The joint Disaster Team from Highland and Avent Ferry UMC is still working on assisting those in need from damage sustained from Hurricane Florence.  The NC UM Conference held an all day training session at Highland in January to prepare our team and others from area churches for Early Response Training.  This training instructs teams on what to do and what not to do as early responders to a disaster.  Over ½ of the 37 people attending were from our team, including 2 that have no church affiliation, but wish join our team.

Our team is currently structured to provide highly skilled and technical arboricultural solutions to tree situations that no other team can accomplish.  We are the only team in the NC Conference that is set up to provide assistance in this manor.  Two or more trips are currently being planned to finish the tree work jobs that need our team’s skills to complete.

Preparation for the next storm is on going through training and procurement of equipment.  Through your contributions, a new equipment trailer has been ordered.  However, your team still needs funding for much more equipment and training that will enable it to perform safely in all varieties of compromising tree situations.  The NC Conference has asked your team leader to provide further training by teaching an advanced “Master’s Chainsaw Course” to teams from within our Conference.

Please remember, that when a disaster is immanent, it is too late to begin preparing for whatever event may be coming.  We have to be ready now, with all planning and equipment in place to be ready to respond immediately.  Each and every person of both churches has the power to contribute to your Disaster Team through prayers, contributions or time.  All three are equally needed and important!

Please feel free to contact Cullen Whitley at any time with your questions, comments and ideas – or to join your team in any capacity!  919-314-7044

AFUMC Disaster Response Team