Before Food Trucks Were Cool
Long before commercial food trucks were all the rage, The Salvation Army canteen was delivering hot meals and cold drinks not for profit, but to help those in need at disaster sites and within local communities. On Wednesday, March 25, The Salvation Army's Florida Division, will gather more than 40 of these mobile feeding units at its’ biennial Emergency Disaster Services Training Conference in Starke, Florida.
Since the great Galveston hurricane of 1900, The Salvation Army has been on the front lines of disaster service comforting survivors at their greatest time of need. The most recognized 'tool' within The Salvation Army's disaster program is its mobile feeding units. These units, affectionately referred to as 'canteens' are located across the United States, Canada and other countries around the world and respond to emergencies of all sizes from house fires to earthquakes to floods and hurricanes. From these units, trained Salvation Army disaster workers provide both physical comfort and emotional and spiritual care.
The upcoming Salvation Army disaster conference goes beyond the gathering of equipment. The three day conference beginning on Wednesday, March 25th – Friday, March 27th will focus on certified Salvation Army training, special guests and speakers all to support the continued development of volunteers and staff in matters of disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
This year's special guests include:
Fire Chief, Glenn Brown – Mayer, Arizona Fire District
Director Bryan Koon - Florida Division of Emergency Management
Ms. Eve Rainey – Executive Director, Florida Association of Emergency Preparedness
With more than 200 representatives from around the state of Florida, participants will gather and share best practices, innovative solutions to complex disaster situations, and network with other local volunteers to expand The Salvation Army’s toolbox for the upcoming seasons of disaster. While many see June 1 as the kickoff to Florida’s disaster season because of hurricanes, the truth is, fire season begins now as the Florida dry season begins and often runs through July.
The Salvation Army urges all Florida to remember that the best time to prepare for a disaster is right now. And the best way for communities to be prepared, is for individuals and families to have a plan. For tips, go to www.floridadisaster.org and www.salvationarmyusa.org .