Early Response

What do Early Response Teams do?

  • ERTs are the Hands and Feet of Christ at the disaster site, serving with a Christian servants’ attitude.  It can be the most important thing a team can do in disaster response
  • The Early Response Team is neither a first response group of emergency workers nor a recovery, rebuild or repair team.  Rather, it fills a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the presence of the Catholic response efforts and to help survivors with immediate needs.
  • Take steps to prevent further damage to a family’s personal property (stabilize) by:
    1. Tarp roofs, board up window & doors
    2. Remove debris and downed trees
    3. Clean out water damaged homes (known as mucking out)
    4. Remove wet drywall, insulation, cabinets(known as gutting)

Teams are careful NOT to perform work on a home that might jeopardize the survivors’ eligibility for assistance from insurance and /or government agencies.

Teams need to have written permission to work on people’s homes or to remove personal belongings. It is always best to have the homeowner present when working.

Teams may choose to feed survivors and first or immediate response workers

Teams may be asked to manage donated materials, gather information or other things as deemed necessary by the community.

Observe survivor’s needs and report these to the local operations.

Be part of the caring ministry of “listeners” who will help the survivor begin to heal.

Early Response Teams

A collaborative effort of Catholic Charities Arch Indy Disaster Response and the Knights of Columbus Indiana State Council Disaster Response.

Providing a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of disaster.

ERTs are Volunteers in Mission who have been trained by skilled trainers and are required to deploy as part of an ERT at least once during their three year certified period to qualify for recertification.   



Jane Crady - Coordinator of Disaster Preparedness & Response for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 317-642-7322


Bill McDonald - Disaster Response Coordinator for The Indiana State Council of the Knights of Columbus at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 812-689-6699


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