A roof of a typhoon-damaged home in Saipan in the middle of a truss replacement.

By Kathy Bryson

Help get Typhoon Yutu survivors back into their homes by joining a two-week UMCOR specialized team this summer and fall. Flights, accommodations, and some expenses are covered through FEMA “invitational travel” for those qualified through a volunteer application process and holding a current Early Response Team (ERT) badge.

Those interested in receiving ERT Training to meet this qualification should consider the ERT Spring Training at Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center on May 10 & 11. LEARN MORE

A storm-damaged home in Saipan which lost its roof.

Teams are a blend of volunteers from a variety of conferences with a focus on either professional or construction savvy members to rebuild trusses and tin roofs for the more than 500 homes that suffered major damage. Team members returning from their Saipan missions have said that the work is hard, there’s lots of sweating, and the people are wonderful.

Those joining a team must be prepared:

  • current passport good for up to six months beyond deployment dates;
  • the ability to climb and work off of ladders;
  • be in excellent health;
  • and be able to tolerate the extreme hot and humid tropical weather.

Additional details are provided during the volunteer application process.

Typhoon Yutu hit Saipan in October 2018. The people of Saipan are waiting to get out of tents or temporary shelters and into their homes. If interested in helping them do so, ask about joining a Saipan team. Contact Kathy Bryson, Yutu Project Coordinator/Cal-Pac Conference, at pnwumcert@gmail.com for a volunteer application and Yutu fact sheet.

Kathy Bryson is the Pacific Northwest Conference Early Response Team Coordinator (ERT) and a United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) certified ERT trainer.  Along with her husband, Dana, she also serves as PNW Disaster Response Coordinator.

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