UMCOR ERT—EARLY RESPONSE TEAM TRAINING Not a first response group of emergency workers nor a recovery rebuild or repair team: the purpose of ERT’s is to fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster of being a Christian presence of the church. ERTs respond only after they have been requested by the effected community. Come learn about where United Methodists are involved, what is a disaster, how do we get prepared for a disaster, what we can do when a disaster strikes, how the disaster response plan is activated, how to be a caring presence to communities facing disaster recovery, and hear stories about how we do not harm the recovery process for individuals. You will also learn about the roles Early Response Teams plan in the early days after a disaster: 1. Provide a Christian presence, be a part of the caring ministry of “listeners” 2. Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property: tarps, flood clean-out, debris removal 3. Help manage donated materials, gather information, or do other things needed in the community 4. Observe survivor’s needs and report those to the local disaster operations Various tasks are assigned to an ERT by those selected by the community to command the response, but no task is more important that the purpose of ERT than being a part of the ministry of “listeners” who help survivors begin to heal. Team members must respect that some work on damaged homes may, in fact, jeopardize the survivor’s eligibility for greater assistance. Teams and team members must pledge to be part of the solution and not become the problem, to join in the response rather than initiate their own desires. Included in the ERT training is an UMCOR Verified Volunteers background check. Everyone attending a training is required to complete this training. Great Plains Annual Conference policy is that for all overnight trips, Safe Gatherings is required, so ERT’s are required to obtain both Verified Volunteers and Safe Gatherings in order to be able to respond in a time of disaster. ERT’s must be able to respond with little advance notice, putting personal plans on hold when the call to respond comes your way. Registration fee covers course materials, snacks, lunch and instructor travel costs. Everyone attending must bring a laptop or smartphone to the training.