The following trainings are available from Arkansas Conference Disaster Response Ministries. Trainings are done by request of a response team, church group, local church or community. Twelve participants, a host contact and a meeting facility are needed to schedule a training. A small fee per participant may be charged to cover training materials and lunch (if included). Fees normally run $25 per participant. Once training is completed, Coordinators are available for consult and to assist further as needed. Additional training is offered by UMCOR and scheduled through the Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. For more information or to schedule a training email

Disaster 101 – Basic Disaster Response Ministry is an introduction for all people interested in the unique and important role the faith community plays in disaster readiness and response. Participants learn about the phases and levels of disasters and about how response to disaster happens. They learn how to prepare for a disaster and how to get involved after disaster strikes. The different aspects of disaster response as well as the different agencies and organizations involved in disaster response are discussed. Participants will gain a better overall understanding of disaster operations from the time the warning is sounded until the last need is met and more.

Early Response Team (ERT) Basic – Become an Early Response Team member! Be part of a team that offers a caring Christian presence as you participate in safely cleaning-up and securing disaster-damaged homes and property. This workshop covers the guidelines that allow ERTs to be productive and caring while causing no further harm or being a burden to the affected community. Other topics include the who, what, when, where, and how of doing ministry, as well as hands-on experience in the specific tasks that early responders are expected to accomplish. Participants must demonstrate competency and pass a background check prior to certification.

ERT Recertification – a 4-hour review of ERT Basic for the purpose of renewing expired badges.

Kevin Overholt and a chainsaw safety class.

Chainsaw Safety – Disaster Response Ministries strive to do no harm. We want our volunteers to be as safe as possible when responding. This is for their benefit, their family’s benefit, the team’s benefit, and to the benefit of the community we are serving. It has been found that early response many times calls for use of chainsaws. Disaster Response Ministries offers Chainsaw Safety training. In doing so, we follow UMCOR’s Chainsaw Safety and Operations Guidelines. The training follows UMCOR’s Course Requirements and we ask that any volunteer wishing to operate a chainsaw: Own the chainsaw you operate, have verification of training, meet OSHA requirements for personal protective equipment and saw safety equipment.

ERT 200 Series:
Cleaning up flooded homes – Cleaning Out Flooded Homes, more commonly referred to as “mucking out”, will talk about current best practices and safety procedures for cleaning out, stabilizing and sanitizing water damaged homes.

Team Leader – Team Leadership, is designed to be for both leaders and assistant leaders. This class will explore more of what those functions involve as well as what all functions should be doing.

On-Site Management – On Site Management (OSM) is a class designed to help communities receive ERTs by knowing what should be in place before the invitation is issued. Discussed is what type of assessments, forms, or other arrangements can be made to speed up the invitation of ERTs to a disaster area.

Site Assessment – Site Assessment class is designed for both team leader and logistics persons. This class explores ways to evaluate a site for safety and suitability for an ERT and determines scope of work to be done by the ERT. ERT site assessment specialty teams could be very helpful in the earliest days after an event to set the way for other teams to come. (This class is not designed for use in rebuilding or repairing.)

Safety – In development

Listener/Reporter – In development

Wildfire – This session is designed to enhance early response team members’ knowledge and skills to provide clean-up and other relief phase activities in the aftermath of wildfire. The class is designed for further education of ERT basic team members, and may also be useful for just in time training of volunteers.