Salvation Army Opens Shelter for Flash Flood Victims

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee has dropped torrential rains on the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

The storm made landfall in New Orleans earlier today causing devastating flash flooding. Currently, New Orleans is under flash flood warnings.

The Salvation Army is dedicated to helping those in the states affected by this storm. In Jackson, Mississippi, forty residents have been evacuated by boat to The Salvation Army’s shelter in Pascagoula.

The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to stay informed of all warnings. With significant rainfall still in the forecast residents are reminded to stay away from moving waters.

Want to help our efforts providing for those in Lee’s path? Check out our website for ways to donate monetarily.

Check back for updates. You can also see our updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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Salvation Army Readies for Tropical Storm Lee

Friday, September 2, 2011

As the storm system threatens Tropical Storm Lee and twenty inches of rain on parts of the Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide relief if disaster strikes.

Read more about the coming storm here.

Flash flooding remains a concern for residents of these states. Salvation Army offices in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi are geared up with 24 mobile feeding units and a gigantic field kitchen in case a response is necessary. We are also prepared to provide clean-up kits, water, shower units, first-aid supplies, and spiritual care.
The Salvation Army would like to encourage residents in the path of this storm to prepare for Emergency. Read more about how you can stay prepared by Clicking Here.

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A Helpful Journey

Friday, September 2, 2011

The following was contributed by Gene and Edie Pigford, Lt. Colonels from The Salvation Army

Our journey began on Tuesday, August 30. Edie and I travelled to Oneonta to support the Salvation Army Command Center which was helping provide emergency relief intervention in communities devastated by Hurricane Irene.

Our first stop was Fleishmans where we stopped at a canteen from Ohio under the leadership of Lt Jason Price. The canteen was based at a local church which was coordinating local relief efforts. Local residents were appreciative of the food, including members of a Hassidic community who were pleased at the availability of kosher food.

Next was Margaretville, a community hit with considerable impact from Irene. One of the lifelong residents described seven feet of water coming down the town’s main street. Severe structural damage appears to have rendered the old historic section of Main Street not salvageable. The town is awaiting final word concerning the loss of this resource. One resident was concerned about his pets that he had to leave behind when they were told to evacuate. He was later able to retrieve them, but was struggling to find living arrangements for both him and his pets.

The Margaretville Fire Department was most appreciative of our efforts to convey some supplies on their behalf to the Prattsville community

Roxbury was well served by a canteen from Buffalo. They were able to coordinate with a local pastor and school principal to provide food, cleaning supplies and spiritual care to community residents. We had the privilege of praying with them and ask God to bless their efforts and their community.

By far the most devastated community was Prattsville. We were able to reach the community by back roads, some of which went directly through the devastated areas. The Army established a canteen relief site and distributed food and cleaning supplies to area residents and relief workers. A local church is currently providing hot meals in a tent, but the pastor indicated that soon these volunteers will need to look after their own homes. The State Police helped us connect with an 82 year old woman that had not been out of her house since the hurricane hit.

A few local merchants were very discouraged by the damage done to their businesses and questioned whether rebuilding would be worth it. The town supervisor was very helpful and encouraging to the community, offering hands-on assistance to residents.

The town has limited water and will not have power for some time due to broken power lines. Most of the town residents we came across were in good spirits and working hard to rebuild their towns.

Our sense is that some communities will recover fairly quickly. But others, like Margaretville and especially Prattsville, will need ongoing support for some time.

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At the Heart of the Operation – Meeting Need in Margaretville, NY

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The following was contributed by Mary Jo Barnello, Director of Development and Community Relations at The Salvation Army Empire State Division.

Traveling into the hard-hit village of Margaretville, NY from the Incident Command Center located in Oneonta, NY, the skies were blue, the temperatures seasonable and the drive breathtaking as we traversed the winding roads of the Catskill mountains. Leading in, the town of Delhi celebrated the end of summer with a farmers’ market lining Main Street, American flags displayed on porches, and flowerbeds in full bloom.

As we approached Margaretville, the beautiful creeks running along the roadway mile by mile became increasingly rushed. They converged on the outskirts of town and turned dark brown and raging. Debris were evident on trees and mud covered everything including the roadway. The National Guard was stationed on the closed bridges, clearing alternate roadways and directing travel in and out of town. Flying overhead, six black helicopters circled the town several times bringing in supplies. The Margaretville Firehouse has become the center of the community. The Salvation Army disaster relief vehicle was the heart of the operation, positioned right in front. The Salvation Army Team of Bellaire, Ohio was serving food fast and furious to residents, volunteers, firefighters from neighboring stations, and National Guard personnel. The Salvation Army served hundreds at the Firehouse with countless more waiting for delivered meals.

