Caring for Those Hit by “The Worst Local Disaster in 30+ Years”

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The following account was provided by The Salvation Army’s Lt. David Costellow, who serves with The Salvation Army in Chattanooga, TN:

“In what has been deemed as the worst disaster he has seen in his 35 years of emergency management by Hamilton County EMS director, Don Allan, we continue to witness incredible scenes of destruction in the aftermath of this area’s recent tornado outbreaks. We continue to serve in our five surrounding counties (Catoosa, Walker, Dade, Hamilton, and Bradley) by providing hot meals, water, and emotional and spiritual care.

In Cleveland, TN (Bradley County) over 260 volunteers helped provide 2,650 meals as well as over 400 food boxes with non-perishable food to those who are still without power. This weekend, a distribution center has been set up at the Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy to provide donated items such as clothes, water, toiletries, etc. Salvation Army social services are being provided at that site as well.

At another hard-hit area in Walker County, Georgia, our canteen services have provided over 1,000 meals each day since the beginning of the response. The need continues to remain high in that area as well as in neighboring Catoosa County where lunch and dinner is being served at the Ringgold City Hall.

The demand for hot meals continues to remain high as well as the demand for monetary donations. We need your help! First and foremost we solicit your prayers for the tornado victims and relief workers. We also remind you that there are a variety of ways in which they can donate monetarily to the relief effort.”

You can financially support The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts in multiple ways:

(In all cases, please designate your gift “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”)

* Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org and click on the red “Donate Now” button in the top right corner. (In the donation form, designate to tornado relief in the ‘Specific Use’ field.)
* Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
* Text “GIVE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Please confirm when prompted with “Yes.”

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Day 4: The Salvation Army Comforts Storm Survivors

Saturday, April 30, 2011

At least 340 people died in the violent tornadoes that swept across the southern US only days ago. Hundreds more are still missing. However, in the face of devastation, countless volunteers and donors have reached out to survivors in their time of greatest need.

The Salvation Army is currently meeting immediate needs and evaluating long-term recovery efforts in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Additional teams are on standby and will be sent as needed.

Alabama & Mississippi – 40 EDS mobile feeding units, a shower trailer, and emotional/spiritual care teams are serving storm survivors in affected areas. Tens of thousands of meals and beverages have been distributed at multiple locations throughout the region. To learn more about relief efforts including current areas of service, please click here.

Arkansas– EDS teams are currently providing food, beverages, and emotional/spiritual care throughout Garland, Randolph, and Jackson Counties. Several areas are facing both tornado and flood damage. As of Friday evening, 3,195 meals and 3,058 drinks had been distributed.

Georgia – Feeding and emotional/spiritual care efforts continue throughout Spalding, Floyd, and Bartow counties. As of Saturday morning, EDS teams had distributed 2,628 meals in Spalding County, 580 in Floyd County, and 250 in Bartow County. Additionally, dozens of clean-up kits were given to survivors in need.

EDS teams from the Kentucky/Tennessee Division are providing food, beverages, and emotional/spiritual support at various locations in northwest Georgia including the hard-hit town of Ringgold.

Virginia – EDS teams from the Kentucky/Tennessee Division have been mobilized to meet material and spiritual needs of residents and determine next steps in service for affected communities.

Tennessee – Many locations across Tennessee are reporting moderate to severe tornado, water, and hail damage. EDS crews are offering food, beverages, and emotional/spiritual support in the following areas: Chattanooga, Cleveland, Murfreesboro, Union City, Clarksville, Greenville, and Memphis. In Cleveland alone, 2,650 hot meals and 400 food boxes were provided to residents in need. To read more about efforts in Tennessee, please click here.

Kentucky –Personnel continue to serve storm survivors in Paducah, Henderson, and Louisville through food distribution, emotional and spiritual care, and evaluation of long-term recovery needs. EDS leadership is also keeping a watchful eye on rising water levels and making preparations should a flood response be required. To learn more about Kentucky relief efforts, please click here.

Thank you for your continued support.

Are you looking to help?

The best way is to make a financial contribution since monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. You can do this by:

* Visiting www. salvationarmyusa.org and designating your gift “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”
* Calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) and designate “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak”
* Texting “GIVE” to 80888
* Sending a check to:

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 100339
Atlanta, GA 30384-0339
Designate “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted outside the disaster area.

Volunteer inquiries can be made with your local Salvation Army.

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Help The Salvation Army Help Tornado Survivors

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Salvation Army has released a Public Service Announcement with information about how you can support our relief efforts for tornado survivors in the southeast. Please share this with your friends and family!

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Salvation Army’s Response to Tornadoes Continues to Grow

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) personnel continue to respond to tornado activity throughout Alabama and Mississippi.

In response, the Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi (ALM) Division of The Salvation Army has mobilized 15 feeding units and a communications unit. They are providing food, drinks, and spiritual support to storm victims in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Guntersville, Molten, and Phil Campbell, Alabama. In Mississippi, disaster response teams are serving in Kemper County, Webster County, and Oxford.

