miami disaster

By: Brad Rowland

In partnership with both the NHL’s Florida Panthers and FedEx, The Salvation Army has opened a new Emergency Disaster Services Command and Training Center in Miami, Florida.

The center was unveiled June 1. It will serve as a support facility throughout the year, regardless of the nature of active disaster response.

The Florida Panthers Foundation, which joined the Tampa Bay Lightning in donating funds for ongoing disaster relief earlier in 2018, donated a food distribution vehicle to augment food production and service in times of disaster.

The Salvation Army also received a donated unit from FedEx that can serve approximately 1,500 meals per day in active service. This vehicle can be used in both daily food service and extended service for direct disaster relief.

When the facility is not in full use for disaster service, it will be used for training for volunteers, overall first aid and CPR certification and spiritual training to provide stability in periods of potential crisis.

Beyond that, a disaster-based warehouse is in place for storage and to provide a database for donations as they arrive, both day-to-day and in direct response.

Captain Enrique Azuaje, Miami area commander, aided in executing this vision, with additional funding from The Community Foundation.

The creation and implementation of the facility should help The Salvation Army streamline its efforts year-round and in times of disaster. The community’s investment in its opening provides an encouraging sign for ongoing support in the future.

Original post by The Southern Spirit found here.

Jessica Geib | | (850) 212-7761

EASTPOINT, FL – The Salvation Army Disaster Response Team from Panama City is currently en-route with a mobile feeding unit (canteen) to provide meals and hydration to residents and first responders impacted by severe fires in Franklin County, Florida. The fire, presently under control, has impacted a reported 40 homes and conditions warranted a mandatory evacuation of the area.  Residents received little to no notice as flames quickly destroyed more than 950 acres.“Our team is prepared to serve meals and snacks and will continue to provide additional services, such as emotional and spiritual care, to help meet the needs of the displaced families,” says Lieutenant Chelsea Fleeman with The Salvation Army of Panama City.

Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.


Sign up to become a trained Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Volunteer:
Donate: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or 

Since the summer of 2017 The Salvation Army Clay County Corps (church) Community Garden has been a place of Environmental Education for youth and the local community. After harvesting a crop of sweet potatoes; broccoli, cabbage, carrots and onions were planted by the young gardeners, and are well on the way to a bountiful crop. The Community Garden has proved to be worthwhile to the corps character building program, and is also providing fresh produce to the community.

Today is Shine a Light on Slavery Day and Florida Divisional employees showed their support against human trafficking by coming together and putting a Red X on their hands.

Each day The Salvation Army is working together to bring awareness to each community about human trafficking.

The Salvation Army is committed to fighting against human trafficking (for sexual and labor purposes) and forms of commercial sexual exploitation linked to sex trafficking. This commitment emerges from both The Salvation Army’s mission – to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in His name without discrimination – and is rooted in the organization’s early history.

Join the Fight for Freedom and shine a light on slavery each day. Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery – a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to over 40 million people around the world.

Did you know that Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery — a multi-billion-dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to millions of people around the world? No matter where you live, it’s happening nearby.

From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered in a restaurant kitchen, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.

The Salvation Army Anti-Trafficking initiatives work alongside local law enforcement, FBI, ICE, and numerous other community partners to identify, rescue, and restore victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation. We help both foreign and domestic victims of all ages and ethnicities through our nationwide case management network. Along with giving immediate refuge and relief for victims, we take a holistic approach to healing, helping each person move from a state of victimized enslavement to God-centered self-sufficiency.

Contact your local Salvation Army to inquire how you can help and join the fight.

Together we can end it.

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s role in fighting for freedom visit
If you need help: Please call or text the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
1 (888) 373-7888

National Human Trafficking Resource Center

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)
Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish, and 200 more languages




From the Heart of an Officer- Major Marion Durham

Today in Parkland….

The Family Assistance Center was much less crowded today. School will begin again next week so it was great to give away backpacks and gift cards to replace items lost in the quick evacuation of the school.

I enjoyed meeting therapy ponies along with the usual comfort dogs who have been here all week.

Today’s stories…

The first was an answer to prayer. We met a young woman yesterday who had left her bag in the classroom which included her identification papers. She’s a Canadian citizen and wanted to go home for a few days respite with her father. I woke up last night thinking about her and praying for her for many reasons. She was desperately working through her anger and had gotten a tattoo with Stoneman Douglas’ motto to honor her fallen classmates. First thing this morning she and her mother came back to the Center to book a flight through the resources there (thanks JetBlue) because school had made an exception and she got her papers back. Side note: she wasn’t in the freshman building. They may never get their items from that crime scene.

