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Disaster Response and UMVIM Training Classes

A minimum of 10 participants are needed to conduct a class. There is contact information for the class teacher at the bottom of the class description. Also contact the Conference disaster response coordinator, Judy Lewis , who can coordinate interest from around the conference to help set class dates at the soonest convenient times.

Basic ERT

The Mission of an Early Response Team (ERT) is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster.

The team is not a “first response” group; nor is it a recovery, rebuild or repair team. It is assigned various tasks; usually relating to safety, mitigation of further damage to property, and cleanup tasks to assist the homeowner in preparation for rebuild. Always being the Caring Presence!

Specially trained “United Methodist Volunteers in Mission” (UMVIM) fulfill that task. ERT Certification requires successful completion of the Basic ERT course AND completion of the Safe Gatherings process. (We work with vulnerable individuals.) Both ERT and Safe Gatherings are valid for three years.

ERT Classes are taught by UMCOR certified instructors. The class is a FULL day – includes class time, team building, and hands on experiences to hone your skills. Your work clothing is the uniform of the day. Join this group of trained individuals extending the hands and feet of Christ to those in need.
Interested in a future class or need more information?
Contact Judy Lewis, Cal-Pac UMVIM/Disaster Response Coordinator | 909.731.8248[c]


ERT Renewal

An update class is required every three years. Generally a half day, it is designed to act as a reminder and review of the learnings of the Basic ERT Class, introduce changes that may have occurred in policy, procedures or techniques. It emphasizes safety, safety, safety and BEING the Caring Presence. Safe Gatherings is also required for re-certification. Some elect to retake the Basic Course.
Interested in a future class or need more information?

Contact: Judy Lewis, Cal-Pac UMVIM/Disaster Response Coordinator | 909.731.8248[c]

ERT Leader (1/2 day class)
You’re ERT certified, you’ve been on a mission or two – you say to yourself, “I want to take a team.” Then it’s time to take ERT200TL – Team Leader Training Course along with portions of the UMVIM Leader Course. You’ll be lead through the “nuts & bolts,” forms, policies & procedures of team leadership. Everything from project selection, team development, money, travel, insurance, spiritual leadership, more and more – all to bring you and your team safely home following a successful mission trip.
Interested in a future class or need further information?
Contact: Judy Lewis, Cal-Pac UMVIM/Disaster Response Coordinator | 909.731.8248[c]

UMVIM Team Leader

This class covers the process of forming and sending out a team on a national or international mission trip. Effective Christian service is achieved through training team leaders on how to equip themselves and their team to make the most of their mission journey. Many host conferences request that team leaders be UMVIM trained. The class is 4 hours long and cost $40 which includes the UMVIM Team Leader Handbook, a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, and various resources. The Cal-Pac Safe Sanctuary online training program Safe Gatherings is required for team leaders and it includes a background check. If you are interested in a future Team Leader Training class or need more information, contact Susan Harriss:

Safe Gatherings

Safe Sanctuary is an overt expression in making congregations safe places where children, youth and vulnerable adults may experience the abiding love of God and fellowship with the community of faith. The California-Pacific Conference and most congregations utilize Safe Gatherings to enable churches, camps, clergy, staff, and Conference-affiliated groups to meet their screening and training responsibilities for those who work with children, youth, and vulnerable adults. Staff and volunteers who serve in ministry to these groups complete the approval process every three years to maintain their approval status. Individuals who complete an application, background check, and the online training may be approved and authorized to work with those groups in any church-related setting. Screening includes obtaining background checks and professional references. The training is comprehensive and customized for our organization. Applicants may complete the online training modules at their own pace. The training typically takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Cost is currently $45 (effective April 1, 2019).

For more information, go to