Divisional Public Relations Director
The Salvation Army of Florida
The Salvation Army of Florida urges residents to prepare as Tropical Storm Karen churns near Florida’s Gulf Coast
Tampa, Fla. (October 4, 2013) – As Tropical Storm Karen churns near the Gulf coast, The Salvation is prepared to send crews from Florida to the impacted areas.
Currently The Salvation Army has 44 mobile feeding units (food trucks) ready to support those impacted by Tropical Storm Karen. 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.
Salvation Army canteens can prepare and service between 500-2000 meals on site where it is needed the most.
The Salvation Army of Florida is focused on potential flooding from Pensacola to Jacksonville, as several counties in the area continue to be saturated by rain from last year’s Tropical Storm Debby.
Salvation Army units in each community are coordinating with local emergency management for possible feeding or shelter support as needed. Also, The Salvation Army continues to work with locations outside of Florida – in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia to offer support if needed.
The Salvation Army of Florida is reaching out to its corporate partners regarding donations of cleaning supplies. Additionally, The Salvation Army is seeking monetary donations to support our disaster relief by going to disaster.salvationarmyusa.org
“We are coordinating very closely with emergency management throughout Florida. While Karen doesn’t look like a catastrophic hurricane we do have very saturated areas throughout north Florida that we are concerned about,” said Kevin Smith, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Florida. “Currently our teams are readying themselves and their mobile feeding units to be ready as needed.”
In Pensacola where Karen is expected to hit the region, Salvation Army Captain Bob Cornett is gearing up for what could be an interesting weekend in the Panhandle.
“We are prepared to respond to the needs as they present themselves Sunday morning, when the storm is expected to make landfall,” he said. “We have teams on stand-by; we’re getting our canteen ready and plan to respond if called.”
The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to prepare an Emergency supply kit and stay informed to all warnings. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each individual of your family as well as flashlights, medication, and battery powered radio.
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
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 and sent your local Salvation Army.
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.