The Great Plains Conference Disaster fund is for the relief of persons who have suffered from a disaster(s) within the Great Plains Conference and are not to be used for ongoing socio-economic concerns. This guideline is mainly a reference from the Policy and Procedures of Grant Funds.
Financial assistance will be considered upon submission of a Great Plains Disaster Fund Financial Assistance Request Form submitted by a United Methodist pastor, the Conference Disaster Response coordinator, a Regional Disaster Response coordinator or a person appointed to represent the Great Plains Conference on a Long Term Recovery Committee.
Amount of assistance will be dependent upon the unmet needs expressed, the number of requests and the availability of funds. Priority is given to low income homeowners, persons with disabilities and those without insurance.
Grants up to $5,000 may be made to ministerial alliances, long-term recovery organizations or local United Methodist churches where major disasters occur. The alliance, long-term recovery organization or church can use these funds to provide financial assistance for disaster-related costs (except for church property) and must provide documentation of the expenditure of those funds to the Conference Disaster Response coordinator on a monthly basis to prevent duplication of benefits.
Disaster funds may be used to reimburse owners of equipment that respond to requests for clean-up and recovery by the Great Plains Disaster coordinator, Regional Disaster Response coordinator or Conference Disaster Response Team. Reimbursement will be limited to the actual expenses incurred in transporting and operating the equipment. NOTE: This provision is for reimbursement of responders who provide equipment that the Conference Disaster Response coordinator, Regional coordinator or local church request them to bring. It is not to reimburse homeowners for equipment that they may use.
Personal out of pocket expenses are not reimbursable. This includes, but is not limited to, insurance deductibles, expenses paid from savings account, credit cards or other personal resources of the homeowner.
The Great Plains Disaster Response coordinator can approve grant requests up to $1,500. Grant request that exceed $1,500 must be presented to the Great Plains Disaster Response Team for determination. The Great Plains Disaster Team may consider requests in conference call meeting or by email majority vote when the matter is time sensitive.
At the time of a disaster the Great Plains Conference Disaster Response coordinator may request up to $1,000 cash advance to meet emerging needs. Appropriate documentation of expenditures must be submitted to the conference treasurer.
Some administrative costs and conference-wide event expenses may be paid from the Great Plains Disaster Fund if prior approval is granted by the Great Plains Disaster Response Team. This would include UMCOR Basic or Advanced Disaster Response Training, South Central Jurisdictional Disaster Academy, etc.
If you would like more information, or if your congregation is interested in disaster response training opportunities, contact the Rev. Hollie Tapley, disaster response coordinator at 800-745-2350, ext. 111, or firstname.lastname@example.org.