As Hurricane Sandy Advances, The Salvation Army Answers
Baltimore, MD (October 29, 2012) – The Maryland & West Virginia Division of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (“EDS”) are now serving persons impacted by Hurricane Sandy as her outer bands lash Maryland’s eastern shore and those counties surrounding, and west of, Chesapeake Bay.
On Maryland’s eastern shore, The Salvation Army Corps in Cambridge sheltered 14 persons Sunday evening. The Salvation Army of Salisbury is serving meals at Salisbury Bennett High School, an emergency shelter for Wicomico County Department of Emergency Services. On Sunday, October 28, ten volunteers and two officers (36 volunteer hours) served 100 meals and provided 200 more servings of sandwiches and soup for additional persons arriving at the shelter.
In Annapolis, The Salvation Army served dinner to the storm refugees in the Annapolis High School Shelter. Forty meals, 120 snacks, and 96 bottles of water were provided. The Salvation Army will be serving lunch and dinner at the shelter until it closes.
The Salvation Army in Baltimore is in close contact with the Baltimore City & County Emergency Operations Centers. The Salvation Army also has representation around the clock at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) headquartered in Baltimore.
All Salvation Army units across the Division are on stand-by status. Mobile feeding canteens are stocked, and Salvation Army officers and volunteers are ready to deploy as needed and requested by Emergency Management personnel.
The Salvation Army anticipates severe impact from Hurricane Sandy, and extensive need for Salvation Army services. The Governor of Maryland’s press briefings, Monday, October 29, indicate:
- There have been several rescues in Ocean City due to high water and flooding. There has been a break in the dune, allowing the ocean to wash up on Coastal Highway. The iconic fishing pier has been destroyed.
- The storm is increasing in intensity and may become a Category 2 before landfall. It will impact all of Maryland.
- This is a slow moving storm and will "give Maryland a beating over a period of 24 - 36 hours."
- As of 2 PM power outages in Maryland number 24,000 statewide.
- Storm related fatalities are expected (from both surge and wind).
- Residents are asked to stay off the roads for the next 24 to 36 hours.
- The following bridges will probably be closed due to wind velocity: the Hatem Bridge, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and the Tydings Bridge (which is the bridge on I-95 crossing the Susquehanna). No one remembers closing the Tydings Bridge before. Traffic on I-95 will be diverted to I-83.
- There are 23 state shelters open.
- The weather forecast is worse than 12 hours ago.
- Maryland will be hit with the most intense winds of the storm.
- Wind and tidal surge will cause flooding of streams, creeks and Chesapeake tributaries.
- Winds will shift and begin pushing water UP the Chesapeake (this is the really bad news).
- The US Coast Guard Captain of the Port will be setting Port Condition Zulu at 1400 EDT today. This means that all ports/waterways in the Baltimore Zone will be closed due to gale force winds. This includes the ports of Annapolis, Baltimore, Cambridge, Ches/Del West, Chesapeake Beach, Chestertown, Cove Point, Crisfield, Curtis Bay, Easton, Havre de Grace, Kent Island, Morgantown, Piney Point, Port Covington, Salisbury, Solomons, St. Michael's Harbor, Washington, DC.
- There are/will be blizzard conditions in Garrett County (Western Maryland) at the same time there is tidal flooding on the Chesapeake, ocean surge in Ocean City and flooding of creeks and tributaries.
The Salvation Army is asking all residents of Maryland and West Virginia to be prepared with an emergency disaster plan. Critical decisions need to be made ahead of time, before the storm makes landfall.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation, suggested supplies, planning and response to Hurricane Sandy, please visit http://www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this disaster to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”*
Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.
At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusa or www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.