Michigan flood relief update

Rev. Robert Miller (l) Disaster Relief Coordinator for Detroit Conference, and Rev. David Kim, Saginaw Bay District Superintendent, handle Cleaning Buckets from UMCOR distributed in Midland July 6, 2017. ~photo courtesy Paul Perez

The United Methodists are partnering with the Southern Baptists undergoing clean-up from summer floods. .

Dan O’Malley, Disaster Relief Coordinator for the West Michigan Conference offers an update on recovery efforts from the June flooding in mid-Michigan …

Midland County continues to be the largest need for recovery help both in initial muck-out and rebuild.  At present there are 24 homes in need of muck-out with 15 to 20 more homes waiting for assessment and confirmation of unmet need. There are 436 homes in the Crisis Cleanup database listed as needing some level of clean up. Saginaw and Isabella counties also have homes in need of muck-out and rebuild.

The Red Cross has been involved qualifying and certifying people to go door to door to determine level of damage and assistance needed. The demographics indicate many of those affected are over 65 years of age. 

Local agencies have funding available and have made arrangements for furnaces, water heaters, washers and dryers for homes that have been mucked out and are ready for appliances. Other local agencies have furniture and mattresses available for those who qualify for those items. 

Habitat for Humanity will be mobilizing rebuild teams to follow the muck-out teams. Two homes were destroyed in a mobile home park. There is a need for experienced mobile home muck-out and rebuild volunteers as the requirements are different than stand- alone homes.   

In addition to property needs, there is spiritual and emotional care to be done.

The Southern Baptist Convention has two teams at work in Midland. They are open to receiving three-day or five-day volunteers. The general plan is that the Southern Baptists and United Methodists will work together, sharing resources and deploying as needs are identified by Crisis Cleanup.

NECHAMA, a Jewish national volunteer organization, has team leaders and supplies that could be sent to Midland; they also need additional volunteers. Local vetting of volunteers is currently underway.

In light of these developments, Dan O’Malley is looking for trained Early Responders to begin work immediately. Others are needed through August and September. Phone him at 616.915.6301 or email dano.omalley@gmail.

Robert Miller, Disaster Response Coordinator for the Detroit Conference, has contacted UMCOR and North Central Jurisdiction UMVIM for support in providing ERT training in Michigan. That training would be to prepare additional ERT and ERT Team leaders.  

The United Methodist Committee on Relief through the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, has already provided 2,000 cleaning buckets. Many have been distributed and 500 are currently in storage with the Red Cross. 

Please take time to pray for those affected by the June flooding and for those involved in caring for their needs. 




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