New York (October 29, 2014) – The Salvation Army continues to serve as one of the last safety nets available to support hurricane survivors on their road to full recovery. Working to finish disbursing its remaining $15 million by the end of 2015, the organization is continuing to work directly with the affected communities, while partnering closely with local Long Term Recovery Groups and regional Unmet Needs Round Tables, which help identify cases of those who have remaining critical need.
“In times of crisis, The Salvation Army is always among the first to respond with immediate relief,” said Major George Polarek, The Salvation Army’s Community Relations and Development Secretary for the Eastern Territory. “With a storm as devastating as Sandy, we understand that the community will need years to fully recover, and The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to serve the long-term needs of our neighbors. We have been meeting human need without discrimination in the Tri-state area for more than 130 years, and we will continue to do so as long as there is need.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the public donated $31,247,072 to The Salvation Army for relief and recovery efforts. To date, $15,458,135 has been disbursed. The remaining $15,788,937 has been fully committed, and the Army is on track to meet its self-imposed recovery assistance end date of September 2015 for New Jersey and December 2015 for New York and Connecticut, Polarek said.
Projected expenditures include the following:
Maj. Polarek explained the Army follows a field-tested protocol with its disaster response that includes two distinct phases:
• The immediate response typically lasts two to three weeks, depending on the severity of the disaster and includes immediate mass care needs followed by emergency assistance to help disaster survivors regain some semblance of normalcy. The Salvation Army’s specially trained professional staff and volunteers are usually already active in communities assisting individuals in crisis on a daily basis.
• The long-term recovery, depending on the number of individuals and households in need, often takes years, requiring us to be deliberate in our early spending. This phase involves individualized case management, a highly detailed process that is customized to each person, family or response partner agency, in addition to an ongoing assessment process that attempts to identify resource gaps in the field.
The Salvation Army is one of only a handful of agencies that are able to serve in all phases of a disaster.
“We know from more than a century of providing emergency disaster relief in the United States and around the world that many Hurricane Sandy disaster survivors will continue to have other needs for years to come,” continued Maj. Polarek. “Even after the Sandy recovery is completed, the doors of our local Salvation Army Community Centers are always open, and we will continue to serve as long as there is need.”
Following major disasters such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, tornadoes in the South and Midwest and, more recently, Hurricane Sandy, The Salvation Army’s relief effort extends over many years. For example, its 9/11 Long-Term Recovery program remained active until January 1, 2007. Likewise, its nine-year history with Hurricane Katrina has given The Salvation Army additional perspective on “long-term” recovery.
For more than 100 years, The Salvation Army has been a trusted provider of emergency assistance, and is officially recognized by federal, state and local governments across the country as a sanctioned disaster relief and assistance organization. As a federally recognized relief organization and a charter member of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), The Salvation Army was involved in the development of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Response Framework. Within this framework, The Salvation Army is recognized as an organization able to provide relief services to communities impacted by both natural and man-made disasters until the service is no longer needed by the community.
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 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.