1. I need to make an appeal to the District to begin preparing to assemble Health Kits and Cleaning (Flood) Buckets. We are in good shape right now but we will need to begin to replace what is used and for immediate need. We ask all churches and pastors to begin preparing to assemble these items and notify me or District upon completion. Please retain them at your church as of today (more information to come).
2. If you or any of your people have any training by UMCOR or UMVIM please respond in an email to me with what type and when you received it.
3. Churches and Individuals should not plan on going to the coast to render assistance until an invitation is extended. When Disaster response receives those requests I will be passing them on immediately. If you receive any individual requests for assistance please let me know who and where and what your response is going to be. (needs to be tracked)
4. The MS Conference is disallowing any and all of our churches for use as "General Use" Shelters. If you operate a general use shelter (open to anyone who walks in the door) then according to the Affordable Care Act, you are legally required to receive anyone who walks in the door and provide for all their needs to include their medical needs (if they are on dialysis you must provide for dialysis at your expense, medication must be supplied at your expense, treatments for any ailments must be provided at your expense). Failure to provide this service would expose you to risk of criminal and civil prosecution by the Justice Department and US Attorney's office as well as opening you to the risk of civil suits and penalties. You may provide assistance to pastors and their families, only United Methodists, United Methodists from a particular church, or other limited scope groups but not a "General Use" Shelter. If you are called upon to open a shelter by a unit of local government or by Red Cross or any other group contact me so we can make sure you, the New Albany District and the MS Annual Conference are legally protected. This is just good stewardship.
5. If anyone is interested in being part of a mission team to go to the coast afterwards to assist in the clean up efforts or tarp roofs either:
- A. Organize a team from you church, then contact me directly and list the person on the team, their gender and ages and skill sets (what they can do well) and the times you would like to go.
- B. Contact me direct and indicate your willingness to serve, your age, gender, skills, and when you can go.
6. We will be coordinating pickup of supplies. Please call the District or me on what is prepared and its location.
7. If you have any resources that you are willing to make available for disaster relief (loan of equipment) please let me know directly. Gas Cans, Water, Generators, Chain Saws, Gloves, Respirators, Disposable hazard suits, latex gloves, dust masks, disposable cover alls, work gloves, shovels, wheelbarrows, pry bars or crow bars, hammers, Trailers, Pickups, Ladders, etc.
8. If anyone is interested in going and serving as a long term volunteer as a site coordinator or other work for UMCOR/UMVIM please let me know. If anyone needs UMCOR ERT training please send these names immediately. We may be able to train based on numbers and need.
Jim Petermann MS District Disaster Relief Coordinator (662-816-3985) firstname.lastname@example.org