After The Storm

When disaster strikes who is there to help? We Are! Let us learn more about the new program birthed by the Michigan Annual Conference called: After the Storm.

We pray that a natural disaster will never happen to us and that it never happens to those we love. Yet, as we hear on the news natural disasters are happening more and more frequently. None of us will go through life without being affected by a natural disaster, directly or indirectly.

Response to a natural disaster comes in waves. We are all aware of the immediate response to any crisis. The clearing of trees from roads, tarping of roofs, and finding emergency shelter after a tornado are all examples of an immediate response. This is when the media is highly engaged, and concern is high. Government, Emergency Response, and Non-Governmental organizations such as the United Methodist Committee on Relief trained volunteers called ERT (Emergency Response Teams) to work together through a highly coordinated system to make sure that immediate needs are met.

Yet the need goes on, and on, and on. Believe it or not, this next step is where we as the Michigan Annual Conference have found a real strong affinity for the work that needs to be done. This work is called Disaster Case Management. This is the work that continues for months or even years after the initial disaster has taken place.

We have set up Disaster Case Management in communities impacted by flooding across the State of Michigan. Such as Northwest Detroit in 2014 and 2019, Midland County in 2017, Houghton & Hancock in 2018, and the Great Lakes Bay region in 2020. In each case we collaborated with community leaders, nonprofit organizations, and municipal, county, State, and FEMA officials. We are the only entity in Michigan providing this type of Disaster Case Management in Michigan. At that time all funding was through UMCOR and Community Foundation grants along with donations to the Michigan Disaster Response Fund.

Because of our good work and faithful work in these many communities, we have gotten the attention of the State of Michigan and FEMA. Because of this, the Michigan Conference was awarded a large grant to do the work of Case Management following the flooding in Southeastern Michigan in 2021. It was decided that a separate organization would be better to manage while keeping it connected to the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. So in 2022 After the Storm was officially launched.

So why give to After the Storm? Because there are needs that are greater than any grant can provide. We have to be ready to respond and the only way to be ready is to be prepared. Your gift today helps us be and stay prepared to respond to the next disaster in Michigan.

East Winds District