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DR Annual Conference Report

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Oklahoma United Methodist Church

Annual Conference 2016

Disaster Response "DR" Ministry Report

Who We Are: In May 2013 a large scale disaster hit the central part of Oklahoma in the form of multiple tornados and flooding.  At that time a grant was awarded to the Disasater Response Ministry under VIM.  Staff was hired in the form of Disaster Case Managers, Project Managers, Volunteer Managers and Supervisory Staff.  Prior to this the DR ministry consisted of only a Disasater Response Coordinator.  At present time we are still a fully staffed grant funded ministry serving disaster survivors from the 2015 tornados, flooding and ice storms as well as 2016 tornados and flooding.

What We Do: The DR ministry serves the most vulnerable popluations.  Those un-insured, under-insured, fixed income, elderly, physically & mentally challenged... as well as those that have fallen victim to contractor fraud.  We are a part of the Oklahoma VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) working colaboratively to help disaster survivors across the state.  In response to a disaster we assist in creating work orders to help with immediate needs.  For those survivors that have long term recovery needs our Disaster Case Managers create a recovery plan with the survivor and walks with them until the plan is accomplished.  If the recovery plan includes construction needs our Project Managers work with volunteers in completing tasks.  Volunteers are recruited, coordinated and assisted by our Volunteer Manager.

What We Provide: When a volunteer team registers online we help them find lodging in close proximaty to the work site.  We supply the work site with all the materials necessary and the tools required.  Our Project Managers are onsite with knowledge of how each task is to be completed.  Volunteers of all skill level are aided through the full experience making volunteering easy.

Why Volunteer:  Recovery is not a question of WHEN but a question of IF for those survivors we serve.
If we have volunteers to serve...  
If we have donations to buy materials...

You are greater than if

Without volunteers working on the construction needs of a survivors home no work will get done.  Volunteers are required for recovery!

Why a Disaster Ministry:  In May of 2015 following heavy rains Elizabeth's home was flooded.  Damage was done and then the flood waters subsided.  In June more rains came flooding her home again but this time up to four feet of water flowed throughout the entire home.  Elizabeth has no family and on a fixed income had no resources to begin any recovery.  A local non denominational church offered their unused parsonage for her to stay until her home was livable again.  With summer temperatures in a wet home mold begins to grow and grow quickly.  When Elizabeth came into our disaster case management the home interior was not salvagable.  Through voluneer teams over the last twelve months Elizabeth is almost ready to move back home.

Floods are not always apparent from the outside therefore the news media does not keep flooding stories in the news once the waters subside.

Volunteers remove rampant mold growth during the gutting of Elizabeths home.

What cannot be seen from the street is the extent of the demo done on the inside of Elizabeth's home.

Elizabeth is just one of hundreds to thousands of disaster survivors in Oklahoma that are served by the Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response Ministry.  Without help from volunteers the OKUMC DR ministry could not do what it does.

Volunteers are required for recovery!

"Someone might claim, You have faith and I have action. But how can I see your faith apart from your actions?  Instead, I'll show you my faith by putting it into practice in faithful action." ~James 2:18

"I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me." ~ Matthew 25:40