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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Since The Salvation Army began disastery recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina, we have assisted more than 2.6 million people affected by the storm.
As one part of our multi-pronged community recovery plan, The Salvation Army opened eight major distribution centers along the Gulf Coast where clients, many of whom lost a significant amount or all of their possessions in the hurricane, could find free donated items like furniture and large appliances. More than 106,100 families received assistance this way.
We also set up Disaster Assistance Centers, where those in need could find critical information as well as food and clothing. Caseworkers provided a vital service at these centers helping clients register for Salvation Army services. The Army opened 265,100 cases representing over 828,000 individuals.
Wanda and Emmett Pillault, featured in today’s video, describe the help they found at The Salvation Army when their home was severely damaged as a result of Katrina.
As we approach the 5th year anniversary of Katrina, the nation is reflecting this week on tragedy that befell the Gulf Coast so many years ago and how the area has pressed on since. As an integral part of the community, The Salvation Army was there before the storm, and we were there after working to provide support and help rebuild.
The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division posted an album on their Facebook page that looks back at their efforts to help those in need during the immediate aftermath. From serving food to providing medical support, The Salvation Army was a shining light during a very dark time.
But as we think back on the past five years, we also continue to look forward.
As a part of continuing recovery efforts, The Salvation Army is investing in projects, communities and individual lives in order to help the area become even stronger than before.
“When the Winds Died Down” gives a personal look at how members of the Gulf Coast community found support and hope from The Salvation Army. We’ll continue to post a new video each day this week that delves further into each individual’s personal story and how The Salvation Army helped them rebuild.
British Petroleum (BP) and state and local government entities contacted The Salvation Army this weekend for our help in supporting thousands of volunteers who are responding to the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. As the oil approaches the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts, The Salvation Army deployed teams to Ocean Springs, Mississippi and Venice, Louisiana to handout water to the throngs of individuals who are participating in the clean-up efforts.
The Salvation Army is continuing discussions with involved governments and BP to find additional ways to support the clean-up efforts.
Be sure to follow The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, which they are frequently updating with volunteer information and news of their latest efforts. You can also find more information at their website www.salvationarmyalm.org.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the deadly tornadoes in Mississippi to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Monetary donations are needed to meet survivors’ most immediate needs. A $100 donation will feed a family of four for two days, provide two cases of drinking water and one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies.
The Salvation Army is currently not accepting donations of clothing and furniture for storm victims. Please forward these donations to The Salvation Army Family Store nearest you.
We are coordinating services with local and state authorities through the state Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Volunteers are asked to visit www.msema.gov to register as a volunteer.
Our teams continue to provide for physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of those who affected by these devastating storms. On Saturday, our Disaster Response teams served more than 830 hot meals and 450 snacks to residents and first responders in Mississippi.
For up to the date information, please visit The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi Division’s website at www.salvationarmyalm.org or visit their Facebook page.
The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division is responding to multiple tornado touchdowns across much of Central and North Mississippi. Just after noonm, a strong super cell thunderstorm crossed the Mississippi River north of Vicksburg, Miss. and began dropping tornadoes on a line stretching across the state. By three o’clock The Salvation Army was responding [...]
The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) is actively involved in responding to severe tornado activity in Mississippi. Two mobile feeding units (canteens) from Jackson, Mississippi have been deployed; one to Eagle Lake and another to Yazoo City, MS. Local authorities are reporting 20 to 30 homes impacted in Eagle Lake and at least that [...]