The Louisiana Conference is constantly in need of certified ERT responders.

Early Response Teams (ERT's) fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage while providing a caring Christian presence.  

ERT's are not the first-response group of emergency workers, nor are they recovery, rebuild, or repair teams.

Under very specific guidelines, ERT's assist survivors, without causing further harm or being a burden to the affected community.


Upcoming Trainings in 2018

At this time, we are offering both basic and advanced training in Shreveport and Baton Rouge.
Below you will find the dates, locations and links to register.   

September 22, Broadmoor UMC Baton Rouge 
Both Basic and Advanced
Basic: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Advanced: 8:00am - 1:00pm (advanced classes: Clean-out and Assessments)
Trainers: Rev. Laraine Waughtal and Ken Musick

Registration ends Midnight, Monday September 17

October 6, FUMC Bossier City
Both Basic and Advanced
Basic: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Advanced: 8:00am - 1:00pm (advanced classes: Clean-out and Assessments)
Trainers: Rev. Laraine Waughtal and Rev. Bob Deich

Registration ends Midnight, Monday October 1

October 20, Warren UMC Lake Charles 
Basic class only 
8:00am - 5:00pm
Trainer: Rev. Laraine Waughtal

Registration ends Midnight, Monday October 15

November 3, Trinity UMC Ruston

Basic class only 
8:00am - 5:00pm
Trainer: Rev. Bob Deich

Registration ends Midnight, Monday October 29
We are currently looking for churches to host our next ERT trainings for the summer and fall. Please contact Rev. Laraine Waughtal or call her at 225-346-1646 to see about hosting a training.


NOTE REGARDING THE ADVANCED CLASS: You must be Early Response team trained to take the Advanced Class. If your ERT badge is expiring in 2018, this advanced training will re-certify your ERT status for an additional 3 years. The advanced curriculum includes the following two courses: 

  • On Site Management: Even the best prepared churches can be overwhelmed by disaster. This guide has been created in an effort to assist those churches that find themselves in the midst of disaster and overwhelmed by the needs of the church and the community. This class will give a volunteers and churches, in partnership with the conference, the tools to help establish a temporary response center at a local church (or other facility as designated by the community) for the purpose of coordinating the work of the ERT’s and thus bringing the response quickly to a community.
  • Site Assessment: Learn to asses the physical damage to a disaster as well as the affected residence in order to plan and prepare for Early Response Teams to safely access and secure the property from further damage. Participants will learn how to identify problems that impact ERT safety and effectiveness. The class will help identify tools useful for damage assessments and be reminded about sensitive discussions with the home owner. The class will also use the step method to determine if a residence is appropriate for an Early Response Team or would better served by a specialized team or requires professional assistance.

For more on ERT work inside the United Methodist Church, please visit this link

If you have ever wondered what it means to serve on an ERT team, listen and watch as Rev. Bob Deich explains what it's like to serve as the hands and feet of Christ and to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of disaster.


For a sample of the training, view below this condensed muck out training video: