Thursday, May 26, 2011
Lines of communications were virtually nonexistent following the storms throughout the tornado stricken cities of the central United States, including Joplin, MO. This problem is expected and occurs in major disasters as cell towers are knocked down and power is lost.
However, amazing volunteers of The Salvation Army who run the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN), also known as “shadows,” helped Salvation Army personnel establish communications during relief efforts in Joplin. Relief efforts would not be the same without their assistance, and we would like to take the time to thank SATERN volunteers, like Brian Short:
HAM radio operator and “shadow,” Brian Short, along with other Salvation Army volunteers saw the aftermath of the tornado in Joplin as an opportunity to provide assistance during relief efforts. Brian and the volunteers set up a network of HAM radio connections to utilize and ensure the safety of people under The Salvation Army’s watch. SATERN enabled Salvation Army personnel to communicate on nearly every frequency available, even at long distances, utilizing HF & VHF frequencies as officers and volunteers worked to meet the needs of Joplin residents.
SATERN volunteers establishing communication in Joplin, MO.
At the same time, SATERN volunteers like Short ride with Salvation Army mobile canteens and key personnel to shadow Salvation Army emergency response teams and act as a network of ever-present problem solvers. The group ensures that The Salvation Army’s response team’s whereabouts are always known and that they are able to keep in communications at all times.
“When we get involved, it creates what I like to call a ‘conference bridge effect,’” Short stated. “Everyone knows where everyone else is at all times, and people are able to overhear the needs of other people. Then, those people can chime in and help us solve logistical issues by thinking up solutions or providing information we wouldn’t have had access to.”
Brian Short in Joplin, MO.
Over the first few days, Short and other volunteers assisted in establishing communications that allowed The Salvation Army to provide rescue support, food, hydration and medical assistance to storm survivors and emergency responders.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We are in awe of the generosity of those who have lost so much recently, and we would like to thank those who are thinking of others during…
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
As The Salvation Army responds to the tornadoes in Joplin, MO and other affected areas of the Central United States, we have been touched by the outpouring of…
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The Salvation Army has four mobile feeding kitchens serving in Joplin,Missouri, and each is capable of serving thousands of meals per day.If you’d like to donate to our relief efforts, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or click here.
Take a look at the first photos of a canteen from Tulsa, OK that is serving at St. John’s hospital in Joplin, MO. Your continued prayers for survivors and relief workers are greatly appreciated.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We’ve received tons of messages and comments from people wanting to organize donation drives and ship items to recent tornado survivors. If this is you, please read the following important message from FEMA!
Joplin, Missouri is actually overwhelmed with unsolicited donations, like clothes, toys and household items. This can lead to what disaster relief personnel call the “secondary disaster,” in which valuable, life sustaining resources are redirected to sort, transport, store, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of survivors.
Read on to learn how your support doesn’t become “too much of a good thing” for those in need, and please consider giving monetary donations through the options listed here:
KANSAS CITY, MO— To help better manage the outpouring of support for Joplin, Missouri tornado survivors, disaster recovery experts have established some simple ways to help, whether volunteering or donating resources.
The Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offer those who are impacted or just wanting to help the following advice:
Volunteer or Donate
The easiest way to help is to call 2-1-1 in most areas in Missouri to volunteer time or make a donation. Cash is the best because it offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources. Confirm what is needed BEFORE taking action!
Donate in-kind goods that are specifically requested or needed by recognized organizations. Unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Confirm the needs by contacting the voluntary organization of your choice before starting to collect.
If you have a quantity of a given item or class of item to donate, and you need help in determining which organizations to give to, you can make your offer through http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/fema after this, just click on Missouri.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Kansas City Chiefs are proving they have big hearts for tornado survivors. The team is donating $35,000 to disaster-relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri and Reading, Kansas.
They’re also partnering with us at The Salvation Army to host a bottled-water drive at Arrowhead Stadium. If you’re a Kansas City resident or live nearby, this is a great way for you to help too. Here’s what you need to know:
Kansas City Chiefs Bottled Water Drive for Disaster Relief
WHAT: Donate Cases of Bottled Water, Cash, and Checks (Made out to Heart-to-Heart International)
WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, 12:00am – 7:00pm and Wednesday, May 25, 7:00am – 7:00pm
WHERE: Arrowhead Stadium, Lot C, Kansas City, MO
WHY: Help Support Disaster Relief Efforts in Missouri and Kansas! Financial assistance and water are identified as the greatest need.
All bottled-water donations will be distributed by The Salvation Army at our four mobile feeding kitchens stationed in Joplin. The Chiefs are also accepting financial donations for Heart-to-Heart International for disaster recovery efforts in Joplin and Reading.
We hope you’ll come out to show your support! The Salvation Army would like to offer a huge thanks to The Kansas City Chiefs, their broadcast partners, and the public for all the great ways you’re assisting storm survivors. If you have any questions about the event, learn more at kchiefs.com.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Tornadoes have slammed Missouri and several states in the central US, where need is high and the fatality rate is expected to rise. The Salvation Army is on the scene throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota, and your monetary donations are vital in making sure we can continue our work there.
