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Disaster Response

The UCC’s National Disaster Ministries (NDM) helps with short-term assistance, but especially in the long-term recovery of communities, churches and individuals affected by flooding, tornadoes, blizzards and any other natural disaster in the U.S. and abroad. Each UCC conference in the United States utilizes a volunteer Disaster Coordinator to serve as a communications conduit between local people affected by disasters, conference staff and the UCC National Disaster Ministries staff.

If you are in a community affected by a disaster, in the immediate aftermath here are some things to do:

A MARC (a Multi-Agency Response Center) will be established in your area. Even if you think you will have insurance and other resources to cover all your losses, it is important to register with the MARC. It is VERY IMPORTANT to take these steps in the correct order, otherwise, you may cause yourself to be ineligible for some programs.

  • Online, visit www.DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • On a smart phone, download the FEMA app and click on “disaster resources,” then “apply for assistance online.”
  • By phone, call FEMA’s toll-free registration line at 800-621-3362 or (TTY) 800-462-7585; or use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS). Telephone registration is available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Daylight Time, seven days a week.
  • Visit a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) and speak to a FEMA specialist one-on-one. To find the nearest DRC, go online to FEMA.gov/DRC.

Business owners, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters may be eligible for low-interest disaster loans or for qualified homeowners and renters, disaster grants help pay for basic repairs to make a home habitable, temporary rental assistance, and serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other sources from the U.S. Small Business Administration to help recover from losses not covered by insurance, grants or other sources. SBA’s Customer Service Center : 800-659-2955 or 800-877-8339 – TTY or email.

For United Church of Christ churches affected by disasters:

Disaster Ministry Coordinator Brice Hughes (email)

Insurance — Contact your insurance agent immediately. If your church is covered by Insurance Board insurance, you may find your agent’s contact information on our Partners page.

Contact your area’s Associate Conference Ministers for general support.

Ways to Help

Churches and individuals not directly affected by a disaster feel called to love their neighbor by providing financial donations, food, shelter and clean up kits in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and by assisting with rebuilding in the long-term recovery. UCC Disaster Ministries can provide Solidarity Grants to churches responding to disaster with grants of up to $3,000 in as little as 7-10 days. Contact your Disaster Ministry Coordinator to apply for that grant. In the weeks immediately following a disaster please pay close attention to our News section and our email updates for information about the response.

Learn More about ways you can help in a disaster and anytime to prepare for future disasters.