. Those interested in continuing the recovery of the New Orleans Metro area can contact Epworth Project at 985-781-7990 or go to www.epworthproject.com.
What insurance is available for the volunteers on my team?
Accident insurance is highly recommended and available from Global Ministries. The cost is only $0.75 per day. To get the insurance see the VIM Accident Insurance application. It is important for volunteers to register with Disaster Preparedness Ministry so the work assignment can be recorded and documented in the event a claim needs to be filed.
Teams traveling outside the Louisiana Conference to work in disaster are advised to contact the UM Conference of their destination, for information regarding the availability of insurance coverage.
What training is available through the conference?
Disaster Preparedness Ministry provides several types of training and other support for local churches including:
Basic Disaster Preparedness Ministry Training
Local Church Planning
Spiritual and Emotional Care
Disaster Preparedness Trainingis scheduled for the northern and southern districts as well as a conference wide training event. To learn more and register, see Disaster Preparedness Training.
How does the Disaster Preparedness Ministry work in recovery?
Disaster Preparedness works cooperatively with local long-term recovery organizations by:
· Providing case management, training and supervision in areas where our help is needed and requested;
· Receiving and coordinating volunteer work team assignments;
· Assisting with procurement of materials, funding, and technical supervision if needed;
· Scheduling training and workshops;
· Working cooperatively and collaboratively with other agencies and organizations in long-term recovery.
We are often at work in recovery months and years after a disaster, staying until the work of recovery is complete.