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 and removing damaged sheet rock and the flooded contents of a home. 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). Although the majority of ERT volunteers are in their 50s or 60s (those are the people who have time to volunteer), the work is physically demanding and may require working around mold and other allergens. ERTs may be asked to work on roofs or in hot spaces without air-conditioning.
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. This background check is mandatory and is covered in the cost of training. 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. This is in addition to the UMCOR background check. As such, all ERTs are encouraged to complete the Trusted con Confianza training as soon as possible (feel free to do it before the class!). To begin the process or for more information, go to https://riotexas.org/safe
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
8:30 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
• Training Resources Manual
• Identification Badge
• Rio Texas Conference Early Response Team (ERT) T-shirt