From left: Dana and Kathy Bryson, Jim Truitt.

Conference leadership from the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho and Pacific Northwest Conference disaster response programs recently agreed that it’s time to have a unified voice to strengthen their missions and prepare for the future. They asked the Pacific Northwest Conference’s Jim Truitt to take on the challenge of launching the Greater Northwest Area Disaster Response pilot program beginning in March.

“Disasters do not have geographical or conference boundaries” said David Valera, Executive Director of Connectional Ministries for the PNW Conference. “The hope is to start living into this reality of thinking and working area-wide instead of being limited by the boundaries within our Annual Conferences.”

Jim has a long history of serving with local, regional and national preparedness and disaster-related missions. He’s been involved with PNW disaster response programs since 2005, most recently as the PNW Disaster Response Coordinator. He has also served as a Subject Matter Expert for FEMA, Texas Emergency Management Dept., Western Jurisdiction, and the Southeast Jurisdiction; UMCOR Certified ERT Trainer; and recovery coordinator for the Galena, AK flood recovery. Jim is ready to take on a new opportunity to serve.

“The Greater Northwest Conferences have worked really well as a team,” Jim said. “This relationship has been informal and based on mutual trust and respect. As time goes by, people leave and new ones come in. We are looking for a way to insure the working relationships continue and we continually improve our disaster preparedness and response.”  

Dan Wilcox, Alaska Conference Disaster Response Coordinator commented, “While we have been informally working as a team, this more structured approach to collaboration will give Jim more freedom in supporting the disaster preparedness and response efforts in the three sister conferences.” 

Jim is a member of Fairwood Community United Methodist Church in Renton, WA. He can be reached at 

Both Dana and Kathy started their volunteer work in 2010 as Early Response Team members. Kathy has organized and led multiple ERT deployments including North Dakota, Alaska, Hurricanes Sandy, Matthew, Harvey and Florence. She’s served in-Conference on missions to Spokane, Okanogan County and most recently with Dana staffing the Port Orchard tornado recovery center. Kathy is also supporting the Cal-Pac Conference as the Saipan/Typhoon Yutu Project Coordinator for relief missions. She’ll continue to serve in the PNW ERT Coordinator role.

Moving into the PNW’s Disaster Response Coordinator role are husband and wife team Dana and Kathy Bryson. Kathy is the Pacific Northwest Early Response Team Coordinator (ERT) and a United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) certified ERT trainer. 

“Dana and I look forward to this next step in our disaster response service”, Kathy remarked. “We want to build upon our successes working in partnership with our Greater Northwest colleagues.” Dana has also served on numerous Early Response and Volunteer in Mission teams including Saipan and as a PNW chainsaw team member. He’s been recognized by UMCOR as a Subject Matter Expert by developing the Safety Officer and Logistics Manager courses for the national ERT training program. 

Kathy and Dana are members of Kennewick First United Methodist Church in Kennewick, WA. They can be reached at

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