April 5, 2023 – ARUMC Disaster Response Updates


Getting long-term volunteers into Wynne has proven more difficult than in central Arkansas, but it continues progressing. Housing has been secured, and both areas should see volunteers deploying for repair and clean-up very soon.  An invite has been issued to disaster teams from other conferences, and they should begin arriving from out of state very soon to serve in underserved areas affected. 

It is understandable that everyone wants to respond immediately when their communities are broken by disaster, and people in a disaster crisis are always very grateful for immediate support.  Please remind your parishioners that no matter when the first United Methodist arrives on the scene of a disaster, our commitment is for the long term. Long after the food trucks and distribution stations are gone, United Methodists will still be in communities serving survivors in their journeys to recovery. This will be a long process for restoration, and help will still be needed for several years.

Central Volunteer Orientation is tomorrow at 8:30 am at ENTRANCE 6 at St. James UMC in Little Rock. Teams will leave after this orientation to work in Jacksonville, North Little Rock, and Sherwood at 9 am. 

Questions: cedisaster@arumc.org

ERT Recertification* classes have been announced!  

If you would like to become REcertified for Emergency Certification, join one of these classes on Zoom:

  • 4-hour Zoom session on Saturday, April 8, 8 am – 12 noon
  • 4-hour Zoom session on Tuesday, April 11, 5 pm – 9 pm

Email disaster@arumc.org for more information and to receive the Zoom links.

*If you have never received an ERT, opportunities will be available in the future. This does not mean you can not help. ARUMC Disaster Response will assign an ERT certified person to lead your team or include you with a team. 

Ways to support ARUMC Disaster Response in Arkansas:

  • Give online to support the long-term United Methodist disaster response ministry in Arkansas. Please consider donating to ARUMC Volunteers in Mission/Disaster Response to keep funds local. Donations to UMCOR are always encouraged as well. 
  • Hands-on volunteers* (with good physical abilities) for heavy work in both areas:
    • Delivery of supplies (lunches, buckets, donated items, etc.)
    • Lifting and hauling
    • Prepping for rebuild and repairs to make homes safe, secure, and sanitary

*To volunteer contact the following:

Central Arkansas – Roy and Shelley Lee, Central District Disaster Response coordinators cedisaster@arumc.org

Wynne area – Pastor Pam Lamb-Lee, Northeast District Response coordinator


Dan Kersey, Southeast District Response coordinator


  • Donate items for Wynne (1st United Methodist Church, 800 Falls Blvd., Wynne) BEGINNING FRIDAY and Pulaski County (Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn, ENTRANCES 1 & 7, Little Rock) Monday – Friday, 9 am – 4:30 pm.
    • NEW (in packages) socks – all sizes
    • NEW (in packages) underwear – all sizes
    • NEW (in packages) t-shirts – all sizes
    • NEW containers of shampoo
    • NEW tubes of toothpaste
    • NEW, UNOPENED containers of pet food

If you or any of your parishioners would like to understand better how the Arkansas Conference Disaster Response ministry works along with UMCOR, please view this conversation between Bishop Merrill, Rev. Jim Polk, and Sheri Matthews and feel free to share with anyone wanting to learn more about this United Methodist Disaster Response ecosystem. 

All communication regarding response updates for the service areas (Jacksonville, Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood, and Wynne) will be provided on the Arkansas Conference website and Facebook and the ARUMC Volunteers in Mission and Disaster Response Facebook group. Follow these platforms to stay updated on all disaster response updates.

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