Wildfires Blazing Across Boulder, Colorado

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Video courtesy of Fox News

Wildfires that broke out Monday in Boulder, Colorado’s Fourmile Canyon continue to blaze, forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes and leaving 3,500 acres of land charred. About 100 fire fighters were on the scene yesterday battling the flames. The cause of the fire is unknown, and high winds have made it difficult to tame.

The Salvation Army has been called on to help serve first responders who are working to contain the disaster. Those first responders include fire fighters, law enforcement, Emergency Medical Technicians and the command and control staff that is coordinating the fire efforts at the command center. By providing food, drinks and emotional support, The Salvation Army provides much needed nourishment as these crews work around the clock.

The Salvation Army served more than 450 dinners last night to emergency personnel and 300 hearty breakfasts including omelets, hash browns, sausage patty, coffee, juice and fruit were served early this morning.

First responders will also be provided lunch and dinner today by The Salvation Army. The mobile kitchen and cold truck will remain on site as long as necessary to support this effort.

We certainly hope that the fires will be contained quickly so that more homes and buildings are not claimed by the blaze. Thankfully, there have been no reported fatalities as a result of the fire.

If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s fire relief efforts, visit imsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and earmark the donation for Emergency Disaster Services.

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Salvation Army Moves into Second Phase of New Zealand Quake Recovery

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Salvation Army in New Zealand has reported moving into its second phase of relief since being struck by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake early Saturday morning.

They’ve put a fresh team in the city of Christchurch to assess and respond to the mid-term need of affected residents. Emergency Services staff and volunteers continue to provide emergency aid and care at the city’s welfare centers and Salvation Army centers. The Salvation Army team is also arranging storage for food and goods donated by companies.

With the damage and disruption caused to many Christchurch businesses, The Salvation Army expects a large number of workers won’t have an income from this week and their families will need support, according to Salvation Army spokesman Major Robbie Ross.

The Salvation Army reports that community spirit is strong in Canterbury and they’ve received strong support. New Zealand companies and banks have provided significant quantities of food and household items and funds. Westpac Bank in New Zealand has committed NZ$1 million to the Westpac Canterbury Care Fund, naming The Salvation Army as its senior partner. The Salvation Army will use some of the money to help those needing food, shelter and care, and put the rest towards those needing longer-term support. The public has also generously donated $34,000 to the earthquake appeal.

In setting out the logistics and protocols around the provision of aid, The Salvation Army in New Zealand is borrowing from the experience of the Australian Salvation Army during the 2009 bushfires.

To read The Salvation Army New Zealand’s updates on ongoing relief efforts, click HERE. (Additional reports were posted over the weekend.)

Thank you for your continuing prayers and support for New Zealand’s recovery!

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The Salvation Army Responds to New Zealand Earthquake

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Salvation Army has initiated its emergency services in New Zealand after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island Saturday morning. It is believed to be the largest earthquake to strike New Zealand since 1931. Aftershocks are continuing.

While no fatalities have been reported, there have been several serious injuries and significant damage to infrastructure. A State of Emergency has been declared that is expected to be in place for several days.

Within hours of the disaster, The Salvation Army was feeding around 1000 people in at least two locations within the major city of Christchurch and was standing ready to set up further operations as requested, with residents in some areas advised to prepare for possible evacuation.

The Salvation Army has a formal national partnership with the Ministry of Civil Defence and local governments across the country. Its immediate responsibility is to provide catering support in the aftermath of natural disasters and any other services that Civil Defence authorities request.

One hundred people in the Army’s addiction and supportive accommodation centre in Addington, Christchurch, are without power, water and sewerage.

The Salvation Army’s Bramwell Booth centre in Temuka, around 146 km south of Christchurch, is home to men and women with intellectual disabilities. One building at the centre has structural damage following the earthquake and Civil Defence engineers have ordered its evacuation.

To read the full report, click HERE.

To donate to The Salvation Army in New Zealand’s disaster appeal, click HERE.