To support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, you can donate:
* Online at www.salvationarmyusa.org. Designate Specific Use for “Joplin Relief.”
* Over the phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
* Via text. Send “JOPLIN” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Confirm when prompted with “yes.”
Many have asked about donating in-kind items, such as clothes, toys, or furniture. The Salvation Army is not accepting gifts in-kind, as there are not suitable facilities to store these items, and manpower to sort and transfer them are also limited. Monetary gifts are flexible and portable, and they allow our disaster teams to purchase the exact supplies they need, when they need them, in the amounts they need them. Click here for more information on this topic.
The local Salvation Army centers have not expressed a need for volunteers at this time, but you can register your name here in our disaster database should a need arise.
Monday, May 23, 2011
The Salvation Army is responding to tornado and storm activity that struck the central and southern US over the weekend. More information about how you can help is found at the end of this story:
The Salvation Army is supporting relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri, which was struck by a deadly tornado Sunday.
An emergency disaster services teams from Pittsburg, Kansas has gone to help Joplin with mass feeding for residents and first responders through a mobile feeding kitchen capable of serving thousands of meals a day. Teams from Kirksville and Springfield, Missouri are also on the way.
Meanwhile, in hard-hit Reading, Kansas, which was nearly demolished by a tornado late Saturday night, two Salvation Army mobile feeding kitchens, one stationary and one roaming, served meals, snacks and cold drinks to more than 250 people Sunday. They will likely continue service through the rest of the week in Reading.
On Monday, more than a dozen members of a Kansas motorcycle club are volunteering for The Salvation Army from 4:30PM – 8PM to help with clean-up efforts in Reading.
Three Salvation Army mobile kitchens and crews are on the scene in St. Louis Park, Fridley and North Minneapolis to help families and emergency workers after the storms Sunday. Much of the damage caused by uprooted trees is making travel difficult in some areas. One of The Salvation Army’s transitional housing units in Fridley sustained minor damage and none of the four men living at the house were injured.
“I’ve got 24 to 36 hours of back-up volunteers ready to go,” said Drew Hasty, Salvation Army metro disaster manager. “We are prepared to assist city officials with any emerging needs as an emergency shelter is likely to be needed this evening.”
HELP STORM SURVIVORS
Your donations will go a long way in supporting storm survivors and damaged communities. Please call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or donate online at www.salvationarmyusa.org. All donations for disaster services can be used for a designated purpose by specifying over the phone or in the “Specific Use” field of our online form.
Friday, May 20, 2011
No man is an island…and neither are non-profits. Especially during times of disaster, working together with other organizations means we can have an even greater impact to help those in need.
This week the NBA Players Association (NBPA) and Feed The Children delivered 23 massive truckloads of food and supplies to Salvation Army centers in storm-swept communities across Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. Local Salvation Army units who are already a part of these communities are distributing the aid to disaster survivors in the hardest hit areas, like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Memphis, and more. In Birmingham alone more than 200 families benefited from the donations!
Get the full story here, and watch the above video to see how Tuscaloosa, AL will use their 3 truckloads to support the community.
We’re grateful to work with caring partners like NBPA and Feed the Children. It’s with their help that The Salvation Army is able to serve even more people in need.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Floods. Unfortunately, there’s been no lack of natural disasters of late, and The Salvation Army is responding in the US and all over the world. At the same time, we’re very thankful to say there’s no shortage of public support either.
If you scroll through the comments on our blog’s disaster posts or Facebook updates, we get message after message from people wanting to help. While we tell supporters that financial contributions are best, many ask about donating gifts-in-kind, meaning items other than money, such as clothes, furniture, toys, food, etc.
People have asked why we don’t always accept gift-in-kind donations for disasters. Shouldn’t we donate as much as possible to people in need? The aforementioned items are great, but they’re not always what’s needed the most by disaster survivors. Sometimes, they can actually be more harmful than helpful…even when they’re donated with the best intentions.
And that’s what many tornado relief workers are grappling with right now in the southern US, as reported by the Daily Mail: A 3 ft Santa Claus and used underwear: Bizarre donations swamp tornado disaster workers
So how do donors still give generously while making sure their donations go the furthest in serving those in need? Be informed. Reach out to a charity/relief agency to see what it is they need before you donate. And remember, financial donations are the most flexible and portable.
The Salvation Army’s Disaster website has an article on this subject that every donor should be aware of: Why Send Money When I Have All This Stuff I Could Send?
We hope this helps make sense of our donation policies during times of disaster.
P.S. Just because we don’t always accept clothes or in-kind donations for disaster relief, that doesn’t mean your items can’t be put to good use! Donate to our Salvation Army Family & Thrift Stores where they can benefit people in need from your local community.