• Dulcinea Cuellar Kimrey

The Salvation Army of Florida urges residents to be "weather aware" as Tropical Storm Andrea churns near Florida's west coast

As the first named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season churns off the west coast of Florida, The Salvation Army is prepared should a disaster strike.

With its 42 mobile kitchens stationed throughout the state, The Salvation Army is able to transport personnel to impacted areas within a few hours. Along with the fleet of 42 canteens (mobile kitchens), The Salvation Army of Florida also has two semi-truck size field kitchens, five shower units, a communication trailer and a mobile command center. It also has 750 trained volunteers around the state and a 50,000 square foot disaster warehouse in Tampa that serves as the epicenter of operations in a disaster or hurricane.

In the Big Bend area of Florida, where Andrea is predicted to come ashore, Salvation Army Capt. Julio Da Silva is prepping his canteen should it be called to serve those in need in his community.

During Tropical Storm Debby last year, Captain Da Silva and his team served residents in Suwannee and Wakulla counties that were affected by flooding.

In addition to feeding, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide:

• Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
• Hygiene kits
• Drinking water
• Shower units
• First-aid supplies
• Emotional/spiritual care


Currently a team of Salvation Army officers and staff from Florida are serving in the disaster relief and recovery efforts in Oklahoma. They are slated to return home within the next few days.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this or other disasters 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.

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.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 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 spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

*A one time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Message & Data Rates May Apply. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and TMobile. By participating you certify that you agree to the terms and conditions, that you are 18 yrs or older, or have parental permission, and have authorization from the account holder. Donations are collected for the benefit of The Salvation Army by the Innovative Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at igfn.org/t. Privacy policy: igfn.org/p. Text STOP to 80888 to stop; Text HELP to 80888 for help."