UCC Response to 2017 Hurricanes

UCC Response to 2017 Hurricanes



Here is an outline of UCC Disaster Ministries' support of recovery following the destructive series of hurricanes - Harvey, Irma and Maria - that raked the Caribbean and U.S. mainland this summer. UCC conferences, conference disaster coordinators, congregations and agencies also are active in the response to these disasters.

Hurricane Harvey

  • Hired Amariee Collins and the Rev. Joshua Lawrence of Houston, Texas, on 9/25/2017 to coordinate the denomination's Hurricane Harvey recovery work over the next two years
  • One UCC congregation in Texas had flood damage and is receiving support
  • $2,000 solidarity/emergency grant was given to St. Paul UCC in Corpus Christi, TX for emergency food distribution in nearby Port Aransas
  • Coordinated the shipment of 260 cleanup buckets for Port Aransas, Texas
  • Training and support provided by national staff for local UCC pastors resourcing their communities with information on how to access available assistance through the Red Cross, local, state, and national sources
  • Long-term recovery plans are being created and launched
  • Identified and established volunteer opportunities for mucking and gutting Harvey-impacted homes
  • Granted $10,000 to ECHOS in Houston for case management services for Harvey survivors in a community that includes many refugees and immigrants.

Click here for volunteer opportunities

More Hurricane Harvey Information

Hurricane Irma

  • At least 2 UCC congregations in Florida lost steeples in Hurricane Irma and are receiving support
  • $1,500 solidarity/emergency grant to the Miami Shores Community Church, UCC which is supporting the purchase of a generator, fuel, gas stoves for community cooking, and purchasing and distributing ice
  • $10,000 for prevention of cholera and malnutrition in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and to treat any instances that occur
  • $10,000 for distribution in Cuba of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene products and programs), temporary shelter, non-food emergency items like blankets or medicine, help around food security (damaged crops), recovery/livelihoods, and psycho-social support
  • $10,000 for Northern Haiti where homes that were weakened by Hurricane Matthew in 2016 have now sustained additional damage
  • A $3,000 solidarity grant for the Naples, Fla., United Church of Christ to assist with expenses related to the nursery school
  • UCC Disaster Ministries identified and established volunteer opportunities for repairing Irma-affected homes.

Click here for volunteer opportunities

Hurricane Maria

  • $10,000 to provide first aid kits, electric generators, drinking water, water filters, non-perishable food, and battery-powered radios in 20 communities and over 5,000 persons in Puerto Rico
  • $5,000 for basic household goods and appliances for 78 families in the batyes or Dominico-Haitian communities in the Dominican Republic, which families lost in the floods that followed the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria
  • $6,000 to the UCC Pennsylvania Southeast Conference for a program of assistance to people displaced from Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria. Hundreds of people - some of them with few or no resources and many unmet needs - have made their way to Philadelphia, which has the second largest population on the mainland of people of Puerto Rican descent.
  • $8,000 for 500 Sawyer 0.1 micron water filters for the U.S. Virgin Islands. These exceptionally durable and long-lasting filters each produce one million gallons of clean drinking water over its lifetime. They will alleviate the need for people to boil water, saves shipping of more than two million tons of water, and will end the distribution logistics headaches involved in transporting large amounts of water. And they will reduce the pile-up of nearly 3.8 billion half-liter plastic water bottles in landfills in the islands.
  • The following have been shipped to Puerto Rico: 1,000 water filters, 5,000 Hygiene Kits, 500 tarps

More Hurricane Irma and Maria Information

More About UCC Disaster Ministries' Response in Puerto Rico

All Three Hurricanes

  • $10,000 for relief and long-term hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas, including shipment of supplies specifically requested by partners (including tarps and Church World Service Hygiene Kits, Emergency Cleanup Buckets, School Kits and Blankets) and assessment of ongoing and long-term recovery needs and coordination with partners of long-term recovery efforts.

Nov. 16, 2017, UCC News - Retirement Housing Foundation matching gift program makes $106,652.93 gift to hurricane recovery

Click here for a collection of stories about UCC congregations affected by, extending help after recent hurricanes


Contact Info

Zachary Wolgemuth
Executive for UCC Disaster Ministries
700 Prospect Ave
Cleveland, OH 44115

Contact Info

Mary Schaller Blaufuss
Team Leader, Global Sharing of Resources
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115