Salvation Army Transitions from Response to Recovery for Harvey & Irma

October 20, 2017
Meagan Hofer |

Salvation Army Transitions from Response to Recovery for Harvey & Irma

Atlanta, GA  – In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate, The Salvation Army responded with one of the largest disaster relief operations in its history. Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams from across the United States and Canada immediately responded to the storms and provided food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders.  After many weeks of active disaster response, The Salvation Army is transitioning into long-term recovery services in areas impacted by the first two storms – Harvey and Irma – in Texas, Florida and Georgia

Hurricane Harvey Response

The Salvation Army provided the following during its emergency disaster response phase in Texas:

  • At the peak of response, 96 mobile feeding units were deployed
  • 907,162 meals served to survivors and first responders
  • 979,836 drinks served and 966,346 snacks served
  • Emotional and spiritual care to 57,069 individuals
  • 21,282 food boxes, 12,274 clean up kits and 52,155 comfort kits were distributed
  • 335,139 hours of employee and volunteer service

“Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25th The Salvation Army has coordinated a massive response along the Texas coastline,” said Alvin Migues, Texas’s Emergency Disaster Services Director.  Following the storm, The Salvation Army set-up incident command teams to coordinate relief efforts in cities such as Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, Freeport, Galveston, Houston and Victoria. “Officers, staff and volunteers from throughout the United States have diligently served hurting communities, working from our mobile feeding units, and have delivered hot meals, hydration, and practical assistance to those affected by the storm,” Migues continued. “As the needs of survivors have gradually changed, The Salvation Army service has transitioned from emergency assistance to intermediate and long-term recovery. “

Hurricane Irma Response

The Salvation Army provided the following during its emergency disaster response phase in Florida and Georgia:

  • At the peak of response, 61 mobile feeding units were deployed
  • 365,667 meals served to survivors and first responders
  • 534,900 drinks served and 339,628 snacks served
  • Emotional and spiritual care to 28,172 individuals
  • 17,208 food boxes, 2,374 clean up kits and 9,735 comfort kits were distributed
  • 213,528 hours of employee and volunteer service

In Florida, all The Salvation Army’s 47 local units mobilized as Hurricane Irma bore down on the state.  In the aftermath of the storm, disaster teams deployed quickly to the Florida Keys and set-up disaster relief commands in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Naples and Sebring.

"We are committed to stand with our community partners in Florida to serve those affected by Irma.   To date, the Florida Division has distributed more than $4 million in direct aid, and at our disaster assistance centers, we are providing emergency financial assistance along with donated products that will help survivors as they navigate the road to recovery replacing items lost by hurricane Irma,” said Florida’s Emergency Disaster Services Director, Kevin Smith. “We were in these communities before Irma decided to take its final course. Floridians can count on The Salvation Army serving here long after Irma is no longer a national story."

Salvation Army feeding teams helped support evacuees from Florida.  As the storm spun north, Irma’s fury also caused serious coastal flooding along the Georgia coast, and Salvation Army disaster teams mobilized in Brunswick, Savannah, and St. Mary’s.  “We are currently working with long-term recovery groups in affected counties,” said Georgia’s Emergency Disaster Services Director, Lanita Lloyd. “This is critical in helping us move forward to identify and provide assistance to those with yet unmet needs.”

Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

The Salvation Army continues to respond to needs in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands by feeding from fixed feeding locations, mobile feeding units and additional transportation vehicles. The Salvation Army has an established presence in San Juan, Loíza, Fajardo, Humacao, Guayama, Ponce, Arecibo, Mayagüez, Bayamón, Peñuelas, Caguas, St. Thomas, and St. Croix serving meals, water, additional resources, and emotional and spiritual care.

In total, over 1,000,000 meals, drinks, and snacks have been distributed to those in need since the impact of Hurricane Maria.  The Salvation Army has also distributed almost 26,000 articles of clothing to individuals and families in need on the impacted islands.

Transitioning to Long-Term Recovery

Even as the response phases of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma end, The Salvation Army will continue to support families affected by the storms and to help rebuild communities in Florida, Georgia and Texas through long-term recovery.  Thanks to the generous support of donors, The Salvation Army has raised $57 million (as of October 13, 2017) for response and recovery efforts related to the 2017 hurricane season.

Of these funds, $30 million has been designated to Hurricane Harvey response and recovery efforts, $13 million to Hurricane Irma response and recovery efforts, and $10 million to Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Fundraising for The Salvation Army’s hurricane relief efforts is ongoing and any additional funds will be allocated to long-term recovery efforts as operations continue.

The Salvation Army will continue to provide financial assistance and bulk commodities, including food boxes, cleaning supplies, clothing and hygiene products, to those in need.  Long-term recovery plans also include supporting community case management programs, working with community-based unmet needs, and supporting rebuilding efforts.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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