Greenville, NC (August 30, 2011)– Emergency Disaster Response (EDS) Teams for The Salvation Army are encountering and overcoming obstacles that make service response challenging. Isolated coastal towns, flooded areas, narrow curvy roads, spotty cell phone service, closed bridges and limited ferry service all combined to make service response challenging in a geographical region that is difficult on good days.
The Salvation Army has 37 mobile feeding kitchen canteens throughout the coastal region that are traveling in service and positioned as stationary feeding sites. Through Monday, Salvation Army feeding teams have exceeded 40,000 meals, snacks and drinks served to people in need (some EDS Teams have not reported due to lack of cell service in remote areas). 323 people have been provided with safe shelter and 102 storm victims have used Salvation Army facilities for showers. During times of extreme need, people turn to The Salvation Army for emotional and spiritual care. To date, The Salvation Army has prayed with 763 people as part of its mission driven response and service.
While many services are taking place with Salvation Army officers and paid staff, much of the response work is led by or supported by volunteers. With 3,900 hours logged in direct response to Hurricane Irene, 204 volunteers account for 1,246 hours.
Major Willis Howell, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army of North and South Carolina states: “All service opportunities present unique challenges, and the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia are no different. Response and assessment are fluid processes, evolving based on reports of need, available resources and often times pure geography. It has been thrilling to see the dedication of our teams to just get there…where the people are and where The Salvation Army can serve.”
A day after Dare County Emergency Management officials requested The Salvation Army mobilize teams for service on Hatteras Island, 2 mobile feeding kitchen canteens are feeding on the island. Coordination between Dare County Emergency Management and The Salvation Army is taking place and assessments are ongoing to determine if additional mobile feeding kitchens are needed along the Outer Banks.
As power remains out for a reported 234,000, Salvation Army assessment teams across the Carolinas are advising the response teams on areas of great need and accessibility for enhanced service. Following assessment team reports from Sunday and Monday, The Salvation Army has organized additional feeding teams and resources for the southeastern areas of Beaufort and Pamlico Counties.
Relief efforts will continue throughout the impacted region. Salvation Army officers and staff will continue to focus on immediate needs of providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to impacted individuals and families.
The Hurricane Irene command center for the coordination of Operations and Response is located at 2718 South Memorial Drive in Greenville NC (no public services provided at this address).
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.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by Hurricane Ireneto visit www.salvationarmycarolinas.orgor 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 Hurricane 2011 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 the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.salvationarmycarolinas.org,
www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.organd follow the EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS and @tsacarolinas and YouTube channel SalArmyEDS.
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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.salvationarmycarolinas.org.About The Salvation Army