“Others” has been the focal point for The Salvation Army since its inception more than 150 years ago…and never is it better displayed than in times of disaster. The Salvation Army has been in active Emergency Disaster Services response for every major disaster in the United States since 1900. The Salvation Army serves every zip code in the United States. Already part of communities, they are on the ground when disasters strike and able to respond and serve immediately with emotional and spiritual support, food, water, shelter and financial support.
Beginning with Hurricane Harvey, this 30-day period is likely to be the busiest and most costly disaster time frame in U.S.
history. It is also The Salvation Army’s largest natural disaster response to date. The Salvation Army is in immediate preparations to serve the communities projected to be in the path of Hurricane Irma including Puerto Rico, the Caribbean Islands, Georgia, the Carolinas and Florida. This includes mobilizing feeding units and emotional and spiritual care teams for first responders.
Specialized equipment and trained personnel from across the state of Tennessee will assemble in Chattanooga, TN this Sunday to travel together into the relief effort after Hurricane Irma makes landfall in Florida. The Salvation Army is sending 4 Tennessee teams that will respond in Florida and along the east coast.
“The Salvation Army has a long history of serving in disasters, from localized tornadoes or flooding to long-term responses after 9/11 and Katrina. We have always been where the need is, and there is clearly going to be a need with Hurricane Irma,” said Major Robert Lyle, Chattanooga Salvation Army Area Commander.
Working closely with local, county, state, and federal officials, Salvation Army personnel ensure resources and services are focused where needed most. Pulling from a network of strategically placed equipment and a host of trained responders, The Salvation Army is able to respond effectively and efficiently in times of disaster.
Even as The Salvation Army canteens and personnel are on the road towards Florida and areas like Georgia, we are not always certain of the exact destination. In the case of the Tennessee teams, they are staging strategically in Chattanooga so they are able to respond with potentially changing circumstances. “The situation is changing literally hour-by-hour as we focus on preparing for Hurricane Irma relief efforts and providing long term recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,” said Bo Sells, the Disaster Services Coordinator for Kentucky and Tennessee. Weaving through the states—around road closures and through security – the much needed resources get to the impacted areas. The Salvation Army is providing much needed services for the long term recovery with Hurricane Harvey and will for Hurricane Irma.
During times of disaster, 100 percent of donations go to designed impacted areas. Financial donations are the best way to meet the evolving needs and to support relief efforts. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help the individuals and families affected by disaster to visit www.HelpSalvationArmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate “Hurricane Relief.” Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted.