Early Response Teams (ERT) are specially trained teams that offer assistance soon after the disaster strikes. They generally do clean up work and tasks required to stop further damage from being done, e.g. putting tarps on damaged roofs. They might do minor repairs that help make homes habitable, but they do not do extensive repairs or reconstruction (that is the job for Long Term Recovery).   

All members of an Early Response Team are required to complete the eight hour training course and must have a current background check.  The ERT training is done according to UMCOR guidelines and policies.  The background check is completed upon completion of training through UMCOR.  Persons completing the training and passing the background check are issued a badge indicating they are approved by the Rio Texas Conference and credentialed by UMCOR for three years. ERTs will also comply with Rio Texas Conference Trusted con Confianza guidelines when they deploy

An Early Response Team is a special type of VIM Team

An Early Response Team has a very narrow function and has no management or administrative responsibility for the overall disaster response. An “Early Response Team” should not be confused with a Disaster Recovery Team. An Early Response Team is a specially trained and certified team called to do early response. A Disaster Recovery Team is a type of UMVIM Team that comes to assist in the long term recovery, AFTER early response is completed. Each Early Response Team member must be trained and carry an identification badge reissued by UMCOR following successful completion of Early Response Team Training.

About the ERT Training

8:00 a.m.

8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The class will cover the purpose of an Early Response Team:
• To show that the church cares about what has happened to the people,
• To assist the most vulnerable populations with their immediate needs, and
• To provide assistance that will help to prevent further damage to homes and property.

The class will also cover team member responsibilities, how to equip a team, how to
prevent further damage (the four basic jobs), and more.

Training will be included for:
• Tarping, mucking/gutting, salvaging
• Tools/Equipment Set-up
• Team member safety

Cost: $30.00

This includes:
• Training Resources Manual
• Identification Badge
• Rio Texas Conference Early Response Team (ERT) T-shirt
• Lunch


Recertification of ERT Credentials

The following policies are established by the Disaster Response Committee of the Rio Texas Conference.  

All Early Response Team Members must be recertified every three years.  This requirement is based primarily on the 3 year limit on background checks, but also helps us to keep ERTs up to date with the most current information available. 

There are two primary ways to recertify your initial ERT certification:

  1. Complete the online recertification course
  2. Complete the full 8 hour ERT course again

Additionally, there may be occasion when the Conference offers a 200 level “Advanced” ERT course (Assessment, Team Leader, Advanced Cleanout, etc.)   Upon completion of one of these courses, the participant can request recertification, but will still be required to complete background check, etc.

All ERT badges are issued by UMCOR. 

The cost of recertification is $30.

This cost includes:

  • Rio Texas Conference Early Response Team (ERT) T-shirt
  • UMCOR Background check
  • Identification Badge
  • Training Resources Manual (downloaded pdf version for the online course)