The Salvation Army Remembers Hurricane Hugo: 25 Years Later

September 19, 2014
Anjani Webb |

The Salvation Army Remembers Hurricane Hugo: 25 Years Later

“I’ll never forget the utter devastation of Charleston and surrounding areas and the desperation of the people in the communities,” said Major Thomas Louden of The Salvation Army.

Louden described the aftermath of Hurricane Hugo which made landfall in South Carolina 25 years ago. Its 15-day journey covered thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean and left widespread damage throughout Puerto Rico and the Southeast United States. The storm claimed the lives of 61 people, 27 in South Carolina alone.

“The Salvation Army stormed in to bring help and hope to those who needed it,” Louden said.

Canteens (mobile feeding units) and personnel were immediately sent to a safe location, one hour from the South Carolina coast. During the first two weeks, the organization worked continuously, 24 hours a day. Across 30 locations, The Salvation Army provided food, clothing, furniture and other personal items. Supplies were also sent to additional locations using the organization’s partner agencies.

The Salvation Army followed its principle of service: dedicated to God, the will to serve others, and supported by donors and friends. The numbers were daunting. Over 500,000 meals and 338,000 food boxes were provided. All in all, over 4,000 volunteers and organization employees provided almost 60,000 hours of service to over 600,000 people affected by Hurricane Hugo.

“The Salvation Army has been a hurricane of hope,” said one resident after receiving assistance.

The Salvation Army serves people affected by disasters worldwide. Disasters could be anything from a house fire, plant explosion, tornado, hurricane, tsunami to an earthquake. The organization provides short-term relief such as food assistance, shelter, emotional and spiritual care and clean up kits. The Salvation Army goes beyond immediate assistance to provide long-term relief including financial assistance and comprehensive case management.

The annual hurricane season is still underway. The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to prepare an emergency kit and make a family communications plan. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready campaign features a checklist and other helpful tips on its website,

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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