A cheer went up when The Salvation Army box truck loaded with supplies arrived. More than 15 firemen leaped into action to unload the supplies ofwater, cleaning kits, baby supplies, pet food and canned food for mass distribution. The firemen worked side by side with Salvation Army volunteers to help the townspeople make their selections. The overwhelming response from residents and volunteers alike was deep gratitude and sincere appreciation that The Salvation Army was there helping with such basic needs.
“We really appreciate The Salvation Army being here helping our community,we need it and you guys are a great support,” said Mike Porter, thePresident of the Margaretville Fire Department and Communications Officer.“So far, we’ve been at it for days and have had 48 rescues already. Now, volunteers from Stanford, Andes and Halcottsville are here helping with pumps and clean-up. The Salvation Army is taking care of all of us with food.”

See more Photos Here.

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National Preparedness Month – Part 1

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The following was contributed by Guest Blogger Jeff Jellets, Territorial Disaster Coordinator for The Salvation Army’s Southern Headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

September is National Preparedness Month.

The timing is always curious to me. September is the historical peak of hurricane season and most years, I’m way too busy responding to a looming tropical cyclone to think – at that point anyway — much of preparedness. When you live in the path of hurricanes, the best time to prepare is … well … way before September 1st.

But September 2011 also marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a terrible event that also serves as a somber reminder that America, as a people and a nation, must be always be prepared. As, FEMA’s disaster preparedness website, succinctly states September 2011 marks a “Time To Remember. A Time To Prepare.”

And, while most of my Septembers have been preoccupied with the paths and intensities of tropical storms, 9/11 has always remained a day apart. I served in New York City at the World Trade Center site, and not a year passes in my life when that day is not marked in remembrance. I am sure most Americans will take “Time To Remember” those that were lost on that terrible day in 2001 and, like me, will also take time to honor all those who continue to serve our great country today.

But what does “A Time To Prepare” really mean?

First, prepare yourself, your family and your home. This means developing a family disaster plan, building a family disaster kit, and protecting your home from the most common disaster hazards. For example, every home should have a smoke detector to protect your family from fire, and every home should have a weather radio to warn your family of dangerous weather. What if you had to evacuate? Where would you go? If your family was separated in emergency, how would you reconnect with one another after reaching safe locations? These are questions you should answer long before disasters threaten.

Don’t let your family become disaster victims! Be survivors. By preparing, you not only protect yourself and those you love, but you also put yourself into a position where you are much more likely to be able to help others. Just as importantly, by being ready to take care of yourself, you allow professional emergency responders to focus their attention on life-saving efforts for others who may be trapped are in the areas hardest hit by the disaster.

Second, prepare your community. And in this sense, I mean community in the broadest sense of the word. First, you need to think about your neighborhood. In an emergency, it is often your neighbors who will be the first people to rush to help. In a catastrophic incident, like an earthquake or ice storm, where whole communities are affected, professional emergency responders may need to time to reach your particular area. Know the people in your neighborhood who have special needs, such as the elderly or small children, and plan to check-in on them during a crisis to ensure they are okay. Likewise, identify people in your neighborhood with special skills or training. If a doctor or nurse lives on your block, that’s important to know.

Now extend your community preparedness efforts beyond where you live. Think about where you work, where your children go to school or daycare, where you worship, and even the car you drive. Disasters can occur at any time or place … so it is just as important to have a disaster plan for your workplace or church and a disaster kit in your car as well as your home. Talk to your children’s school or daycare about their emergency plans and make sure they have a procedure for reunifying you with your child in the event of an emergency.

Third, prepare to help others. Once you have taken care of yourself, your family and your community, then you can start thinking about helping others. The most important thing to remember here is to help appropriately. In the United States, most municipalities have a disaster response and recovery plan coordinated by a local emergency management agency. If you want to help, you have to fit into that plan. One of the easiest ways to do so is to affiliate with an existing voluntary agency, like The Salvation Army, or check to see if your community supports a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Another important point to remember is that training is essential. The Salvation Army, among other voluntary agencies, offers disaster training. If you are not sure where to start, let me recommend basic first aid and CPR. Basic lifesaving skills have application far beyond just disaster response; even on the quietest day, someone around you might become injured or ill and it may be up to you to help save their life.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you by this point to take emergency preparedness a bit more seriously this September than you have in the past. If so, let me give you one more challenge – Don’t stop preparing on September 31st!

