Alexandria, Virginia (August 27, 2012) – The Salvation Army is staging emergency response teams and supplies in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and other states as Tropical Storm Isaac makes its way through the Gulf of Mexico with landfall expected on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The storm is expected to gain strength as a category one hurricane by Monday evening, with a course that may take it through New Orleans with heavy rainfall and strong winds. The Salvation Army is prepared to not only provide food and hydration, but also emotional and spiritual care to anyone who may be impacted by Isaac.
“We are taking every precaution to make sure that anyone who is impacted by Tropical Storm Isaac – resident or emergency responder – has all they need to make it through the storm, physically and spiritually,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the United States. “Our personnel are taking the storm very seriously and will be ready to respond and move into impacted areas to provide needed support.”
The Salvation Army has already provided services to Florida residents impacted by Isaac over the weekend. The storm left thousands of Floridians without power and caused flooding in low-lying areas. The Salvation Army helped prepare meals and served hundreds at shelters throughout the Florida Keys. The Salvation Army is also supporting first responders and survivors with hydration in downtown Tampa and surrounding areas.
Salvation Army personnel throughout the central Gulf Coast are closely monitoring the storm track. The Army has 24 mobile feeding units and a fully equipped 54-foot field kitchen ready for immediate deployment to the affected communities in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
The Salvation Army is also making necessary preparations to have additional personnel trained in spiritual and emotional care on the front lines, recognizing that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder could be a significant problem in these communities. The unexpected nature of a storm, coupled with the stresses of evacuation, financial needs and rebuilding, can leave physically, emotionally and spiritually drained. The Salvation Army’s ministry of presence provides compassionate care to residents looking for hope in the midst of turmoil. Pastoral care is available for all those impacted, but is not a prerequisite for receiving assistance from The Salvation Army.
In addition to feeding and spiritual care, The Salvation Army is also prepared to provide:
• Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
• Hygiene kits
• Shower units
• First-aid supplies
• Emotional/spiritual care
The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to prepare an emergency supply kit and stay informed of all warnings and evacuation orders. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each member of your family as well as flashlights, medication and battery powered radios.
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 Relief, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate "2012 Hurricane Relief" on all checks.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Isaac, 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.