The Salvation Army Provides More than Food and Hydration to Tornado Survivors

Oklahomans are strong, but their strength is being tested yet again. Last night, severe rainfall caused flooding while at the same time multiple tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma, impacting areas near Moore, OK – including El Reno, 25 miles west of Oklahoma City. Though the storms were not as strong as those seen on May 20, yesterday’s storms resulted in five tornadoes in Oklahoma and Missouri, and killed nine people.

The Salvation Army is there, on site to provide not only food, hydration, and clean-up supplies, but also emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors. Time and again, The Salvation Army has seen first hand the importance of meeting the needs of the body and the soul, and meeting each helps provide the strength people need to move forward after the storm has passed. Notably, Salvation Army emotional and spiritual care teams provided counseling to more than 5,500 people since the Moore, OK tornado on May 20.

Currently, The Salvation Army is mobilizing resources to the areas affected by tornadoes and flash flooding. Local units have had operations up and running to serve those affected since 7:00 this morning. While teams mobilize, damage assessment is a top priority for units on the ground which will allow response teams to determine where the greatest need is.

Salvation Army provides emotional and spiritual care in Oklahoma.

“The Salvation Army is deeply grateful for all donated disaster supplies,” said Major Thomas Louden, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Incident Commander in Oklahoma and will lead the team of Salvation Army personnel to service people in need. “Our most critical need is for monetary donations and The Salvation Army will most certainly notify the public if there is a need for any donations of material.”

Major Louden is also no stranger to helping Oklahomans. He served in the community after the Oklahoma City Bombing and the May 3, 1999 tornado, which was an F5.

Overall The Salvation Army has called in 150 volunteers, plus 100 staff and officers to respond to the current storms. The Salvation Army is 250 strong on the ground, which includes 18 emotional and spiritual caregivers, as well as 30 emergency disaster support staff manning the canteens throughout the area. Ten additional staff are located at various distribution centers and Multiple Agency Resource Centers (MARCs).

Salvation Army personnel will be onsite providing these support services to all for as long as the need exists following these storms in Oklahoma.