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Emergency Disaster Services

The Salvation Army began offering assistance to disaster survivors after a major hurricane hit Galveston, Texas in September 1900, destroying the coastal city and killing thousands of people. At the request of The Salvation Army’s National Commander, Commissioner Frederick Booth-Tucker, officers from across the country moved into the Galveston area to help feed and shelter thousands of survivors, while also providing much needed emotional and spiritual support.

Since then, The Salvation Army has responded to natural disasters, transportation accidents, civil unrest situations, and terrorist attacks. By providing beverages, meals and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors, The Salvation Army strives to bring hope and healing to people who find themselves in the midst of extremely difficult situations.

While each disaster creates its own unique circumstances and special needs, Salvation Army disaster relief efforts focus on seven core services. These services may be modified based on the magnitude of the disaster and adapted to meet the specific needs of individual survivors.

Training

The first step in being ready to respond to an emergency is training. In partnership with other agencies, The Salvation Army’s disaster training program offers a variety of courses designed to help individuals and communities prepare for emergency events and become trained disaster volunteers.

Food Service

When disaster strikes, one of the first signs that help is on the way is often the arrival of a Salvation Army mobile feeding unit, offering meals, snacks and drinks to rescue workers and survivors.

Emotional and Spiritual Care

Motivated by Christian faith, The Salvation Army deploys specially trained individuals to offer emotional and spiritual care to rescue workers and disaster survivors.

Emergency Communications

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) includes a worldwide network of volunteer amateur radio operators and other communications specialists, who may be mobilized to transmit emergency information during a disaster event.

Disaster Social Services

After a family has lost everything in a disaster, The Salvation Army is there to provide emergency assistance to help meet survivors’ most urgent needs for food, clothing, shelter and medical services.

Donations Management

The Salvation Army is one of the nation’s leaders in responsibly collecting, sorting and distributing donated goods. The Salvation Army encourages cash donations as the best and most flexible way to help and solicits only those in-kind donations that can be effectively received and efficiently distributed.

Recovery

The Salvation Army supports long-term disaster recovery operations with flexible programming that is adaptable to the unique needs of individual communities.

Find out more, including how to volunteer with The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, by visiting SalArmyEDS.org.

Original Article

Heidi & Jeremy
disaster relief

Heidi and Jeremy Wardell in front of the scorched trees on their property in Black Forest, Colorado.

In the summer of 2013, the Black Forest fire burned 14,280 acres and destroyed more than 500 homes on its way to becoming the most destructive fire in Colorado state history.

On June 11, Heidi and Jeremy Wardell evacuated their “dream home” in Black Forest, taking the valuables they could gather in the 40 minutes fire officials gave them to get out.

While staying at a hotel nearby, they checked the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department website for the list of homes declared a total loss. For two days, their home wasn’t on the list. It was safe and they were thankful.

While watching a news conference about the fire on June 13, Jeremy refreshed his browser and there it was; their home was on the list.

He was devastated but Heidi was in denial about what it all meant. She tried to make the best of it, thinking instead about what she wanted in a new house. Maybe she could finally get the crown moldings she’d been wanting.

The couple met with representatives from their insurance company who confirmed that records showed the home was a total loss. They began to prepare for what seemed inevitable.

Ten days after it began, firefighters finally got control of the blaze. And about three weeks after that, people started returning to their neighborhoods to see what was left of their homes and belongings. Heidi and Jeremy were in the last phase of people permitted to go back in.

When they arrived, their house was still there: it was the only one in the whole neighborhood. Everything around them was scorched, right up to their driveway.

heidi and jeremy

The ground and trees were scorched up to the driveway in front of the Wardell’s home.

“The neighbors’ trees even looked like charred pencils but most of ours were still there,” said Heidi.

For Heidi, seeing their house and trees standing was like the Biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in chapter three of the book of Daniel. As the story goes, three men were thrown into a furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they refused to renounce their faith and bow down to the king.

But the king saw the three men walking around in the fire, untouched by the flames. He also saw a fourth; God himself — the one who spared them.

disaster relief

Later Heidi and Jeremy learned that firefighters had dug a trench around their home and tossed their propane tanks up the hill and away from the house to keep them from exploding and setting their property ablaze. The National Guard had even patrolled the neighborhood to keep looters from helping themselves to what remained.

“It was a miracle,” says Heidi. “I don’t know why God spared our home but we’re so grateful. This experience has made everything seem so much more precious and showed us that life can also be unstable. We can look back and remember that when everything seemed out of control God was — and still is — taking care of us no matter what we encounter in the future.”

When they returned to their neighborhood, The Salvation Army had set up nearby to offer their assistance, which included helping residents sift through the ashes on their property to find any possessions that might be left.

That day, The Salvation Army volunteers put their arms around Heidi and Jeremy, gave them hugs, and welcomed them home. They also gave them a clean up kit so they could get to work clearing the layer of ash that covered everything in their home.

“It was simple but the emotional and practical support meant so much,” says Heidi. “It was such a pivotal moment in our lives and we’ll never forget it.”

