Salvation Army Oklahoma Tornado & Wildfire Response
IMPORTANT: CONTINUING UPDATES TO THIS STORY ARE NOW BEING POSTED IN OUR DISASTER NEWSROOM.
McAlester, OK – The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army is responding to multiple sites where assistance has been requested to help with disaster response. The following is a brief summary on each site:
Tushka, Oklahoma – The Salvation Army of Ardmore responded at 1:00 AM on Friday to a deadly tornado with a crew and mobile feeding unit. The crew began serving immediately and the 24 hour around-the-clock service is continuing. At this time, there have been 3 officers involved as well as 6 volunteers. Over 700 meals have been provided with many snacks and breakfast items served as well. Water, Gatorade, and Coffee are being served as well as providing cases of water to those affected by the tornado as well as first responders which include State and Local Emergency Managers, Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Fire, Sherriff and Police Departments, State Health Department and others.
Major Jeff Daniel, Ardmore Corps Officers and Incident Commander, expects the service to continue through the weekend. The Salvation Army is working closely with other Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) as well as emergency management officials at the state and local levels. Major Daniel states “as long as we are needed, we will be here to serve. Residents that have come by for a hot meal are also in need of prayer as they continue to sort through the devastation.”
Tulsa Area Command’s mobile feeding unit will be arriving on Saturday to help support the Tushka area and provide additional crews to help relieve the Ardmore teams.
Lawton, Oklahoma – Captain Ernie Hull, Lawton Corps Officer, reports they served responders of a large wildfire in Lawton. Four volunteers and two officers provided 360 meals, 410 drinks, and 260 snacks to those responding to the fire. Service will continue throughout the night. Captain Hull is coordinating with Comanche County Emergency Management and American Red Cross to ensure the needs are met.
Carder County, Oklahoma - The Salvation Army of Ardmore was also asked to assist first responders to a large grassfire on the Carder/Garvin County line this evening. Since the mobile feeding unit was already involved in another response, volunteers loaded up a van and served 300 drinks, 200 sandwiches, 100 bowls of soup and 75 snacks. Depending on the need, they will continue response on Saturday
Cement, Oklahoma– Lt. James Biddix reports County Emergency Management requested assistance to serve firefighters responding to a large wildfire in Cement, Oklahoma. Two officers and two volunteers served 150 meals, 240 drinks, and 220 snacks over the course of six hours. Also provided were 10 cases of water and 150 hygiene kits.
Financial donations are needed to support disaster relief efforts. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate AOK Division April Storms. Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by disaster. Donations can also be mailed to: The Salvation Army, PO Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 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 spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.