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Disaster Relief Image Disaster Relief Image

Disaster Relief

We combat natural disasters with acts of God.

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Every year, natural disasters destroy local economies and devastate lives. They cause Americans emotional damage and cost billions of dollars each year.  

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, droughts, floods, and other major disasters pose a great threat to our country. We’re here to help — in any given year, The Salvation Army provides support, hope, and healing to nearly 600,000 survivors and first responders. 

 

National and International Disaster Support

Support recovery efforts for these large-scale disasters. Learn more about how we support disaster recovery efforts below. 

 

Hurricane Beryl Affecting Texas

Hurricane Beryl made landfall along the Texas coastline Monday morning. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Team is mobilizing personnel and assets in preparation for response efforts.

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Hurricane Beryl Affecting The Caribbean and Beyond

Hurricane Beryl reached category five storm status late on Monday, July 1, and intensified on Tuesday reaching winds of 165 mph (270 kph). Leaving a trail of destruction in Grenada, St Vincent and the Windward Islands, the storm moved on to Jamaica, and toward the Yucatán Peninsula. The Salvation Army has a long-term presence in the Caribbean and beyond, in order to respond.

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Widespread Flooding in Northwest Iowa

Our teams are working in and around the Sioux City area, providing food and hydration and household supplies at a local emergency shelter established for flood survivors – and also setting up a shower trailer in a nearby community whose water system was compromised by the floods.

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New Mexico Wildfires

The Salvation Army Southwest Division has deployed an Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team to provide donation management to aid those affected by the South Fork Fire and Salt Fire burning near Ruidoso, New Mexico.

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Arkansas and Oklahoma Torandoes

The Salvation Army of Arkansas and Oklahoma Expands Service After Tornadoes. Deadly storms produced at least 20 tornados over Memorial Day weekend, continuing a pattern of severe weather that began in April.

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Texas tornadoes and severe storms

The Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team from The Salvation Army South Plains (Lubbock, TX) has been serving in nearby Levelland after a powerful storm hit the community and knocked out power to many residents and businesses.

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Eastern Nebraska & Western Iowa Tornadoes

The Salvation Army Western Division sends support in response to devastating tornadoes in Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa.

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Across our nation, The Salvation Army is there to lend a hand.

 

No matter where disaster strikes, The Salvation Army is already there. 

As one of the most well-known disaster-relief organizations in the country, The Salvation Army is ready with immediate response and recovery plans unique to the community affected. Plans forged from decades of recovery efforts and learnings from across the world. 

We serve in nearly every community in the United States long before a disaster happens. We’re among the first on the spot, providing wildfire, flood, tornado, or hurricane relief, and we stay long after a catastrophe has passed. 

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The Salvation Army Helps Meet the Disaster Survivors Through:

Emergency Preparedness

Our experience covers decades of leading recovery efforts – since the 1900 Galveston Hurricane, our trained staff and volunteers have served survivors and first responders of every major disaster.  

We know recovery efforts start before a disaster strikes, and a good plan is key to long-term recovery success. Our disaster-preparedness training program, like this one in our Central Territory,  gets individuals and communities ready for emergencies. For example, our central region offers this type of training throughout the area.  

In addition, we also have a disaster preparedness handbook available. 

Immediate Emergency Response

Disasters and emergencies strike without much warning, but you can count on The Salvation Army to be on the spot, providing relief to communities within hours, because we’re already there. 

We work with local organizations and federal authorities. We mobilize to provide people with food, water, and emergency shelter. We provide mobile showers, bottled water, and a clean blanket to anyone in need. We turn our properties into sites of refuge when needed. And we deliver emotional and spiritual care that first responders and survivors' desire.  

When Hurricane Harvey brought $125 billion in devastation to the Texas Gulf Coast region, we executed one of the largest disaster-relief operations in our history. The Salvation Army deployed 96 mobile feeding units; served more than 2.8 million meals, drinks, and snacks; and provided more than 400,000 hours (about 45 and a half years) of staff and volunteer service.    

 Emotional and Spiritual Care

Some effects of disasters are unseen, as many survivors and first responders suffer emotional stress and trauma. The Salvation Army delivers the vital emotional and spiritual care they need.  

Whether it calls for a hug and a prayer, or a compassionate ear, The Salvation Army is ready to help. 

Read the story  of how one family reached out to The Salvation Army’s specially trained emotional and spiritual care providers to navigate life after Hurricane Irma. 

Long-Term Disaster Recovery

The Salvation Army provides long-term recovery efforts for as long as we are able. In some cases, this means we continue to help for months, even years, after a disaster. We work with local, state, and federal governments to form a long-term disaster recovery plan. 

The plan is far-reaching and meets basic needs. It addresses restoration and rebuilding projects. It includes the dispersal of emergency financial assistance and donated goods. All to help survivors rebuild their lives. 

When our initial response to Hurricane Katrina ended, we allocated $225 million, donated by the American public for Hurricane Katrina response, to provide long-term disaster recovery, including case management, reconstruction, and support for volunteer rebuild teams. Financial assistance programs also helped with home repair, job training, and other initiatives to aid long-term recovery in communities. 

  • Partner with Habitat for Humanity provided funds to support the construction and rehabilitation of more than 400 homes and sponsored the 2008 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project.  
  • Help more than 5,000 people who became unemployed as a result of the hurricanes receive job training and re-employment services, in cooperation with partner organizations. 
  • A new Emergency Disaster Services center in Jackson, MS, featuring an emergency operations center, 17,000 square feet of warehouse space, a state-of-the-art amateur radio station, and a vehicle yard for a fleet of specialized disaster equipment and vehicles. 
  • A 52,000-square-foot Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Biloxi, MS, to replace Salvation Army facilities lost during Hurricane Katrina, built on the site of one of the volunteer villages that The Salvation Army operated for Katrina aid workers. 
 Serving All Without Discrimination

In providing its disaster relief programs and services, The Salvation Army is committed to accommodating all those in need without unlawful discrimination or harassment based on age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic in accordance with our capacity to help.

Spread the Word

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followers to educate and inspire change.

Natural disasters have a tremendous financial impact

They add up to billions in losses each year.

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Disasters affect lives. 

About 1 in 10 homes were impacted by natural disasters in 2021 and in need of financial assistance and emergency supplies.

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The Salvation Army fights natural disasters with acts of God.

The Salvation Army is ready to jump into action with relief services wherever a disaster strikes. With over a century of experience, our disaster expertise lets us tailor our services to fit a specific community in need. We scale to the storm, because when it comes to disasters, one size does not fit all.

help disaster survivors

The Salvation Army brings help, hope, and healing to disaster survivors.
 

Watch how we provide rescue and relief to communities affected by disasters.


Press Resources
Experts for Interview

The Salvation Army has trained experts leading its emergency disaster response efforts in nearly every community in the United States. Many of these experts have decades of experience in emergency management and have led disaster response efforts for countless natural and human-made disasters, including: 

  • Hurricane Katrina 
  • The 9/11 terrorist attacks 
  • The Oklahoma City bombing 
  • The Joplin tornado 
  • The 2004 and 2017 Atlantic hurricane seasons in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and more 
  • COVID-19 
  • The 2021 December Midwest derecho and tornado outbreak  
  • The Marshall Fire in Colorado 
  • Hurricane Fiona  
  • Hurricane Ida  

If you are a member of the media and would like to speak with one of our experts, please contact:

The Salvation Army
703-302-8640
mediarelations@salvationarmyusa.org

Other Ways We Meet Needs