The whole experience changed the Wardells. One of the things from those days that reminds them of God’s grace is the damage assessment form they found tacked to their front door when they got home.

disaster relief

The form had four options:
— No obvious damage
— Cosmetic damage
— Limited structural damage
— Substantial structural damage DO NOT ENTER

The box next to ‘no obvious damage’ is checked. The form is now framed and positioned in the living room as a lasting reminder, complete with Heidi’s notes: “evacuated: June 11, 2013, total loss list: June 13, 2013, saved by God”

Heidi says they had no idea that The Salvation Army would be there to care for them when they returned but they’re so glad we were.

As always, it’s our calling — and pleasure — to stand with people when times are tough.

Find out more about The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services.

salvation army naples rubicon

The organizations will work together to rebuild 30 homes damaged by Hurricane Irma

Naples, FL (September 19,2018)  Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, and The Salvation Army officially kicked off their partnership to help rebuild lives and homes that were impacted by Hurricane Irma. Over the next year, as part of Team Rubicon’s South Florida Rebuild Program, the two organizations will work together to identify and rebuild 30 homes damaged by Hurricane Irma in Collier County, Florida.

For its piece of the partnership, The Salvation Army will identify homes that meet established criteria for assistance as well as handle client services and case management. Team Rubicon, led by the military veterans of Cohort 8 of their Clay Hunt Fellows Program, will manage the construction and rebuild of these 30 homes.

“The Salvation Army has a long history of providing disaster relief and recovery around the world,” says Ashley Jones, Director of Social Services and Disaster Recovery for The Salvation Army. “Although it has now been one year since Hurricane Irma impacted Collier County, so many of our residents continue to rebuild. We are proud to partner with Team Rubicon in an effort to make sure all those in the community who need help receive it.”

In March 2018, Team Rubicon launched its home rebuild pilot program in Houston, Texas to support long-term recovery in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. This South Florida Home Rebuild Program will be built on the success and lessons learned from the Houston pilot.

“Team Rubicon is excited to launch this Home Rebuild Program in South Florida and for the opportunity to help get families impacted by Hurricane Irma back to a sense of pre-storm normalcy,” said David Venables, Deputy Director of Rebuild at Team Rubicon. “It’s a privilege to partner with The Salvation Army on this project. This organization brings deep community ties, resources and know-how that will help us rebuild homes and lives in South Florida.”

The launch of this program in South Florida marks a return to Collier County for Team Rubicon. Soon after Hurricane Irma made landfall as a Category 4 storm, Team Rubicon launched a response operation to provide immediate disaster relief. Now, the organization is returning to Collier County to address on-going, long-term recovery needs in impacted communities.

Team Rubicon boasts an 80,000-strong, highly-skilled volunteer force that helps communities stabilize and recover after a disaster. Since its 2010 inception, Team Rubicon has responded to over 285 disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

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About Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization offering veterans a chance to continue their service by helping those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. Programs and services are made possible by the support of individual donors, corporate partners, and the dedication of volunteers across the country. To join or support Team Rubicon’s mission, visit www.teamrubiconusa.org.

 

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 wide 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 for the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. To learn more, follow @SalArmyFlorida or visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org.

salvation army disaster

Organization providing meals, serving first responders as they prepare for relief efforts

ALEXANDRIA, VA (September 14, 2018) – The Salvation Army’s national network of disaster staff and volunteers has been activated since Monday, September 10, to mobilize for storm preparation and response. Trained emergency disaster personnel are prepared to provide food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual support to survivors and first responders. Staff and volunteers are also serving at emergency shelters and staffing emergency operations centers. An incident command team and staging area for North and South Carolina has been established in Charlotte.

The Salvation Army has committed more than 60 mobile feeding units across four states to Hurricane Florence relief operations. Each canteen can provide up to 1,500 meals per day. The Salvation Army is also working closely with other charitable disaster responders, such as Operation BBQ Relief, who is staging a kitchen alongside Salvation Army units in Charlotte. As of September 14, The Salvation Army has provided more than 8,000 meals, 6,500 drinks and 5,000 snacks.

Because The Salvation Army has more than 7,600 centers of operation in the U.S., they’re often the first ones on the scene. And they don’t leave – as part of the communities they serve, they help people recover now and later rebuild.

“Donations from the generous public will help provide food, shelter and other valuable resources that survivors need,” said Lt. Col. Ward Matthews, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “After immediate needs are met, The Salvation Army will remain and continue to partner with impacted communities to rebuild, which could take years.”

The best way to support the survivors of Hurricane Florence is by making a financial contribution. This gives relief organizations flexibility to quickly and efficiently meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors without incurring many of the costs associated with sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods.

To contribute to The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Florence disaster relief efforts, visit HelpSalvationArmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, ask Amazon Alexa to “make a donation to The Salvation Army,” or text “STORM” to 51555.

A digital media kit with b-roll, fact sheet, photography and social media assets can be found here.