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Salvation Army Services Continue as Hurricane Earl Passes

Friday, September 3, 2010

The following reported was submitted by our Salvation Army Carolinas Division:

Along the North Carolina coast, residents, sun-seeking vacationers and first responders sought refuge from Hurricane Earl and were fed by The Salvation Army at emergency shelters in Beaufort, Carteret and Pamlico Counties. The Salvation Army has been on-site for meal service at these North Carolina coastal evacuation shelters since Thursday following requests of North Carolina Emergency Management officials and has served more than 250 individuals. It is expected that Salvation Army meal service to shelter evacuees has concluded with breakfast on Friday and that shelter closings will eliminate the need for additional feeding. In addition to fixed feeding at occupied shelters, the Salvation Army is prepared to respond locally to remote and roving feeding needs and requests across eastern and coastal North Carolina.

In support of meal services being delivered by units based in Morehead City, New Bern and Washington, Salvation Army service centers equipped with mobile kitchen unit canteens in Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Greenville, Jacksonville, Kinston and Rocky Mount are on alert, monitoring the situation, coordinating with local officials and prepared to deploy as required or requested. Additional Salvation Army centers with 21 mobile kitchen unit canteens across the North and South Carolina Division are prepared and available for support, each with an initial capacity to serve approximately 1,500 meals over a 3 day period without re supply.

“Even as we were ready, on-site and alert for service, The Salvation Army is relieved and blessed that Hurricane Earl did not have a direct impact on North Carolina or the east coast and that there have been no reports of injuries. Still, we remain focused on response and service to evacuees and first responders. Our focus now is Salvation Army response to local needs in each community”, said Major Andrew Wiley, Area Commander for The Salvation Army’s response to Hurricane Earl.

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New Disaster Radio Podcast: Hurricane Earl Field Report

Friday, September 3, 2010

A quick Hurricane Earl update for everyone:

The Carolinas appear to have escaped serious damage as Earl stayed offshore according to reports from our area Salvation Army Divisions. The 3 evacuation shelters that opened yesterday have already been able to close their operations after serving more than 250 individuals.

However, personnel remain alert and ready as the storm heads up towards New England where it could still pose a significant threat.

On a side note – Salvation Army units from Puerto Rico to Maine have been gearing up this week in anticipation of Earl. Have you ever wondered what kind of work goes into preparing for and responding to something as extensive and severe as a hurricane?

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services released a new podcast yesterday that talks about what goes into disaster response, and more specifically how The Salvation Army’s Carolina Divisions disaster team is handling Hurricane Earl.

Check out the Disaster Radio podcast here: 09.2.10 Field Report: Hurricane Earl. Find more podcasts on their website here.

Learn more about The Salvation Army Carolinas Division at their website http://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org. You can also find Hurricane Earl updates on their Facebook (The Salvation Army of the Carolinas) and Twitter (@TSACarolinas) pages.

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The Salvation Army Readies to Provide Care at Hurricane Evacuee Shelters

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Many coastal residents and tourists are evacuating inland as Hurricane Earl approaches the Outerbanks.

Emergency management officials in North Carolina have requested The Salvation Army provide feeding services today for evacuee shelters in Beaufort, Carteret and Pamlico Counties.

The Salvation Army is able to provide evacuee feeding services through our mobile kitchen units that are setting up at county-designated shelter locations in preparation for Earl. These mobile kitchen units are fully equipped kitchens and can provide immediate, ongoing mass feedings from one location or while roaming throughout an impacted area.

The Salvation Army will also be providing feeding and hydration services to first responders and emergency personnel.

“Each day The Salvation Army responds in service to crisis situations. And not every crisis is as sensational as a Hurricane, as many are personal, individual and of the heart. Our team is mobilized and fully prepared for response and service as need arises and for as long as the need last”, said Major Willis Howell, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army North & South Carolina Division.

Stay tune to The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Earl updates as they become available through our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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The Salvation Army Prepares for Hurricane Earl’s Arrival

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hurricane Earl continues its path towards the US eastern coast with winds reaching 125mph as of this morning, making the storm a Category 3.

All Salvation Army units have been notified of the potential impacts from Hurricane Earl. Personnel in coastal North Carolina and the Eastern Shore of Maryland are working with county and state emergency management officials as well as reviewing local response plans and procedures in case their assistance is needed.

We encourage everyone who may be in Earl’s path to prepare an emergency supply kit, make an evacuation plan and stay on top of all storm warnings. For help developing a preparedness plan, coastal residents can visit www.readync.org and www.mema.state.md.us.

