About World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS)
World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS) responds to disasters in a variety of ways. These include the following and are made possible by volunteers.
Early Assessment - In the days and weeks immediately following a disaster, trained volunteers provide spiritual care to survivors, network with other responding organizations and gather information that will be used to plan longer term support.
Rapid Response - This phase of DRS' response addresses the clean-up needs through trained volunteers by mucking out flooded homes, removing downed trees and completing minor repairs after a disaster, especially covering roofs to protect homes from the elements.
Unmet Needs assessment - An Unmet Needs Assessment is the process of conducting a community survey to identify those with unmet needs, generally several months after a disaster when the local recovery group is operational and most homeowners know the financial assistance they will be receiving from insurance and the government. This information is then used by the local recovery group to respond to and meet the needs of those in their community.
Organizational Capacity Building - This phase of DRS' response provides training and guidance to local recovery groups, equipping them to expand their ability to help disaster survivors over the long term.
Reconstruction - When a relationship is built with a local recovery group to such a degree that DRS is invited to set up a long-term reconstruction site, a contract is signed and DRS sends continuous teams of skilled construction volunteers to repair and rebuild homes.
Group Mission Trips - Groups of volunteers from churches, schools, families or businesses work with a local recovery group in a disaster affected area doing work from cleanup to reconstruction.
Community Development Consultation - Helping local recovery organizations move from disaster response to addressing the long-term needs of their community is the last phase of DRS's work.
Construction Estimating - Trained volunteers make personal visits to homes to determine appropriate materials, skills and time required for repair and construction. This information is then provided to the local recovery group to use for planning the recovery process.
World Renew DRS works in partnership with the National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters (National VOAD) and Church World Service (CWS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Periodically, stories of our activities may be seen on the Disaster News Network (DNN).
- To show God’s love and bring hope to disaster impacted communities in North America by restoring the homes and lives of those who are most vulnerable,
- To help communities build their capacity to prepare for and recover from disaster, and,
- To provide opportunities for Christians to honor the Lord by using their time, talents and financial resources in service to others.
CONTACT DRS STAFF
Disaster Response Services
400 76th St SW, Ste 17
Byron Center, MI 49315
|Toll-free: 1-800-848-5818 ~ Local: 616 965-2355||Email Address|
Ron Willett (director)
|Pauline Mitchell (program coordinator)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Kellie Scholma (communications manager)
Sue Kuipers (systems coordinator)
Luanne Mellema (administrative assistant)
Becky Purdom (volunteer program manager)
Art Opperwall (program manager)
Shirley Ritsema (assistant to volunteer program manager)
|Stephanie Kroll (office coordinator)||email@example.com|
CONTACT DRS REGIONAL MANAGERS
The Regional Project Manager (RPM) establishes relationships and logistics with local recovery groups, government bodies, and others. The RPM supports and advises local recovery groups during the formation stages, helping them to progress from an idea into an organization with the human and financial resources needed to carry out effective case management. In addition, they provide ongoing support for the On-Site Managers and Construction Supervisors for the duration of a DRS managed reconstruction site’s working agreement with the local recovery group.
Henry & Linda Visscher - Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 780-668-0700
Provinces: Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba
Tony & Jennie DeWeerd – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 905-975-3190
Provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Labrador, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island
Len & Carrie Blauwkamp – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 616-826-3737
States: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Texas, US Virgin Islands
Jay DeBoer – Regional Manager
Cell Phone: 253-209-5186
States: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming
Garry & Lynne DenBesten – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 616-881-1540
States: New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, also New York City and Long Island, NY
Rich & Pat Grasman – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 616-450-6403
States: Minnesota, Wisconsin
Doug & Pat Guikema – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 616-745-3035
States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York State, Rhode Island, Vermont
Eric & Nancy Johnson – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 269-598-6483
States: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
Rich & Pat Grasman – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 616-450-6403
States: Minnesota, Wisconsin
Mark & Carol Martin – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 319-330-3030
States: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma
Don & Gert Vos – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 209-815-8312
States: Arizona, California, Nevada, Pacific Rim, Utah
Rick & Bonnie Wiersma – Regional Managers
Cell Phone: 616-460-3238
States: Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington DC
World Renew DRS depends heavily on volunteers to fill a wide range of roles in the process of disaster recovery.
