Central Texas Conference Disaster Response Teams Prepare for Harvey

2 p.m. Aug. 25
The Central Texas Conference Disaster Response Team held conference calls Thursday, Aug. 24 with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the Texas Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster Relief (TX VOAD) in preparations for Hurricane Harvey hitting the Texas Gulf Coast.
As of this writing, the National Weather Service and other meteorological organizations are forecasting Harvey to be a devastating storm for coastal Texas, the Greater Houston area and elsewhere in east and central Texas. Meteorologists expect the storm to make landfall north of Corpus Christi anytime from midnight to 4 a.m. Saturday (Aug. 26). It is predicted that Harvey will be a Level 3 storm with 125 mph sustained winds and major rain. Besides the high winds and rain typically associated with hurricanes, other weather fronts in Texas are likely to stop Harvey in its tracks and have him just sit and dump rain for 18 hours or more before moving up the coast to Houston. Some computer models are suggesting that certain areas of Texas may receive as much as 32-inches of rain courtesy of Harvey..  

The Texas and Rio Texas Conferences are anticipated to bear the brunt of the storm, although flooding could occur in Williamson County – the southernmost county in our conference. There is also a high probability that our conference will have the opportunity to provide shelter and supplies to evacuees and others fleeing the storm..

The Central Texas Conference Disaster Response team is standing by and ready according to Rev. Ginger Watson, coordinator of Disaster Response for the CTC.
“I am so grateful to all of our ERTs, UMVIM members and our local churches for their commitment to disaster response,” Ginger stated. “In anticipation of the storm, we are identifying which of our ERT teams could quickly mobilize for response within our conference or if we are invited into another conference.”
Anyone who is already part of an ERT team and is available to quickly respond is asked to go to ctcumc.org/HarveyERT and register. If you're not currently part of an ERT team, but could still respond on short notice, please click above and register as well. The Disaster Response Team leadership will assign individuals to existing teams as needed.  
For those who are not ERT and UMVIM trained but would still like to help, please go to umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies/Relief-Supply-Kits/Cleaning to learn how to and then begin building Cleaning Buckets. Once the buckets are made and ready, please contact Sheryl Crumrine (sherylcrumrine@ctcumc.org / 817-877-5222) at the Central Texas Conference Service Center (CTCSC) for information on how to get those buckets to where they are most needed. 
Also, financial support is also encouraged and welcome. Churches may start collecting donations at their local churches – just put Hurricane Relief in memo line and send the donations to the CTCSC c/o Disaster Response, 3200 E. Rosedale St., Fort Worth, Texas, 76105.

Finally, everyone is reminded to not self-deploy – even those who are trained and badged ERT first responders. Please wait for us to be invited and to coordinate with the CTC Disaster Response Team. 

The Disaster Response Team leadership is scheduled for another round of conference calls with UMCOR and TX VOAD late Sunday (Aug. 27) afternoon. Please watch for updates following. If you have questions, please email gingerwatson@ctcumc.org