As Spencer W. Kimball said, “Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program.” Make your emergency preparedness and planning efforts more than a one month endeavor. Revisit and update your family and neighborhood disaster plans periodically. Change the supplies in your family disaster kit so the food, water, batteries and other perishables stay fresh. In short, don’t let the major lessons of past disasters fade away.

Stay tuned for “What’s In Your Disaster Kit?” in Part 2 of our National Preparedness Month blog – coming soon!

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Providing Relief in Upstate New York

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Salvation Army is working to care for thousands of evacuees in Upstate New York. Flooding in several towns has caused blocked roads creating travel difficulties for residents. Six mobile canteen units have been deployed to the affected areas, providing relief for towns such as Schenectady, Delhi, Roxbury, Margaretville, Fleischmanns and Schoharie. Emergency disaster teams will work to support these areas with limited resources, providing the much needed food, drinks, and additional relief to community members and first responders.

The Salvation Army sent baby formula, food and diapers sent to the towns of Margaretville and Fleischmanns. 2,000 clean-up kits were provided in Oneonta to assist those families with damaged homes. 1,000 more kits will be delivered to eight impacted areas in the Mid-Hudson region. An additional 1,000 kits will be provided for distribution on Long Island.

In addition, Walmart donated two semi-truckloads of drinking water. This generous donation was sent to hospitals and nursing homes in Delaware County where contaminated water remains a major issue.

The Salvation Army is in need of donations to continue providing relief to thousands across the East Coast. Donations can be made online at, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Or, use your mobile phone to text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

Check back here for updates or you can visit us on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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Salvation Army Continues Response & Relief Along East Coast

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thousands are still suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene’s tear along the east coast and The Salvation Army continues to meet the needs of individuals and families of the affected areas in several states. In the southern part of the U.S. alone, The Salvation Army has served more than 60,000 meals, snacks and drinks and handed out hundreds of clean-up kits.

From North Carolina to Massachusetts, here are the updates:

A current priority in North Carolina is helping the 2,400 stranded individuals on an island in the Outerbanks. The Salvation Army is ferrying to the barrier islands from the south while mobile feeding canteen teams from commands in South Carolina are ready to provide the much needed food and water.

In other parts of North Carolina and Virginia, mobile feeding units capable of providing thousands of meals per day, are positioned in Norfolk, Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and the Seaford and York Communities. In Norfolk and Spotsylvania Counties alone, The Salvation Army has already served more than 6,400 meals, snacks and drinks and provided lodging to 265 people. In Hampton Roads, 2,345 meals and 95 clean-up kits have been provided, while the shelter has housed over 270 individuals. Salvation Army mobile kitchens in North Carolina are prepared to serve 90,000 individuals!
In Maryland, The Salvation Army has fed survivors, first responders and volunteers. As of today, 119 volunteers have prayed with individuals and given their time to serve 3,227 meals and 5,019 drinks to affected Maryland residents. Folks still without power in southeast Washington, DC – mostly senior citizens – were provided with meals and beverages last night.

Power outages and continuous flooding from high rising rivers are two biggest challenges in New Jersey as a result of Hurricane Irene. While local authorities work to bring back order in the garden state, The Salvation Army has served 15,000 meals to first responders and evacuees.

In New York City, 1,000 clean-up kits have been secured for deployment to the Mid-Hudson region. What’s a clean up kit? See here.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services crews continue to provide for areas in the Greater Philadelphia region affected by the storm. Three canteens were deployed Monday to provide meals and refreshments to those experiencing flooding, power losses, and damage.

In Connecticut, The Salvation Army has served hundreds of meals to evacuees at shelters as well as to first responders.

Vermont is experiencing the worst flooding disaster in the last 80 years. A canteen capable of serving 500 has been deployed to Ludlow, VT to provide meals and care for victims. Ludlow is just one of many towns in Vermont devastated by the storm. The Salvation Army intends to deploy more canteens to other struggling areas of the state.
Hundreds of survivors in Greenfield, Massachusetts will receive clean-up kits after flooding in the western part of the state. The Salvation Army continues to serve at numerous shelter facilities throughout Massachusetts and other parts of New England.