Volunteers are needed for all services DRS provides (see above) and there are opportunities for anyone to get involved.
Who can volunteer?
Couples, individuals, and groups (church, school, family, businesses). Age requirements vary but depending on the location,high school age and up is recommended. Some special accommodations may be able to be made for younger children depending on location.
For how long will I volunteer?
Generally it will be one to three weeks at a time depending on the assignment, location, and your schedule. There are opportunities for longer or shorter assignments as well.
What skills are needed and what roles can I fill?
- Click HERE for a summary of role responsibilities
- All construction skill levels
- Reconstruction and non-reconstruction roles
- Clean up after a disaster
- Equipment and vehicles
- Management/team leaders
- Various locations across the United States and Canada as disasters occur
- See the Current Activities section below for details on the locations available
- In the Byron Center, Michigan office and warehouse
Can I volunteer at home?
Yes, contact our office to talk about becoming an Area Representative.
What can I expect on a DRS-managed reconstruction site or when planning a group mission trip?
Please see the “Volunteering at a DRS-Managed Site” or “Planning a Short Term Mission Trip” under Resources below.
Do I need to fill out an application?
Yes. There are two different applications, depending on what you are interested in:
- If you would like to plan a short term mission trip for your church, school, family, etc, you will receive a customized application once your trip dates and location are finalized.
- For all others, if you would like to volunteer for the other DRS services (needs assessment, DRS managed reconstruction site, etc.), please fill out the Volunteer Application (located below under "Resources") and send it into our office.
What are the most urgent needs?
See the latest Opportunity Link at the bottom of the page for current urgent needs under Resources.
How do I get started?
- To plan a Group Mission Trip, please fill out this form: Getting Started: Planning a Group Mission Trip.
- For all others, please complete and return to our office the DRS Volunteer Application under resources.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 800-848-5818 or 616-965-2355 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you for your heart of service and we look forward to working together to share the love of Christ, rebuilding the hope and homes of disaster survivors.
What is a Unmet Needs Assessment?
World Renew volunteers conduct community wide surveys to identify the disaster related needs of those who may otherwise fall through the cracks—construction and household needs as well as emotional and ﬁnancial needs.
October Needs Assessments:
- Florida: The Panhandle area in response to spring 2014 storms.
- Arkansas: Mayflower and surrounding areas, north of Little Rock, in response to the tornadoes and storms this spring.
- Iowa: The Rock Valley/Rock Rapids area in response to spring flooding.
DRS MANAGED RECONSTRUCTION SITES
DRS has committed to sending back to back teams of volunteers to the following communities.
To volunteer at any of these locations as a reconstruction team member or cook, please fill out and return the DRS Volunteer Application under Resources. You can also email email@example.com or call 800-848-5818.
HIGH RIVER, Alberta
Disaster: Flooding, June 2013
Project Managers: Henry and Linda Visscher
Massive flooding caused much of the High River area to experience a disaster no one could anticipate. 14,000 people were displaced from their homes. DRS volunteers from local churches helped with initial clean up. An Unmet Needs Assessment was completed in September 2013 and plans for reconstruction are underway. The long-term reconstruction site opened January 2014.
Read more about our response to the flooding in Alberta here.
OCEAN COUNTY, New Jersey
Disaster: Super-storm Sandy, October 2012
Project Managers: Rich and Phyl Grevenstuk
Super-storm Sandy ravaged the east coast in October 2012, leaving years of work to be done, long after it is forgotten by the news. DRS sent early response coordinators, rapid response teams, numerous needs assessment teams throughout New Jersey, New York, and Maryland. In September 2013, a reconstruction site was opened; teams are working in Ocean County as well as Atlantic City.
Read more about our response to Super-storm Sandy here.
GROUP MISSION TRIPS
World Renew DRS is currently sending volunteer groups from churches, families, schools, and even businesses to the following areas to do reconstruction.
Interested in planning a mission trip for your church, school, family, business? Please fill out the following form to get started: Getting Started: Planning a Group Mission Trip .
For answers to your initial questions, please read through the ‘Planning a Short Term Mission Trip’ at the bottom of this page. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-848-5818.
