Disaster Response Team

When a disaster occurs—such as a tornado, flood or fire—the Minnesota United Methodist Early Disaster Response Team can be ready to go into the affected area within approximately three to five days. The bishop approves the deployment of a six- to 10-member team into a disaster area for up to 14 days to make homes and people safe, sanitary, and secure. Each team member participates for no more than three days without a break. If the deployment is longer than three days, team members will take a midweek/weekend break. 

Upcoming Events and Trainings

United Methodist volunteers Mark Brown (right) and Gordan Barber remove a dishwasher that from a home in Fort Myers, Fla., that was flooded by Hurricane Ian. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News

None currently

Questions: Contact disasterresponse@minnesotaumc.org.

Get Involved

There are three main ways to provide disaster assistance:

1. Make a financial contribution: Disaster team training, response, and equipment are funded by donations from churches and individuals.

  • Send a check to the Minnesota Conference office (122 W. Franklin Ave., Ste. 400, Minneapolis, MN 55404) and be sure to list "MAC Disaster Response" in the memo line OR make an online donation (select "Other Donation" and write in "MAC Disaster Response” to ensure your donation is routed to the right place).
  • To assist with the United Methodist Church’s international disaster response: Give to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Learn more and make an online contribution to UMCOR.

2. Join a disaster response team: Contact either Paul Baker, the Conference's disaster response coordinator, or your district disaster response coordinators to learn about training for new team members or for local church disaster preparedness (see contact section below). 

3. Assemble a kit to help people in disaster areas: Cleaning kits, hygiene kits, and school kits are sought by UMCOR. Learn more about kit assembly and delivery.

A sign of caring

The Early Disaster Response Team has two fully-equipped trailers that can be moved into a disaster site. The presence and visibility of the trailer shows neighbors that people of faith are there to respond to their needs and that we do care. 

Current disaster needs

Some of the churches and members of the Minnesota Conference have asked where to direct cash gifts. Please send gifts to the Minnesota Conference office. (See "make a financial contribution" instructions above.) The Minnesota Conference and its Early Disaster Response Team will determine the best use of these funds. Recovery efforts continue long after disasters occur, and gifts now will make a huge difference in the months to come.

You may donate to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in response to current disasters. One hundred percent of your donation supports disaster response in that area. Learn about the many ways that United Methodists are helping brothers and sisters in Christ through disasters by visiting the UMCOR website.

Be prepared

All 87 counties in Minnesota have been declared a federal disaster area at least once since 1965, according to the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. It is easy to say, "It can't happen here!" But it can.

Preparation is the best response. Every church can be ready to respond and minister in the event of a disaster, whether it is of natural, technological, or human cause. Consider attending a disaster preparedness training event. Training teaches churches to be able to continue in the event of a disaster and to be able to serve as a resource in their own communities and surrounding communities in the event of a disaster.

Sign up for conference e-newsletters to see announcements of upcoming training events.

Download a brochure to print and share with information on Minnesota Early Response Teams.


Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Paul Baker
disasterresponse@minnesotaumc.org / 320-455-7314

District Disaster Response Coordinators

        Big Waters District          -  open position

        North Star District           -  Gary Bochman, garybochman@gmail.com / 952-201-3688

        River Valley District        -  Tanya Oberg, tdocat@hotmail.com / 507-202-3769

        Southern Prairie District -  Brenda Allen, allen@hickorytech.net  / 507-779-5024

        Twin Cities District          -  open position

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404


(612) 870-0058