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Early Response Teams (ERT)


Keep an eye out here for more info on the next training session!

Want to help with disaster recovery?

We are re-forming our Early Response Teams (ERT).  We want to be ready to help with rebuilding after hurricanes like Ian, as well as other disasters, like the tornados in western KY and the flooding in eastern KY last year.

ERT training is important for both early response and long-term recovery efforts.  Once we have our badges, we will be scheduling dates to go to the Ft Myers area to help with their long-term recovery (LTR) phase, which starts April 1st.  Each person will fill out a form that identifies their specific skills.  LTR trips are usually 2-5 days.

What is an Early Response Team?


Early Response Teams are small (7 to 12 people), self-sufficient and self-sustaining, with specialized skills for early response. While there are specific tasks assigned to early response teams, no task is more important than the people they serve.


The mission of an Early Response Team (ERT) is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster. These teams are neither a first response group of emergency workers, (police, fire, EMT) nor a recovery rebuild or repair team; rather they fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the presence of the church.

What do Early Response Teams Do?

  • Provide a Christian presence. This does not sound like a task… and is NOT; however, it can be the MOST important thing a team can do.

  • Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property (stabilize the structure):

    • Clean out flooded or storm‐affected homes

    • Remove debris

    • Tarp roofs

  • Work to make a situation “safe, sanitary, and secure.”

  • Observe survivors' needs and report these to the local operations.

  • Are a part of the caring ministry of “listeners” who will help the survivor begin to heal.

  • Perform other tasks as deemed necessary by the community, such as managing donated materials or gathering information.

Who can participate? Anyone 14 years and older can participate in training and recovery efforts.


What will you learn in an ERT class?

  • Life cycle of a disaster

  • The Who, What, When, and Why of Early Response Teams

  • ERT protocols

  • Equipping an ERT team

  • Team safety

  • Working with survivors

  • Seven important things to know about disaster spiritual and emotional care

  • Safe sanctuaries

  • Organizational structure for the relief stage

At the conclusion of the training process all eligible applicants will be issued an ERT badge, which is good for three years. At the end of three years ERTs are encouraged to continue their unique ministry by attending a three‐hour online ERT Refresher class.

Have questions? Use the link below or contact Robert Dinwiddie at

Interested in volunteering?

Click here, choose "Disaster Recovery," and submit your info to let us know you're interested. We'll answer any questions that you have and make sure you know of upcoming volunteer opportunities.

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