With Hermine bearing down on Florida’s Gulf Coast and expected to make imminent landfall, The Salvation Army of Florida has canceled this weekend’s scheduled festivities celebrating the organization’s 125 years of service in Florida. The celebration was planned for over a year and more than 800 Salvation Army soldiers and friends were to gather during the Labor Day weekend at the army’s Camp Keystone in Starke, Florida. The new Divisional Commanders were to be installed during the ceremonies. The canteen stationed in Venice, along with others throughout the state, is on call to serve those who are in harm’s way due to the storm’s impending landfall. “While it has been nearly 11 years since a hurricane has made landfall on Florida’s coast, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services has continued to train and prepare for the next big event. It appears it is about to knock on Florida’s front door,” said Venice Corps officer, Captain Scott Hoover, who said he is ready to serve when called upon. Captain Hoover is part of The Salvation Army’s Divisional Incident Command Team.
Just days apart of the 11-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, The Salvation Army is once again being called to assist those in need. While residents continue to celebrate another year of the renaissance of a post-Katrina New Orleans, The Salvation Army is always on guard and going to where it is most needed – this time making preparations for Tropical Storm Hermine in Florida. On August 28, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in every county within the state.
In times of disaster, The Salvation Army works with its partners at the Emergency Operations Centers to coordinate relief efforts for impacted areas. The Salvation Army of Florida has 44 mobile food trucks, kitchens on wheels, ready to respond throughout the state. Along with its canteens, The Salvation Army has two field kitchens (large 18-wheeler trucks retrofitted for cooking and mass feeding), one command and communication unit and five shower trucks, which have been deployed this month assisting flood survivors throughout the state.
In the United States, The Salvation Army began its Emergency Disaster Services ministry during the 1900 Galveston hurricane. The ministry continues to grow and is a vital part of every Salvation Army unit in the country. Today, The Salvation Army utilizes mobile canteens to cook and distribute food to residents in need in the aftermath of a disaster such as a hurricane.
The best way to help survivors and relief work is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the need continues to be assessed. The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.