In addition to providing meals, beverages, snacks, clean-up kits, and general support, Salvation Army officers are always willing and ready to provide spiritual counseling to those impacted by disaster of any kind.
Check out more photos on Facebook.

Click here to donate! *Or, simply text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone.

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see

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What’s a Canteen?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Check out this video presenting the very foundation of The Salvation Army Disaster services – the Canteen. The Salvation Army deploys these “kitchens on wheels” during times of disaster. A single canteen can provide food for 500 to 5,000 individuals, depending on the unit.

Throughout the last few days, The Salvation Army has served more than 60,000 meals, beverages, and snacks to those impacted by Hurricane Irene.

In total, The Salvation Army has 370 mobile feeding units and five mobile kitchens up and down the East coast, serving those in need.

Check back here for updates. You can also visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.
Click here to donate!

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Doing the Most Good After Hurricane Irene

Monday, August 29, 2011

Check out this video from Saturday, August 27 following Hurricane Irene’s landfall in North Carolina. The Salvation Army served 19,000 people in the areas impacted by the storm. Thousands across eastern North Carolina are being fed and cared for at shelters by Salvation Army feeding teams.

In the Northeast, Salvation Army officers and emergency disaster canteens crews continue to serve those affected in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. The Salvation Army is equipped to serve 2,500 people a day through five canteens which provide food and beverages.

In total, The Salvation Army has 370 mobile feeding units and five mobile kitchens up and down the East coast, serving those in need.

Check back here for updates. You can also visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Monetary donations can be made online at by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Or, simply text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone. If you’d like to mail a check, please designate the donation as “2011 Hurricane Season” and send to:

Disaster Gift Processing Center
PO Box 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop.Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see

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From the Caribbean to Maine: Salvation Army Aids Thousands

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Major Rick Raymer, The Salvation Army chief Carolinas spokesperson, reports from Morehead City, NC about the effects of Hurricane Irene the morning after.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene’s landfall in North Carolina and Virginia Saturday, we remain committed to providing basic services to evacuees across the region. The Salvation Army is currently providing 15 states from the Carolinas to Maine with food, shelter, supplies, and counseling.
“With more than 2.5 million people under evacuation orders The Salvation Army remains committed 24/7 to providing those impacted with the basic services they need to get through this difficult period”, said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the U.S.
More than 4.5 million across the eastern seaboard lost power with thousands still in the dark. 15,000 meals have been served to first responders and evacuees in New Jersey. In the Carolinas, nearly 11,000 meals, snacks and drinks have been served to evacuees in Greenville, Washington, Elizabeth City and Morehead City. Thousands of North Carolinas residents fled to Salvation Army shelters across the region.
You can check out our North Carolina relief photos here.
As the storm moved north to Norfolk, VA, 250 evacuees who took shelter at The Salvation Army were provided with lodging, meals and snacks. Along with spiritual and emotional care, 2,000 meals and drinks have been served. In Hampton Roads, VA, The Salvation Army has 3 mobile feeding canteens providing meals, clean-up kits and spiritual care.
In the Caribbean and Bahamas, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service Team continues to help evacuees cope with the damage that was done. Among other efforts, The Salvation Army response units have given gift cards to buy food, clothes and supplies to those impacted in the U.S. Virgin Isles and Puerto Rico.
The storm continues to move northeast and The Salvation Army in those locations stand by the assess the damage and satisfy the needs of those impacted by the disaster. We remain cautiously optimistic that this storm is losing steam.
We couldn’t provide any of this relief without your help.
The most critical need right now is for monetary donations. Here’s how your generosity helps:
$10: Will feed a disaster survivor for one day.
$30: Provides one food box, containing staple foods for a family of four, or one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies
$100: Provides snacks and drinks for 125 survivors and emergency personnel at the scene of a disaster
$250: Provides one hot meal to 100 people or keep a hydration station operational for 24 hours
$500: Keeps a Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding unit) fully operational for one day
These can be made online at by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Or, simply text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone.
If you’d like to mail a check, please designate the donation as “2011 Hurricane Season” and send to:
Disaster Gift Processing Center
PO Box 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301
Check back here for updates or visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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