Churches Dealing with Disaster

When disaster strikes, United Methodists respond with prayers and support.

Find out how you can be a part of relief efforts. Follow news coverage or the United Methodist News Service page on Facebook.

Check for information about local churches or conferences.

Learn from the stories of United Methodists congregations that have faced hardship, healing and hope after disasters.

Useful Links

Resources

Disaster preparedness and response

Storms and flood

Part I of this series shares how the United Methodist Committee on Relief responds to disasters. The next four segments tell the stories of three churches — in Alabama, Indiana and North Dakota — that are recovering from tornadoes and floods.

Fires

During 2012 and early 2013, fire destroyed or damaged more than a dozen United Methodist church properties across the United States. This special news series reported on the damage from those fires, the response to the affected congregations and what churches can do to protect themselves.

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Mission and Ministry
A Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Shallow Water Response Team rescues nine people and one dog Sept. 16, 2020, near Navarre Beach, Fla., after they were stranded by Hurricane Sally. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Sector Ohio Valley Shallow Water Response Team.

Churches pick up after Sally

Hurricane brought strong winds, torrential rain to west Florida and south Alabama.
Mission and Ministry
Wildfires burn during a mid-August night near Susanville, Calif. A series of wildfires has destroyed more than 30,000 acres of land around Susanville. Photo by Doug Magill, U.S. Army.

Fires, coronavirus complicate Western disaster relief

After a hurricane or tornado, church disaster relief teams and volunteers typically spring into action. Such a response isn’t possible in wildfires.
Disaster Relief
The Rev. Catie Newman prays with John W. Weaver in front of a neighbor’s wind-damaged home while a United Methodist volunteer team makes emergency repairs to his roof in Marion, Iowa. Weaver’s mobile home was severely damaged during a derecho windstorm Aug. 10. Newman is the disaster response coordinator for the Iowa Conference.

Church leads storm recovery in Iowa

United Methodist volunteers are coming from all over Iowa and other states to help following an Aug. 10 derecho windstorm that left a 700-mile path of destruction.