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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations – during emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

canteen florida

LUTZ, FL (September 10, 2018) – Having strengthened from a tropical storm over the weekend, Hurricane Florence is expected to increase in significance as it approaches the southeastern United States. As the threat to Florida’s coast has lessened, The Salvation Army will deploy mobile feeding units, staff, and volunteers from across Florida to assist areas where the storm is expected to make landfall in North and South Carolina.

Teams from Clearwater, Cocoa, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Stuart, Tallahassee, and Vero Beach are preparing now to be in place mid-week in anticipation of serving impacted areas after the storm.

“The units being deployed each have the capacity to serve 500 – 1,500 meals per day,” says Steven Hartsook. Salvation Army Director of Emergency Disaster Services.

“The Salvation Army prepares all year to be able to serve where needed. Individual and family preparedness is crucial in advance of a disaster, and we want to remind everyone that the time to prepare for the next storm is now,” says Hartsook.

The Salvation Army will also deploy a 53’ refrigerated feeding support trailer from Florida to North Carolina to assist with transporting food and drinks to affected areas.

To support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Florence relief efforts, visit www.HelpSalvationArmy.org. For updates on The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster response efforts, visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Lindsay Crossland, Director of Communications
P: 727-403-7766
E: Lindsay.Crossland@uss.salvationarmy.org 

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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 135 years in the United States. Nearly 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-two cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army are used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org or follow on Twitter @SalArmyFlorida.

Clearwater Irma

With the help of faithful volunteers, donors, and community partners, The Salvation Army continues to meet the needs of those impacted by Hurricane Irma across Florida.

Here’s a glimpse of how we’ve been able to serve this past year through your generosity:

hurricane irma infographic

  • As of July 2018, The Salvation Army has distributed more than $9million in aid to those affected by Hurricane Irma across Florida, with an additional $20million recovery plan in place to continue to meet the long-term needs of the impacted areas. Aid has included serving more than 1million meals, drinks and snacks, and providing nearly 5,000 nights of shelter.
  • The Salvation Army received $370,000 from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to help first responders, educators, low-income households and senior citizens replace appliances, complete home repairs, and cover rent and mortgage payments. Grants were distributed in amounts of $500 – $2,500, and these funds have assisted nearly 500 men, women, and children to date.
  • Through a partnership with The Home Depot, The Salvation Army is able to purchase supplies at a discounted rate for residents in Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys to repair and rebuild their homes. The Salvation Army has allocated $5million in recovery aid for this program.
  • In the first phase of the disaster response, The Salvation Army worked with partner agencies to cover insurance deductibles for damaged homes and automobiles to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
  • For individuals and families who have been displaced form their primary residence due to Irma, The Salvation Army offers relocation assistance. This may come in the form of purchasing a bus or airline ticket, renting a moving truck, or making a deposit on an apartment in their destination city.
  • The Salvation Army’s long-term recovery plans include the hardest hit region of Florida, which includes the Ft. Myers area (Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties), the Naples area (Collier County), and the Florida Keys (Monroe County).

To  help The Salvation Army continue to serve your neighbors in need:

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 | jessica.geib@uss.salvationarmy.org | (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.

HOW TO HELP:

Sign up to become a trained Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Volunteer: http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org
Donate: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org 

Tampa Bay Salvation Army is Monitoring Tropical Storm Emily and Ready to Deploy 

Tampa Bay, FL (July 31, 2017) – Salvation Army units throughout Tampa Bay are prepared and on stand-by to help residents as Tropical Storm Emily hovers over the area today and tomorrow. With a presence in every county throughout Florida, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to support emergency management personnel and our local communities.

Trained, dedicated staff and volunteers are actively monitoring the weather across the bay area and are in regular communication with officials throughout the region. During the last few months leading into hurricane season, The Salvation Army has hosted several trainings for staff and volunteers.

Because The Salvation Army has a long history of response in disaster situations – large and small – a net of trained personnel and response vehicles (mobile feeding units) designed for rapid and free-standing response are ready to be deployed.

“While Tropical Storm Emily is not a major hurricane, indications are that this is going to a major rain event for all of south Florida,” says Kevin Smith, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Florida. “We encourage everyone to take this time to make sure they have a disaster preparedness plan in place.”

For information on how to create a disaster preparedness plan, or become a volunteer with The Salvation Army, please visit www.SalvationArmyTampaBay.org. Additional information on The Salvation Army’s preparations for Tropical Storm Emily can be found at http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
St. Petersburg: Randi-lyn Farrell 727-639-4258
Tampa: Ashley Ramsey 727-732-8400
Clearwater: Lindsay Crossland 727-403-7766
www.SalvationArmyTampaBay.org
Facebook/SalvationArmyTampaBay

 

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About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 100 years here in Tampa Bay. 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 The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmytampabay.org.

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Throughout the year — especially during the summer storm season — it’s important to be prepared for an emergency.

Begin assembling an emergency kit. We’ll show you how!

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? Click here to learn more about our local Emergency Disaster Services team.

Disaster Emergency eBook

Click here to view your free E-book!

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