Conference disaster response team coordinates plan

At least twen­ty-two peo­ple were killed and more than 130 injured by 25 tor­na­does and sev­er­al severe storms that struck 32 coun­ties with­in the bounds of the North Car­oli­na Con­fer­ence on Sat­ur­day, April 16. Dam­age and needs assess­ments are still in process across the NC Con­fer­ence through the dis­trict dis­as­ter coor­di­na­tors. Each of the 12 dis­tricts suf­fered some lev­el of dam­age, with most hav­ing large pock­ets of extreme dam­age. There have been no reports of any major dam­age to church build­ings. There are reports of dam­age to the homes of two pastors.

The con­fer­ence has set up an operations/call cen­ter at the MERCI Cen­ter in Golds­boro where per­sons wish­ing to vol­un­teer time and labor can reg­is­ter. To vol­un­teer as an indi­vid­ual or as a group, call 1–888-440‑9167 or send an email to tornadoresponse@nccumc.org. Vol­un­teer skills need­ed include every­thing from answer­ing phones to construction/rebuilding skills.

Bish­op Al Gwinn report­ed in a state­ment released to con­fer­ence cler­gy Mon­day after­noon that UMCOR has issued an emer­gency grant to assist with the con­fer­ence’s ini­tial response. A con­fer­ence Advance spe­cial — NC Storms — is also in place to receive finan­cial gifts. Checks may be sent to the NC Con­fer­ence — UMC, P.O. Box 60053, Char­lotte, NC 28260, des­ig­nat­ed for Advance S‑00176 or dona­tions may be made online at donate now.

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