Boulder County - from flooding, 2013
Weld County - from flooding, 2013
Panhandle Area - Storms and flooding, April 2014
Brookport - from Midwest tornadoes, November 2013
Franklinton – from Hurricane Isaac, August 2012)
Hattiesburg - from tornadoes, 2013
Joplin – from tornado, May 2011
Hyde County - from Hurricane Irene, August 2011
Union Beach - from Super-storm Sandy, October 2012
Schoharie - from Hurricane Irene, 2011
Oklahoma City Area - from tornadoes, 2013
Eagle Pass - from flooding, 2013
West - Fertilizer Plant Explosion, April 2013
How does this volunteer opportunity differ from a “World Renew DRS-managed reconstruction site”mentioned above?
World Renew DRS partners with organizations across North America to host group mission trips on disaster sites. These local organizations provide both housing and work coordination, which allows World Renew DRS to be very flexible in accommodating volunteers of different ages and skill sets, number of people and date preferences.
ALL ACTIVITIES THIS MONTH (OCTOBER 2014)
In response to 2013 flooding, World Renew DRS has a reconstruction site in High River. To date, World Renew volunteers have worked 28,456 hours in High River.
The first stages of reconstruction on two homes in Tweed began this month. Tweed suffered flooding earlier this year.
World Renew sent a Needs Assessment team to Vilonia and Mayflower.
World Renew Regional Managers are in contact with the Napa community and working with them to form an LTRG in response to the August earthquake.
World Renew is responding to the September 2013 flooding. We have a volunteer coordinating repair work using local volunteers in the Boulder area. There is a work group also working in Boulder County.
World Renew recently had a Needs Assessment team in Okaloosa & Walton Counties due to the Spring 2014 flooding. A Construction Estimator is in the Pensacola area. Project managers are looking at Pensacola as a potential DRS-managed reconstruction site.
World Renew has a work group in Brookport in response to the November 2013 tornadoes.
World Renew has a Needs Assessment team in Rock Valley in response to the June 2014 flooding. There are 3 work groups working in Rock Valley in response to this flooding.
World Renew has a representative on the long term recovery group to help make plans for the recovery in the area.
For 6 weeks, World Renew sent clean-up teams to the Dearborn area to assist with clean-up after severe flooding in August 2014. A World Renew Project Manager is working with the long term recovery group.
World Renew Regional Managers continue to stay in contact with this LTRG due to the 2014 tornadoes. Project Managers are currently looking at the Louisville area as a potential DRS-managed reconstruction site.
World Renew has a work group in Joplin in response to the May 2011 tornado.
World Renew Regional Managers continue to stay in contact with the Northeast Nebraska Long Term Recovery Team after the June 2014 tornadoes.
In response to Hurricane Sandy, World Renew has a reconstruction site in Ocean County. To date World Renew volunteers have worked 36,338 hours.
World Renew Regional Managers are in contact with UMCOR in response to the May 2014 tornado.
World Renew Regional Manager continues to work with the group in Canton after the June 2014 flooding. World Renew sent a Construction Estimator to Canton in September.
World Renew has a work group in West in response to the plant explosion in April 2013.
World Renew is working with the LTRG in Chelan & Okanogan Counties to prepare for a Needs Assessment in response to Wildfires from summer 2014.
Preparing for Disasters
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS FOR CHURCH & FAMILY
Help your family and congregation understand and put into practice preventative measures to prepare for the event of a disaster. Visit the Preparing for Disasters webpage to learn more.
- Opportunity Link: October 2014
Most current/urgent volunteer needs
- Volunteer Application
For anyone interested in volunteering EXCEPT for group mission trips. Group member will recieve a personalized application at a later date.
- Planning a Short-Term Mission Trip
FAQ's for group mission trip leaders
- Volunteering on a DRS-managed Reconstruction Site
FAQ's and what to expect
- Summer Volunteer Opportunities
Individuals, couples, college students, and groups
Celebrate DRS Sunday
Celebrate and support what the Lord is doing through DRS. Order materials (poster, DVD, and bulletin inserts and covers) for your church and collect and offering designated to ‘DRS Sunday’.
- The Spotlight - Fall 2014
Newsletter for Volunteers