Also met a couple of young men today who were so impressive. They were sweet freshman, complete with smooth skin and braces on their teeth. The first wanted to replace a soccer jersey in memory of his lost friend. The other in particular is a hero. He herded 20 people into a classroom closet. They were really packed in there. His mother showed us the pictures he texted, including the pitch black one when they turned the light off to hide as they heard screaming and gunshots. They were Colombian and we held hands with the family and Enrique Azuaje prayed over them in Spanish.

Billy Graham died today. The Billy Graham Chaplain Ministry has been here all week too. They spend quite a bit of time at The Memorial and have had a beautiful presence. I wanted to go offer my condolences to them as they offer grief counseling to folks here, but it seemed unnecessary. Promoted to Glory and Home at last, they carry on his ministry in Jesus Name.

From the Heart of an Officer- Major Marion Durham

Today in Parkland…

Another day of listening and serving. The team has noticed blank stares on the faces of teenagers and the tears of many grateful parents. It’s a privilege to offer to pay the rent of a single Mom or hold hands with a family in prayer who are humbled to receive financial assistance. Or give a gift card to replace a backpack that is being held by police instead of full of textbooks on a child’s shoulder.

Today’s story…

We met the parents of one young man who was in his second surgery today on his foot which had been shattered by a bullet. He had faced the shooter and was hit while diving out of the way. The surgeon was rebuilding the tendon. His Mom shared a photograph and it showed in graphic detail how much damage had been done. They were so happy to be able have grocery gift cards to feed out of town family who have come in to support them. Our visit was quick because they needed to get back to the hospital and I was relieved that they could go there rather than hold a funeral.

I’ve been happy and sad today as well. I’m missing Mary Beth’s chorus concert tonight. Her Daddy is recording her pieces and no matter how they sound, I am proud of my beautiful, loving, leader of a daughter. She’s a freshman in high school like students here who were buried today. I get to go home to her in a few days and for this I am grateful.

From the Heart of an Officer- Major Marion Ward Durham

I was there earlier in the morning before the center opened today because there was a media tour to promote all the services being offered at The Family Assistance Center. So much Great work is being done by many agencies. From the FBI, to Senator Rubio’s office, and charities like us and everyone in between.

The center is in a park so today during a break it felt good to walk the fields and paths to get a few steps in. I found another memorial on the soccer field for a lost player. On my way back inside there were so many more people and flowers.

Another group that’s been here and helpful to many are the comfort dogs. There’s usually about a half a dozen at a time on the campus.

A story…

A school board member stopped by our table and we had a very good conversation about the choices they have to make about the future, problems to solve about staff, traumatized students who need to finish the year (especially seniors) and his tour of the crime scene the night before. It seemed as if he needed to process what was happening too. Just like parents. Just like the students. A few minutes later, I called him back over and asked if I could pray for him and others in Parkland Leadership. They need wisdom and discernment. He readily agreed.

It’s good to be a Salvation Army Officer.

Florida Panthers and The Salvation Army

Thank you The Florida Panthers for hosting 1,000 “hurricane heroes” at home opener and generous support of The Salvation Army.

“It’s amazing to see, not only the generosity, but the spirit and camaraderie of the Panthers,” said Kevin Smith, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Director for Florida. “We’ve already given out a direct service of $4.2 million in just the Hurricane Irma response across Florida. Every dollar that comes to disaster services goes directly to disaster services. This gift by the Panthers will extend what we’re able to do for families across South Florida.”

Throughout the year — especially during storm season —
it’s important to be prepared for an emergency. Begin assembling an emergency kit, and start with these 8 items:

FoodFood — at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food, and a can opener if needed.

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WaterWater — one gallon per person, per day.

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First-Aid-MedicationsFirst-aid and medications — a first-aid kit, and at least a week’s supply of your prescription medications.

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FlashlightFlashlight and radio — along with extra batteries for both.

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HygieneHygiene items — toothbrush, soap, shampoo, etc.

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DocumentsImportant family documents — including contact information and copies of insurance policies.

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MatchesMatches — stored in a waterproof container.

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Basic-toolsBasic tools — multipurpose knife or tool, and duct tape.

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Remember, being prepared is the best way to protect yourself and your family!

Did you know The Salvation Army responds to disasters in your local area?   Learn more.


Whether it’s a summer storm or another type of emergency, your steadfast support of The Salvation Army sees people through their darkest days. Your gifts bring hope to people affected by a disaster by offering food, shelter, comfort, and a plan for recovery.

We thank you for your compassion, and we greatly appreciate your support!