Disaster Response News

Ministry in a Minute

A Disaster Relief team works on damage sustained at a home in rural Oklahoma on April 13.

Disaster Response distributes 125,000 masks

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oklahoma Conference Disaster Response team obtained and distributed 125,000 masks and 24 55-gallon barrels of hand sanitizer to schools, churches and health ...

Disaster Recovery prepares for long-term response with little funding

The Office of Mission is working to address the needs of Oklahomans affected by the spring weather events that caused near-record flooding across the state. Rev. Jeremy Basset, director of the ...

Disaster Repsonse announces completion of “Let’s Finish This”

Oklahoma’s Disaster Response ministry has announced the completion of the “Let’s Finish This” initiative.   The initiative called for United Methodists in Oklahoma to help complete work on many homes ...

Disaster Response progress report

Bishop Jimmy Nunn has called for volunteers to help some 230 Oklahoma families repair homes ruined in flooding two years ago. Three months later, Disaster Response Coordinator Richard Norman reports ...

Loss in paradise

Oklahoman living in Puerto Rico rides hurricane’s winds BY HOLLY MCCRAY In the days after Hurricane Maria, it took the connections of Oklahoma United Methodist Volunteers In Mission to get Chelsea ...

Hurricane Relief: The latest from Rev. Richard Norman, OKUMC-DR coordinator.

Dear Oklahoma United Methodists, In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Oklahoma United Methodist Disaster Response Ministry (OKUMC-DR) wants to keep you updated on what is requested of us so ...

Home makeover

In Kingston, Oklahoma, photos tell the story of what United Methodist volunteers accomplished for a single parent and her children. In 2015, a tornado destroyed their house. With FEMA funds, they ...

Disaster worker honored

  Richard Norman, who is the Conference’s disaster response coordinator in the Office of Mission, recently received the Servant Leader award from the partnership group called Oklahoma Voluntary ...

Cleaning supplies, volunteer help needed

Recent flooding, fires, and storms in numerous U.S. annual conferences have nearly depleted the supply of clean-up kits (aka flood buckets) available through UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on ...

Bible survives Davis sanctuary collapse

by chris schutz Stepping carefully across the rubble and broken stained glass left by a destructive storm, a helper emerged with precious cargo and handed it to Sue Harshaw — her Bible. She had ...

Case managers seek out ‘most fragile’ after disaster

by chris schutz In the chaos that follows a fire, flood, tornado, or other disaster, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out who most needs help and how best to deliver it, said Christy Tate Smith, a ...

OK grateful to volunteers still coming from outside state

Three groups of volunteer disaster workers from outside Oklahoma were treated to grilled hot dog and burger lunches March 15 and 16 by the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation, as one way to thank ...

Storm story -- Snapshot of a bigger picture

To better understand The United Methodist Church’s promise to help disaster victims, look at how money from one grant was spent after the devastating May 2013 tornadoes in Oklahoma. These numbers ...

Missouri volunteers answer prayers

Down in Canyon Camp, chainsaws roared as 22 United Methodist volunteers from Missouri cleared hundreds of broken trees during a week in January. "They’re an answer to prayer," said Canyon’s manager,...

Call for disaster help in Tulsa

The Andrews family is among those in west Tulsa who lost homes in tornadoes last year. Living with the couple in their mobile home were the elementary-age daughter, a nephew, and grandmother.   The ...

UMCOR grants: $1 million to help victims of flooding

By HOLLY McCRAY Now well into their senior years, the couple always has lived in the modest frame house in southern Oklahoma. They had been so proud to pay off the mortgage. Yet in retirement, their ...

Parsonage houses volunteers far from home

By CHRIS SCHUTZ An unused parsonage in Newcastle provided housing for two weeks for disaster response workers from Michigan after a May 6 tornado damaged property in the area, especially in Bridge ...

Disaster Response

Trish Harris, left, pastor of Noble UMC, helps a Moore homeowner fill out paperwork requesting volunteer aid after tornadoes in the state on March 25.  Most home damage occurred in Moore and in two ...

Disaster response cases drop to fewer than 500 families

Ministry to May 2013 tornado survivors Workload is reduced, but the Church’s disaster response continues after the deadly May 2013 storms in the state’s central region. United Methodists vow to serve...

NOMADS travel to help central Oklahoma recover

At the Newalla home of David and Tamara Boydston, NOMADS Jeannie Hansen of Florida and Barbara Sullivan of Mangum paint trim boards; below: David Sullivan of Mangum and Dan Brown of Arkansas ...

One year later … Mission director assesses UM aid as 2013 tornado recovery continues

This aerial view shows a tornado-damaged Moore neighborhood on May 31, 2013.Welcome changes are visible there today, with new and repaired homes going up. UMNS photo by Mike DuBose 3,258 families ...

Disaster consultant joins OCC staff

The Oklahoma Conference of Churches (OCC) has named Mary Hughes Gaudreau of Guthrie as new director of emotional and spiritual care. The post was established through a grant from United Way of Central...

South Central Jurisdiction -- Mission interpreter ready to share stories

A member of the Southwest Texas Conference, Becky Harrell now serves as mission interpreter for the South Central Jurisdiction (SCJ), which includes the churches in Oklahoma. She is available to share...

4,000-plus volunteers deploy to help after tornadoes

A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose Volunteering through Moore-First UMC, Sharon Johnson cleans tornado debris at a home in late May. Numbers track just how extensive is the disaster recovery work...


Ceremonies in mid-October officially open case-management centers in Shawnee and El Reno for the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project, a collaboration by five major nonprofits, including The ...

5 nonprofits unite in disaster response

Photo by Holly McCray Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis wields oversized scissors to cut the ribbon Sept. 18 and officially open the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project case management center in his ...

Love letters - 2013 May Tornado Relief

Oklahoma Conference staff members find words that bless, such as these, as they continue to open envelopes that deliver money gifts for the special fund “2013 May Tornado Relief.” As of Sept. 12, the...

UMCOR grants $100,000 for wildfire recovery

By Holly McCray The denomination’s emergency relief agency awarded a $100,000 grant in December to help Oklahomans recover from disastrous summer wildfires. The money from UMCOR, the United ...

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