A photo montage featuring degrading air quality in Ellensburg and the construction of
a new home in White Swan, Wash. Images by the Revs. Shalom Agtarap and L. George Abrams, respectively.

Disaster Response, Yearly Report for 2012 | By the Rev. Dr. George Abrams

For a more detailed 2012 report on PNW UMVIM, click here.

We began 2012 by continuing with long-term recovery in White Swan, Wash. (Yakama Confederated Tribes) due to wind/fires of February 12, 2011. We ended the year working on four new disasters. If there is good news in all of this pain, it is that each of these disasters involved less than 100 cases.

In June, Ferry County was struck with a wind event that impacted both tribal (Colville Confederated Tribes) and non-tribal property. The Disaster Response Team assisted by providing two long-term recovery trainings and setting up a long-term recovery group (LTRG) at the Republic Presbyterian Church with the help of the Presbyterians and Adventist Community Services. Early resources for the LTRG amounted to $7,000 provided by UMCOR; Presbyterian Disaster Assistance provided $10,000.

In August, the Taylor Bridge wildfire burned 54 homes near Ellensburg, Wash. Jim Truitt, the PNWUMC UMVIM Disaster Response Coordinator, attended the Washington State Housing Task Force meeting in Ellensburg. A Community Action Program called HopeSource agreed to function as a Single Point Recovery. Long Term Recovery training and $500 in UMCOR funds were provided for case management.

The PNW Conference provided disaster support throughout the Bishop’s Episcopal Area in the Greater Northwest. We sent $500 in UMCOR funds for case management salary to the Oregon Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (ORVOAD) for the early spring flooding in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Also $500 in UMCOR funds was sent to Idaho Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (IDAVOAD) for the wild fires in July near Pocatello, Idaho.

Through the Bishop’s Office, we requested UMCOR Case Management training for the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. We received one UMCOR case management training class in Vancouver, Wash. and trained case managers from three of the four disaster sites.

The Disaster Response Team was on the steering committee and faculty for the Resilience 2012 Conference in October in Portland, Ore., which was the longest long-term recovery training ever held in the US. We also trained the Bonner County (Idaho) Emergency Management planning Committee and Gonzaga University graduating nursing students in long-term recovery.

It has been a very busy year.

The Rev. Dr. L. George Abrams serves as
the Annual Conference Disaster Response Team Coordinator (UMCOR)


  1. Thank you George for all the hard work you have done this last year in care of those who hurt! And thank UMVIM and UMCOR for the help and support in building another home in White Swan after the 2011 fire! Only through care from our faithful neighbors and family have we been able to make a difference in the lives of so many after such a disastrous fire.
    Peace, Rev. David B. Bell

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