October 9, 2017

Desert Southwest Conference Calls for Volunteers to Texas 2017

The Desert Southwest Conference (DSC) of The United Methodist Church is inviting California-Pacific Conference to participate as sawyers in Victoria, Texas, to clean up hurricane-damaged trees.


The trip will start on October 17, 2017, and may take two days to travel. Work will begin immediately (in 3-on; 1-off sequence) for as long as team members are available. DSC ERT members will be there to support the Cal-Pac team for at least part of the time.


The teams will stay and operate from Victoria, Texas and be housed by a local Methodist Church. The church has kitchen facilities.

Rides and Transportation:

Once lists of participants are available, the organizers will try to set up carpools. Keep in mind that the team will also haul a substantial amount of work equipment. Let the organizers know if you would be able to drive and take passengers who could share trip costs.

Non-drivers can join a carpool or return via air service from Corpus Christi or Houston.


Teams typically pay their way and share costs where possible. There may be some donated funds available (unknown now), and participants are welcome to find sponsors if possible.

General Items to Take:

  • Work clothes: tuff pants, long-sleeved shirts, and boot socks.
  • Personal and leisure clothes: off-time clothes, underwear, rain gear, pajamas, and warm gear.
  • Hygiene items and meds: bug repellent and sunscreen.
  • Bed: cot or air mattress, bedroll, and pillow.
  • Entertainment: books, camera, and tunes with headphones.

Saw Gear:

Personal protective gear is required for any team member who operates a chainsaw. It includes sawyer helmet (with ear muffs and face shield), sawyer chaps, leather work gloves, and work boots (preferably with steel toes). The team has a few chaps that can be borrowed (subject to sizing), but sharing sweaty helmets is not pleasant.

Do you have one or more chainsaws in good working order? If so, bring them with spare chains (plus tools, parts, etc.) The team will not have time, parts, or expertise to renovate dead saws.


Early this month, the team worked to remove storm-downed trees from roofs and close around houses as residents requested.

The organizers expect the work on this coming trip to be similar. Note that some literature describes this work as more dangerous than felling, bucking, and limbing of standing trees.


The organizers are updating the sawyer training materials to add focus on storm-damaged tree conditions such as the team will encounter in the wake of Hurricane

There is a required training to be certified by DSC. It will be available on-site in Texas, and all participants even certified sawyers attend a session.

This work will be strenuous, rewarding work that benefits everyone served.

For questions contact:

  • Judy Lewis, Cal-Pac UMVIM/Disaster Response Coordinator, at 10042 Vernon Ave. Montclair, CA 91763 or or 909-731-8248.
  • Jim Reeves at or 602-625-4611.