Memphis Conference trains 20 for disaster response


Rev. Robert Craig (standing) leads ERT class on Oct. 7 in Brownsville, Tennessee. (Photo by Christy Smith)

By Christy Smith
~Disaster Consultant, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
~Member of Brownsville First United Methodist Church

Twenty new Early Response Team (ERT) members prepared Saturday, Oct. 7, at Brownsville First United Methodist Church in Brownsville, Tennessee, to be a caring Christian presence for disaster survivors.

Participants from throughout the Memphis Conference (West Tennessee and Western Kentucky) attended the ERT class taught by Revs. Robert Craig and Brian Stahl, learning the concepts that undergird a rapid response team to help survivors stabilize homes and prevent further damage. 

The concept behind ERTs is that of a "MASH unit" that stops the bleeding, tarps roofs and boards up windows, pulls out wet materials that can’t be salvaged and prepares a home for rebuild teams.

The Memphis Conference has already responded to recent hurricanes with an incredible number of cleaning kits; now the conference, under the direction of Disaster Response Coordinator Robert Craig, is preparing to deploy teams to the stricken areas to give survivors the support which will help them take the next brave steps in recovery.

For more information on the next ERT class, contact Craig at Reelfoot Rural Ministries, where he serves as executive director, at (731) 538-9970.