Anyone who wants to help those affected by Hurricane Earl can visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations will be used to meet immediate needs. We are currently not accepting donations of clothing and furniture for storm victims; however, please continue supporting your local Salvation Army thrift store and the much needed programs your in-kind gifts support.

Stay tune to The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Earl updates as they become available through our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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A Taste of New Orleans

Monday, August 30, 2010

This morning I was reading a few articles about President Obama’s commemoration of the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The first family traveled to New Orleans where the President addressed Xavier University yesterday.

As the articles discussed the President’s official business in ‘The Big Easy,’ I found it interesting that most of them made it a point to mention the President’s lunch. His speech, visit to a local housing development, and even meetings with hurricane survivors did not overshadow his sumptuous shrimp po’boy.

Why was the seafood sub such a big deal?

A few thoughts:

1.The strength of small businesses gives a fair read on the pulse of the economy, and a mom & pop restaurant sure looks hopeful and healthy when you have the President as a patron. Plus, it’s exciting for locals!

2. Food is comfort, especially during hard times.

3. Identity is often linked to food. What better way to affirm a recovering community than to chow down on a traditional meal that represents what New Orleans is about?

In fact, The Times-Picayune recently ran an article about how Hurricane Katrina affected the New Orleans food culture.

Item #3 on the list: Locals’ Appreciation for Food Deepened.

The article quotes a director of a New Orleans non-profit as saying, “In a very intense, concentrated space of time, people found out what really mattered to them. Food became the most important rituals of our lives.”

Item #8 on the list: New Orleanians began cooking all over the country.

This point was most interesting to me since NPR just ran a segment that featured a displaced New Orleanian. Patrick Wooten and his family were air lifted to shelter when their neighborhood of Algiers flooded during the hurricane. They’ve permanently relocated to Plymouth, MA where Patrick now works as a chef at The Salvation Army. Though the setting is a lot different than New Orleans, Patrick keeps in touch with his Cajun roots by serving up home cooking at The Salvation Army kitchen. What a great way to remember and share his Creole culture!

Lucky for us, Patrick shared with NPR his Dirty Rice recipe that he made on Sunday to remember the 5th anniversary of Katrina. I’m including it below for anyone who’d like a New Orleans culinary lesson:

Recipe: Patrick Wooten’s Dirty Rice (Serves six)

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Andouille sausage
1/2 pound ham steak, cubed
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Worcestershire sauce
Uncle Ben’s white rice

Instructions:

o Brown the meat until beef is no longer pink.
o Add Worcestershire sauce.
o Remove meat from pan and saute vegetables in the leftover oil.
o Add cooked rice and more Worcestershire sauce to taste.
o While it cooks down, “sit and wait like a pit bull.”

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Stories from the Gulf: Sheriff White’s Testimony

Friday, August 27, 2010

It’s difficult to imagine how hard it must have been for Gulf Coast residents to lose their homes and be displaced for months, sometimes years, after Hurricane Katrina. But to be diagnosed with a terminal disease on top of that? It seems it’d be too much for a person to handle.

In today’s video, Sheriff Bryan White shares the story of his dear friend Frank and how The Salvation Army helped fulfill his dying wish.

Read more in our report “Hurricane Katrina: 5 Years On” about how The Salvation Army has provided relief to the Gulf Coast and helps it to continue to move forward.

In addition, I’m including a few recent headlines about Katrina’s anniversary and the Gulf Coast:

* New York Daily News: Obama Admin Awards $25M in Katrina Funds

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Stories from the Gulf: Kathlene’s Testimony

Thursday, August 26, 2010

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Almost two years following Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi resident Kathlene Meier says she was still trying to rebuild her home pay check by pay check with only the help of her family, a process she expected would take many more years.

Imagine her relief when a knock on her door one day from a surprise visitor from The Salvation Army led to them receiving all the supplies they needed to complete their house. Kathlene shares the details of her story in the video above.

Kathlene is one of many people who found help rebuilding her home through The Salvation Army. We opened 84,000 cases helping 350,000 people with 84,000 with repair, rebuilding, furnishings and supplies.

Read more in our Katrina 5 Year Report about how The Salvation Army provided relief to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and continues to strengthen communities.

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