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VAUMC ERT to Florida

ERT (Early Response Team) is a group of certified volunteers deployed to areas hit by disasters to help clean up the house so homeowners can start the recovery journey. The rebuilding phase starts after ERT members finish cleaning up. Usually, the ERT responding stages last for months after the disaster. To learn more about becoming an ERT member, visit

Interested in becoming certified, there will be a certification offered in January, 2023.


The work of VAUMC ERT was focused on cleaning up, eliminating existing and potential mold, and putting a tarp on the roof to protect the house from possible rain before a new roof is installed.
Twenty-three members of the Virginia Conference and three additional members of the New England Conference will be stationed in the Port Charlotte area to complete the task.

Team C- December 13th – 17th

With 7 new members joining the team, 4 from VAUMC and 3 from the New England Annual Conference, 11 members of the VAUMC ERT continued their work in the Fort Charlotte area.

The partnership we experienced with the 3 members of the New England Annual Conference proved how we could continue to join in the mission through the Connectional system. 


Day 1 – Picking up the work from Team B

The team continued working on removing the water-damaged subfloor, adding stringers and blocks to support the new subfloor at the walls, and installing the subfloor. The team completed the living room and dining room subfloors. The stringers and blocking are completed in the master bedroom. The subfloor was entirely removed in the kitchen, and blocking was installed for the refrigerator. The subfloor in most of the hall and hall closet was removed.


Day 2 & 3 – Finishing up the work

The team continued work at the house and made significant progress.  Finished up and carried equipment out to the trailer as the thunderstorms began.
The team enjoyed great fellowship over dinner and bid our goodbyes to the New England team and two team members from VAUMC traveled home on Friday.
The remaining members of the team finished the work at the home, next day by noon. All made their way back home safely! 


Team B – December 10th – 12th

With 6 new members joining the team, 10 members of the VAUMC ERT continued their work in the Fort Charlotte area. 


Day 1 – cleaning up and removing debris 

#1 Armoire house: took apart an armoire and removed it from the house to the curb and removed shed floor
#2 Sandra’s house removed some brush and removed items from the shed for the owner’s review for “trash or keep,” then took apart the shed and hauled it to the curb for trash. Removed tree branches on the roof and pushed them on the sides of the house.
#3 ‘Jamaica’ house, cut out a section of ceiling on the back of if the house where the tree came in and checked for mold. Reset some of the gutter and drip edge also damaged by the tree. Removed tarp not properly installed and re-tarped roof.
#4 D’s house: removed a fallen dead tree and nailed down a metal roof on a shed.


Day 2 & 3 – floor repair

A family living in a trailer home had 8” of water in their trailer. Their subfloors soaked up the water and became dangerously soft, so they set up their bedroom on the porch and their kitchen in the carport, went outside and around to the back of the house, and tiptoed inside for access to the bathroom. We are continuing the ERT work of removing floors and began to put in a new subfloor in critical areas (not all of the home), so they can live inside again. The work continued for two days! 


Day 4 – Rest and Transition

Three team members will rest and have a renewal to prepare for the final 3-day work, while six are traveling back to Virginia. Four members are traveling to Florida to join the three. A three-person ERT group from the New England Annual Conference joined the VAUMC ERT and will serve for the next 3-days of work. 

Team A – December 5th – 9th, 2022

Team A consists of 11 members of the Virginia Conference. Members 4 represent churches; Bethlehem UMC, Christ Church, edges at Blacksburg UMC, and Messiah UMC. Team A completed cleaning and roofing one home, cleaning and completely mucking out drywall for another home, and reinforcing tarps on roofs for two additional homes.

Day 1 Before and After

The team started work at the first home. Cleaning out the fallen roof and moldy dry walls and eventually starting to trap the damaged roof.

Day 2 Finishing up the first home, and reinforcing roofs for another house

The team completed the cleanup for the first house and moved to a nearby house to reinforce the tarp on the roof.

Day 3 Roof for the third home and complete clean out for another house

The roofing team started by pulling out a fallen fence for a neighbor, then went to the third house and completed reinforcing their roof. The clean-up team started a clean-up for another home. The roofing team joined the clean-up team and finished cleaning up the house within a day.

Day 4 – Rest and Transition

Four team members will rest and have a renewal to prepare for another 3-day work, while seven are traveling back to Virginia. Six members are traveling to Florida to join the four.

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