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.
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.
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.
Baseball news feeds were abuzz this week as Freddie Freeman made his Major League debut after getting a call up from the Atlanta Braves. The newbie was even in the starting lineup. The 20 year-old first baseman has been described as a “phenom” and is a contender for Minor League Player of the Year.
But did you know Freddie also grew up in The Salvation Army? His family has been a part of it for 6 generations! Check out this video interview, courtesy of WAPT in Jackson, MS, of Atlanta Brave Freddie Freeman discussing his faith, baseball, and The Salvation Army.
Also, we’re happy to report that Freddie won his game Wednesday night against the NY Mets. The final score was 4-1.