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The UMCOR Hotline: Hurricane Katrina

Special Edition

September 8, 2005

In Today's Hotline:
Louisiana and Mississippi: Storm Centers Open
UMCOR Sager Brown: Dispatching Relief
Hurricane Volunteers: Know Before You Go


The United Methodist Storm Centers are opening in Baton Rouge, LA, and Jackson, MS, this week to coordinate Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in the region. “The center’s focus is to connect resources with requests for help,” said Gordon Knucky, disaster response consultant for UMCOR in Louisana. UMCOR is providing training and consultation to church leadership on how to best assist Katrina survivors to regain their lives and dignity.

The centers, established in cooperation with UMCOR, are centralized locations to coordinate relief efforts, increasing effectiveness and preventing duplication of efforts. The current priorities for these centers are to coordinate immediate relief in the region.

Your gifts to UMCOR Advance #982523, Hurricanes 2005 will help UMCOR continue to support the work of volunteers, annual conferences, and interfaith response efforts in the Gulf Coast disaster area. Write “Hurricane Katrina” to designate your gift specifically to recovery from this storm.


UMCOR Sager Brown is distributing relief supplies throughout the affected region. So far, about 8,000 health kits have been dispersed to people who need them as well as other necessities.

UMCOR Sager Brown is calling for health kits, school kits as well as new twin sheets, new blankets, new pillows, and new air mattresses to assist people living in shelter situations. Items can be shipped to: UMCOR Sager Brown Depot, P.O. Box 850, 131 Sager Brown Road, Baldwin, LA 70514-0850. Please include $1.00 for each kit or bedding item you send to cover the cost of reshipping.

For more information about packing and shipping health kits, school kits, and other items, please visit UMCOR’s Relief Supplies page or call the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot at 1-800-814-8765. You can donate to the purchase of these supplies by giving to UMCOR Advance #901440, Material Resource Ministry.


United Methodist volunteers have stepped forward in large numbers to assist with Hurricane Katrina Recovery. Before you make your own plans to volunteer your time and skills to assist in Hurricane Katrina recovery, give your Jurisdictional United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) coordinator a call. The jurisdictional coordinators are each responsible for a region of the US. You can find a list of coordinators with their contact information at Deciding to volunteer on your own without coordinating with an organization can lead to personal harm as well as hinder the work of others.

The volunteer effort in response to Hurricane Katrina will continue for a long time. Right now, UMCOR is making assessments in three states affected by Katrina to determine where and how volunteers can be best used. There are also specially trained Early Response Teams of volunteers at work in Mississippi and ready to deploy as soon as it’s safe to Louisiana. Many areas are unsafe because of health risks and structural hazards. The Early Response Teams are physically and emotionally ready to work in these environments. Once areas are determined safe, regular volunteer teams, with a trained leader, can enter the effected areas and begin work. Your UMVIM coordinator will know what the needs are, what teams are going from your area, and how you can be a part of the response.

UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.

And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.

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Featured Photos
United Methodist Committee on Relief

Man carrying belongings

David Brown carries belongings from a home in Bay Saint Louis, MS. Credit: REUTERS/Tami Chappell. Courtesy:

UMCOR SagerBrown

The Rev. Rachel Benefield-Pfaff shows Bishop Hope Morgan Ward the high-water mark in her home in Gulfport, MS. Benefield-Pfaff, the pastor at Handsboro United Methodist Church, said she and her family rode out Hurricane Katrina in the attic of their house. Credit: Woody Woodrick/UMNS

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