Locations within AL and MS are reporting moderate to severe damage. As a result, Divisional Emergency Disaster Teams are being activated in various areas. Multiple EDS vehicles and teams are being positioned throughout the division for rapid response in areas where severe flooding is likely.

Tuscaloosa, AL

EDS teams from Mobile, Selma, and Columbus, MS have been activated to provide services to the Tuscaloosa area. Salvation Army Feeding units are being deployed to local affected areas prepared to serve 500 meals.

Birmingham, AL

The Salvation Army of Birmingham responded immediately to the hardest hit areas. 6 feeding units from Dothan and Birmingham, AL and Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, LA are being used to provide food and drinks in many neighborhoods in Greater Birmingham.

Guntersville, AL

Disaster units from Huntsville and Gadsden continue to serve storm victims. They are stationed at the Community Rec Center in Guntersville and the Gadsden Unit at Lowe’s, respectively.

Marion County, AL

The Laurel, MS feeding unit is responding to serve the North Alabama village of Phil Campbell and a team from Florence, AL is responding to serve the community of Hackleburg.

Oxford, MS

A Mobile Feeding unit from Jackson, MS has responded to serve residents food, drinks and pastoral care.

Webster County, MS

The Tupelo Canteen is in place and serving the community of Smithville, MS.

Kemper County, MS

The Salvation Army of Meridian has responded to serve in the east Mississippi County.

Additionally, The Salvation Army’s EDS Warehouse and Command Center in Jackson is being used to manage the widespread response across Alabama and Mississippi.

As damage reports are received, Salvation Army EDS personnel and mobile feeding units currently on standby in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Maryland and West Virginia will be deployed.

For more information about supporting The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, click here.

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Tornado Response: What We’re Doing and How You Can Help

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

[Tornado]

Note: For the latest updates, follow Salvation Army EDS on Twitter @salarmyEDS and on their website at disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams are responding to the destruction left by an outbreak of tornadoes that tore through the southeastern US.

According to news reports, more than 70 people have lost their lives, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama has suffered a great deal of damage. More storms are tracking through N. Alabama, N.W. Georgia, and S.E. Tennessee.

The Salvation Army already has teams providing food, drinks, and spiritual support to storm survivors in Tuscaloosa, Guntersville, and Lauderdale County, Alabama as well as Montpelier and Oxford, Mississippi. Mobile feeding units from the Kentucky-Tennessee Division (KTN) are serving victims in Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tennessee.

Additional Salvation Army EDS feeding units are currently in route to affected areas throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Another 22 mobile feeding units including catering trucks, mobile kitchens, and a 20,000 meal per day full service field kitchen are on standby.

Financial donations are needed to help with Salvation Army disaster relief efforts. If you’d like to support storm survivors:

• Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”

• Text “GIVE” to 80888.

• Send checks to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, GA 30384-0339. Please designate “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”

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Salvation Army’s Historic Role in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake

Monday, April 18, 2011

On April 18, 1906, 125 years ago today, the city of San Francisco was shattered by a magnitude 8.25 earthquake. Three days of fires followed, as many as 3,000 people lost their lives, and 225,000 of the city’s 400,000 citizens were left homeless. All but two of the Salvation Army’s buildings in San Francisco were destroyed in the earthquake.

Despite their own losses, The Salvation Army was a major part of the recovery and revival of the city following the historic disaster. In the wake of significant human suffering, the loss of their buildings was minor. Salvation Army personnel established feeding stations and shelters throughout San Francisco and into Oakland, meeting refugees as they ferried over. Chinese Salvationists from San Francisco played a major role in feeding thousands of survivors.

News of the efforts reached The Salvation Army’s National Commander Evangeline Booth, daughter of founder William Booth. She appealed to the public in New York for assistance, encouraging them with her father’s words, “Do something! Do the most you can – do it well – do it now!” She raised an astounding $12,000, which would equal more than $300,000 today.

Salvationist spent several weeks caring for those in need and continued to be a part of San Francisco’s long term recovery. Yet, their resolve never faltered.

Commissioner Evangeline Booth reflected on the experience, saying, “The natural hopefulness, I was going to say sunniness, of the California disposition has stood them in good stead; all their troubles and privations have not been able to keep them under. They have spirits like corks and come up with a bounce every time.”

For more information on The Salvation Army’s long history of emergency disaster response, please click here. http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-text-dynamic-arrays/190F4B74F5ED5E81852574B70000119F?openDocument

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Response Efforts to Deadly Tornadoes, Wildfires Across Southern US

