Personnel Providing Shelter, Food and Emotional and Spiritual Care to Evacuees
Alexandria, Virginia (August 30, 2012) - Over the past week, The Salvation Army has provided residents throughout the Gulf Coast region with shelter, food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care in the wake of Hurricane Isaac, which has left thousands in flood-ravaged communities and without power. As Isaac weakens and moves northward as a tropical depression, The Salvation Army has deployed personnel, mobile kitchens and supplies to the most impacted areas of Louisiana and Mississippi, and will continue to provide services as needed.
"Isaac left thousands of people without access to basics like food, water and shelter. The Salvation Army is here to offer a warm meal and a helping hand," said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the United States. "Our emergency response teams will do what is necessary to meet the needs of each and every individual who comes to us - both physically and spiritually."
The Salvation Army currently has 60 personnel, 24 mobile feeding units, and a fully equipped 54-foot field kitchen ready for deployment to hard-hit areas. These units have a combined feeding capacity of more than 31,000 meals per day. Overall, The Salvation Army has provided more than 8,000 meals, 7,000 drinks, 6,000 snacks, and emotional and spiritual care to nearly 600 individuals.
Mobile kitchens and Salvation Army personnel have been deployed to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA as well as Gulfport, MS. The Salvation Army has provided meals and spiritual counseling at six shelters throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Jackson and Harrison Counties. On Wednesday night, more than 175 men and women, bunked at The Salvation Army Emergency Shelter in Mobile, AL seeking refuge from rising waters. In Hattiesburg, MS, feeding crews continued their support of evacuees at the state-run Emergency Shelter where more than 150 men, women and children have sought refuge from the storm.
"Although Isaac is moving inland, many areas will not feel the storm's full impact of rain and flooding for some time," said Major Hood. "We expect to provide assistance to all survivors in Gulf Coast communities and elsewhere for as long as there is a need."
In Florida, The Salvation Army has two mobile feeding units providing food, water, and emotional and spiritual assistance to survivors in the Acreage and Loxahatchee communities of Palm Beach County, FL following massive flooding and widespread power outages. The Salvation Army is also continuing to support first responders and survivors with hydration in downtown Tampa and surrounding areas.
In addition to food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care, The Salvation Army is also prepared to provide:
• Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
• Hygiene kits
• Shower units
• First-aid supplies
• Communications support
The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm's path to prepare an emergency supply kit and stay informed of all warnings and evacuation orders. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each member of your family as well as flashlights, medication and battery-powered radios.
To assist with relief efforts, energy company BP America made a $1 million donation that will be split equally between the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army, and divided equally between Louisiana and Mississippi. A portion of the donation will also help provide assistance to employees and their families in the region.
In addition, from now through September 16, Albertsons LLC, with stores in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas, will run an in-store fundraiser to support The Salvation Army's Hurricane Isaac disaster response and recovery efforts.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this disaster to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, "Yes." Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate "2012 Hurricane Season" on all checks.
At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
For more information on The Salvation Army's preparation and response to Tropical Storm Isaac, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusa or www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.