Alexandria, Virginia (August 28, 2012) – With Isaac officially upgraded to a category one hurricane, The Salvation Army is mobilizing its emergency response teams and supplies along the Gulf Coast in preparation for landfall. The storm is expected to continue gaining strength with storm surges and heavy rainfalls, with a path through New Orleans and the southeastern Louisiana coast later this evening or early Wednesday morning. The Salvation Army is prepared to provide food and hydration as well as emotional and spiritual care to anyone impacted by Hurricane Isaac.
“The Salvation Army is mobilized and ready to serve,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the United States. “Our emergency disaster response teams will continue to closely monitor the storm track and utilize our resources to reach survivors and first responders.”
The Salvation Army has 12 mobile feeding units, a fully equipped 54-foot field kitchen, and up to 60 personnel staging in Hattiesburg, MS in advance of Hurricane Isaac, and an additional 12 feeding units are prepared to deploy directly to affected areas immediately following the storm. Located roughly 70 miles inland, Hattiesburg provides a secure location to marshal Salvation Army forces, while also providing access to most coastal areas within two hours. The 24 mobile feeding units and the field kitchen have a combined daily feeding capacity of more than 31,000 meals.
Additionally, The Salvation Army is continuing to prepare for possible impact along the Florida Panhandle. Throughout the state of Florida, The Salvation Army has already provided more than 1,600 meals, 1700 drinks, nearly 300 showers and 550 cases of spiritual and emotional care. Additionally, two mobile feeding units capable of serving 1,000 hot meals and cold bottled water are currently in the Wellington and Lake Worth communities following massive flooding and widespread power outages. The Salvation Army is also supporting first responders and survivors with hydration in downtown Tampa and surrounding areas.
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 survivors 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 food, hydration, and emotional 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
• Communications support
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.
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in 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 Tropical Storm 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.