Disaster Preparedness and Response

United Methodist churches understand, in a foundational way, that our mission is to be the transformation the world needs. Our calling leads us to enter into disaster preparedness and response as followers of Christ who earnestly seek to live our faith in ways that can transform communities and the lives of those who are our neighbors. We must continually strive to become better than we are. That’s done by building competent local strength; by attracting, training and managing our volunteers better; by preparing our families, churches and communities to be better prepared for disaster; by being true to our collective mission.

Click on the links (on the right if you are using a desktop computer or the bottom if you are on mobile) to learn more about Disaster Preparedness and Response.

Your Involvement in Disaster Preparedness and Response

There are many ways that you and your church can be involved in this dynamic ministry. This web page was designed to allow you to access information on all things disaster related.  From basic information on disasters and UMCOR to training calendars, downloads of forms as well as detailed overviews of the disaster preparedness and response programs that are offered through the Rocky Mountain Conference.  These programs include:

  • Connecting Neighbors – This is a disaster preparedness program focused on the church, helping individual congregants and your church make plans so that they and their community are ready for the next disaster.
  • Early Response Teams (ERT) – ERT’s fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean out flood-damaged homes, place tarps on homes, and otherwise help to prevent further damage, while providing a caring Christian presence. 
  • Disaster Spiritual Care (DSC) – This program is designed to meet the need for trained and credentialed persons to provide spiritual care services to survivors of disasters. 
  • Long Term Recovery – After a disaster strikes, the recovery process is usually much longer than all parties realize.  The United Methodist Church and UMCOR can provide expertise and resources to help a community during this process.           


Multiple winter storms with large amounts of snow, high winds and subzero temperatures have impacted the state of Montana. According to Weather.com, "Some parts of the Montana Rockies have seen more than 40 feet of snow this season so far, while some towns are seeing record snow."

Because of this record snowfall, the Yellowstone Conference has initiated a disaster response plan for the communities around Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP) in northwestern Montana. Approximately 15,000 people are affected in the Blackfeet reservation. Mountain Sky Area Bishop Karen Oliveto has requested an emergency grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Yellowstone Conference also has a Disaster Relief Fund and you can give online: www.yacumc.org/donate.

In addition to your donations and prayers, these are the current needs that BUMP is requesting:

  • Firewood and supplies, plus chainsaws
  • Water and food, including meats, potatoes, coffee, canned goods, baby food
  • Personal hygiene products, such as diapers, wipes, feminine care
  • Trucks, trailers, sleds and snowmobiles
  • Fuel (diesel and gas)

Volunteers are also needed to assist BUMP as the church has become an emergency shelter. Pastor Dawn Maurer Skerritt, as Yellowstone Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, will organize volunteer teams for BUMP. If you would like to volunteer or provide supplies from the list above, please contact Dawn by email: pastordawn.cfumc@gmail.com or by phone: 406-260-5562. Thank you for your prayers and support!

Other resources:
How to make a hygiene kit | How to make a cleaning bucket