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Salvation Army has been actively responding to disasters across the southern United States this weekend, following a large tornado outbreak in multiple states and wildfires.
Tornadoes
In Oklahoma, local Army units worked around the clock in Tushka, Oklahoma after a deadly tornado hit the area. They worked with the Red Cross and the Choctaw Nation to provide more than 1,000 sandwiches, 500 meals, 1,500 snacks, and dozens of cases of drinks to survivors and first responders. In addition, the Army helped deliver hardware such as tarp material, hammers, and nails.
Tornadoes also severely damaged Mississippi communities. Salvation Army personnel rotated between two sites in Jackson to ensure all survivors were served hot meals. They are currently assessing the damage and planning how to respond to people’s material needs.
At a twin tornadoes strike site in Virginia, the Army is offering emotional and spiritual care. In addition to serving hundreds of hot meals and bottled water, volunteers and staff have distributed 160 cleaning kits and hundreds of sealable storage containers to families who are cleaning their homes. The Salvation Army is also giving out gift cards to help people buy housing repair items.
Wildfires
The Salvation Army responded to 4 separate wildfire outbreaks in southwestern Oklahoma. Officers and volunteers worked into the early morning hours passing out more than 1,000 meals and drinks, as well as 150 hygiene kits. In Lawton, Oklahoma, The Salvation Army is coordinating with the American Red Cross to make sure all needs are met.
This comes less than a week after wildfires destroyed more than 200,000 acres across West Texas and ruined nearly 50 homes. The Salvation Army responded by serving nearly 1500 meals during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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Salvation Army in Africa Considers Response to Ivory Coast Refugee Situation

Friday, April 15, 2011

As a result of the constitutional crisis in the Ivory Coast, many people are fleeing to neighboring Liberia and Ghana for safety. Since there is no Salvation Army presence in the Ivory Coast, The Salvation Army’s Ghana Territory and Liberia Command are both determining how to best respond.

Our personnel along the border have described the distressing condition of hundreds of escapees who have recently crossed into Ghana, saying, “They have little clothing, shelter or personal resource.”

The Salvation Army of Liberia sent a team of three officers to the border where more than 30,000 refugees had been registered by the United Nations High Council for Refugees (UNHCR). The team reported that conditions for the refugees were very poor and that there is a great need for food, water, bedding, medicine and clothes – particularly with the rainy season ahead.

Leaders from both countries have applied to Salvation Army International Headquarters for funding so they can begin work with the refugees.

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Chevron Supports New Zealand Recovery

Friday, April 15, 2011

Recently the Chevron Corporation Foundation teamed up with The Salvation Army to help the recovery of New Zealand following the earthquakes that struck in September 2010 and February 2011.

They generously donated $100,000 to our recovery efforts!

The Chevron Corporation has been partners with The Salvation Army New Zealand for several years. Mr. Donald Campbell, a representative from Chevron Corporation’s Government and Public Affairs office, met with The Salvation Army while he was visiting the country.

Our personnel were able to update him on the Army’s ongoing involvement in Christchurch and share with him how their donated funds were being put to good use in the community.

After the discussions Mr. Campbell expressed interest in Chevron becoming further involved in supporting the recovery process.

We appreciate Chevron’s incredible support in helping us rebuild lives in New Zealand. They are a valuable partner in helping The Salvation Army serve others in need!

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Japan Update

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Commissioner Makoto Yoshida of The Salvation Army Japan provided us with an updated report on relief work taking place in the country.

General recovery efforts are progressing well – super markets are gradually reopening, 80-90% of gas stations in northern Japan have resumed business, and about 70% of roads are accessible. The Japanese government is significantly supporting the country’s relief efforts and providing much of the needed temporary housing.

However, he says the unresolved nuclear power station failure is causing uneasiness in the public. The search for missing people also remains daunting, as officials estimate there are 12,000 dead, 15,000 missing and 166,000 evacuees.

The Salvation Army Japan remains committed in their efforts, and we have brief updates from our dispersed disaster teams:

SENDAI: A team of 17 relief personnel and volunteers visited in March 23, distributing 1,130 meals and necessities, along with candy to the 83 children present. At that time, water and electricity supply was mostly restored, but gas is expected to take much longer. Supplies have been gradually reaching disaster areas, but camps have requested more tissues, diapers, and underwear. The Salvation Army believes that due to increased stability, food distribution may no longer be necessary in Sendai, and they’re exploring the possibility of visiting areas with greater need about 100 km north.

YABUKI-CHO: The Salvation Army Japan’s Major Kenji Fujii and Captain Kazuyuki Ishikawa met with the city’s mayor. They learned 52% of the area’s water has been restored, and they have plenty of food and drinking water. However, fuel and daily necessities are in short supply. The Salvation Army left with the town all the supplies they brought, but they have not received a request for additional help.

IWAKI CITY: Team members visited Iwaki City, which is just over 30km outside of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station. On March 24 they distributed 500 hot meals and 6,000 bottles of water. However, as food and supplies are becoming more readily available, Iwaki City officials have not requested additional support from the Army.

KESENNUMA : Kesennuma lies 120 km north of Sendai along the coast line, and the city is badly damaged. The Salvation Army is sending two teams to distribute food and necessities April 12-15. They expect to give out 1,000 meals and 5,000 bottles of water, as well as candy for the 100 children in the area.

RIKUZEN-TAKADA : Rikuzen-Takada also lies on the coast, 30 km north-east from Kesennuma, and was badly damaged by the tsuname. A team is presently distributing hundreds of hot meals and water. They are looking into further ways they may assist.

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