If Not Responding, We Stand Ready To Support

August 22, 2011 - 12:22 PM EDT
Kevin Smith
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If Not Responding, We Stand Ready To Support

Tampa, Florida (August 22, 2011) - With more than 40 canteens (mobile kitchens), shower trailers, field kitchens, and additional logistics equipment across the state, The Florida Division of The Salvation Army is taking Hurricane Irene very seriously.  Currently models are showing a significant impact from Palm Beach County stretching to the Florida-Georgia border.  While the forecast keeps the eye of the storm just off the coast, there is a significant possibility that as it moves north, Hurricane Irene will produce severe storms and possibly numerous tornado warnings and potential flooding.

At this time these mobile kitchens that are strategically placed around Florida are gearing up to support a response along the east coast.   If Irene passes without significant damage in Florida, the units will be available to support our neighboring states from Georgia to North Carolina.  This morning Director Kevin Smith spoke with the Georgia Divisional Director pledging support should they need it.  “The reality is, if a storm that makes landfall from Jacksonville to Savannah, we will work together to meet the needs of Hurricane survivors and responders.”  Smith said.

It has been since 1964 when Hurricane Dora made landfall in the Jacksonville-Savannah area.  “We know that in cases like this many of the population tend to think they are not vulnerable to the impacts of a hurricane.”  Smith reiterates, “This is the reason we see so many unprepared when the storm actually makes landfall.”

In 2004 there were many residents in St. Lucie County, Florida that felt the same way.  Yet three weeks later they were reeling from the impacts of two Hurricanes.  Many people found themselves needing life sustaining support because they believed they were invulnerable and did not prepare.  The Salvation Army is asking residents of the entire east coast of Florida to be ready, get a plan, and know your options.  Critical decisions need to be made now, not in the middle of the storm.

Resources, preparedness tools and the latest information can be found at www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.