Lutz, FL – Salvation Army units across Florida are gathering teams and stocking mobile kitchens readying for Hurricane Matthew.
The hurricane is projected to be a catastrophic Category 4 storm when it skirts the state Thursday evening. Salvation Army teams in Florida are stationed along the I-95 corridor, ready to assist residents in need.
In times of disaster, The Salvation Army works with its partners at the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate relief efforts for the impacted area.
All 32 of its mobile canteens, or kitchens on wheels, are on standby and stocked for deployment. Staging areas are planned for Daytona Beach, Melbourne and Vero Beach after the storm makes landfall.
Mobile kitchens are prepared to serve up to 1,500 meals a day. The Salvation Army also has two semi-truck size field kitchens capable of making more than 20,000 meals in a day.
Kevin Smith, the emergency disaster services director for The Salvation Army of Florida, said all Florida residents should make preparations now for the hurricane, planning having a hurricane kit with three to five days of water, food and batteries.
Hurricane Matthew could be the worst hurricane to hit the Florida coast since Hurricane Charley in 2004.
“This scenario is one that will require neighbor helping neighbor, community helping community and supporting our brothers and sisters along the Atlantic coastline,” Smith said.
The Salvation Army has more than 3,000 trained volunteers and staff in Florida, ready to offer a warm meal, bottled water, coffee or emotional and spiritual care.
In the United States, The Salvation Army began its Emergency Disaster Services ministry during the 1900 Galveston hurricane. The ministry continues to grow and is a vital part of every Salvation Army unit in the country. Today, The Salvation Army utilizes mobile canteens to cook and distribute food to residents in need in the aftermath of a disaster such as a hurricane.
The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the need continues to be assessed.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.