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An Early Response Team (ERT) is a self-contained team that enters a disaster zone at the invitation of local emergency management officials. ERTs provide emergency repairs and/or assistance to help people be safe, sanitary and secure until insurance and other help are available. 

United Methodist ERTs offer a Christian presence and are trained to provide various types of physical, emotional and spiritual assistance to disaster survivors. Teams are registered with the Disaster Recovery Ministry of the Florida Conference and Disaster Recovery coordinates team placement with emergency management to get help where it is needed most after a disaster. 

ERTs are taught the types, phases and levels of disaster as well as the unique role and purpose of "early response". Training also includes team leadership, team needs and equipment, spiritual and emotional care, faith-based disaster response, chainsaw safety, how to tarp roofs safely and how we coordinate with UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief).

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