Disaster Response Ministry

The Office of Disaster Response is the California-Nevada Conference’s organizational arm for long term recovery in communities impacted by disasters.

Sonja Edd-Bennett serves as Director.

Her role is to represent and equip Conference engagement with long term recovery groups in communities impacted by disasters; to increase the capacity of the Conference to respond to future disasters; and to positively impact disaster survivors in their recovery process.

Learn more about Sonja Edd-Bennett →


In effort to provide support and information during this novel coronavirus outbreak, The California-Nevada Office of Disaster Response Ministry has created a webpage compiling simple precautions to help you stop the virus from spreading and preparedness points should you or a loved one become ill, or your community experience business or school closures. This information was last updated March 3, 2020. 

Visit the Coronavirus webpage →

Volunteer Involvement and Trainings

Following a large disaster such as a fire, volunteers from outside the community are typically needed within the 2nd or 3rd week of the fire, and then throughout the next 1-2 years.

If you are interested in participating in early response, please consider filling out the application HERE.

Think you would like to join a team of volunteers to help with initial assessments? Sign up for Early Response Team training!

View upcoming trainings →

Current Projects



Northern California has experienced devastating fires every summer since 2015, with October 2017 bringing what was - until that year - the most destructive fire season in California history. The "North Bay Fire Storm" left thousands without homes, with a large percentage of those realizing they had no insurance or were hugely underinsured. And then there was the last 6 months of 2018!! We have had to prioritize, and are currently working on the following recoveries...Can you help??

California-Nevada Annual Conference Disaster Response Ministry is in immediate need of UMVIM Teams to help REBUILD HOMES destroyed in:

2017 FIRESTORM – MENDOCINO COUNTY (Redwood Valley and Potter Valley)

  • Work is typically Monday - Friday with a Sunday evening arrival.
  • All levels of skill are welcome.
  • Smaller teams and individuals are welcome. We can combine groups.
  • Volunteer housing has been made available in Redwood Valley and is just $50 a week per person! 
    • There are bunk beds, a full kitchen, 2 full bathrooms and a living space - and Wi-Fi (a bit slow, but it's there).
    • Bunk beds are available for up to 12, but there's some floor space available for air mattresses.
  • Proof of ONLINE BACKGROUND CHECK AND SAFE SANCTUARIES CLEARANCE or your conference equivalent is required.
  • This work is being done in partnership with Hope Crisis Response Network
  • For more information contact:  

2015 - 2017 FIRES – LAKE COUNTY (Middletown)

  • UMVIM Teams from across the nation love coming to Middletown!
  • Dorm housing sleeps up to 48 in real beds (some bunk).
    • Full commercial kitchen, large eating and gathering area, meals provided with lots and lots of snacks, and pretty good Wi-Fi.
  • Teams large and small - and even individuals - are invited to participate.
  • Arrangements for your visit are made directly with our partner, "Hope City" https://hopecityinspiringhope.org/lake-county
    • NOTE:  Although the Hope City website includes links to register for Mendocino and other locations, we ask that UMVIM teams register only for Lake County directly through the link. If you are wanting to go to Mendocino, please contact Danielle, our Volunteer Coordinator, listed above.  Information on other locations will be sent out as soon as our Conference has support in place
  • Construction coordination and tools are provided by Hope City.
  • Contact Lucy Nelson at disaster@calnevumc.org 916-374-1506 or Shari Sandoval at umvim@calnevumc.org for more information. directly to Hope City at the website above.

    Santa Rosa/Sonoma County rebuilds coming soon!  2018 Carr Fire and Camp Fire will be announced in the future. Please help us get the 2017 families on their feet and into a new home!


The California-Nevada Annual Conference has benefited tremendously from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in response to natural disasters within the bounds of the Conference. Please continue to support UMCOR - and in addition, please consider making donations to the Conference disaster response fund. 

To donate through the California-Nevada Conference to provide immediate relief for victims of wildfires, and to meet immediate needs in the case of future disasters, make checks payable to "California-Nevada Annual Conference," and write "CN Disaster Response" in the memo line. Churches may add their donation in with their tithing form, also, and annotate in the area as "other designated giving." 
Mail checks to the California-Nevada Conference Center, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798-0250. Contributing to the Conference disaster response fund helps the Conference to respond quickly to immediate needs and to partner with UMCOR for both emergency and long term recovery.

For more information contact Sonja Edd-Bennett, Director of the California-Nevada Annual Conference Disaster Response Ministry, at sonjaeb@calnevumc.org.

Donate to the California-Nevada Conference Disaster Response Fund →

Give to UMCOR →

Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.