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Port Charlotte, FL – While many areas in Florida remain inaccessible due to Hurricane Ian’s storm surge, flood waters are slowly receding in others. Neighborhoods that were previously cut off are finally able to receive service. The Salvation Army teams on the ground in Florida utilized Polaris off-road vehicles today to distribute meals in neighborhoods still not accessible to canteens and larger vehicles.

Salvation Army teams loaded each Polaris with water and boxed lunches before heading out in search of people needing food. In addition to food and water, teams were sent to provide a listening ear and spiritual/emotional care to residents still processing the overwhelming experience of Ian’s arrival and destruction.

Captain Jeremy Mockabee, Chief of Operations for the Port Charlotte incident command team, was one of the team members on the ground.

“One of the Army’s great strengths is its ability to be flexible,” said Captain Mockabee. “This is never more prevalent than in times of crisis. We adapt, even in our vehicle response. The Polaris meets a specific need. Its size, speed, and versatility make it almost essential in meeting needs in places our other, larger vehicles would not be able to navigate.”

To date, The Salvation Army has distributed 33,048 meals and 29,086 drinks in Florida. Services will continue to increase as more and more communities become accessible to service.

To support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Ian relief efforts, donate at http://helpsalvationarmy.org or 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

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.

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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.